To Emporia, VA

By Ben |

Today was gray and sunless, but aside from a little drizzle it stayed dry.  As I rode through Roanoke Rapids, NC, a man and two boys rode alongside me on their bicycles.  They asked me where I was going and where I'd been about 5 times before they were willing to believe my answers.  They had more trouble believing I was bicycling to DC than that I had already ridden thousands of miles... it's the Florida Effect all over again: DC is Far Far Away.

To Medoc Mountain State Park

By Ben |

Today's ride was about an hour and a half longer than it would have been had I not stayed at Amber's last night, but I certainly have no regrets about that!  After a drizzly morning I stopped for lunch in Louisburg, home of the International Whistlers' Convention.  The afternoon was dry but cloudy; I didn't see the sun all day.  Today for the first and only time in North Carolina, people yelled and honked at me; otherwise it was a very polite state!

At Medoc Mountain State Park I warmed and ate the other MRE, a vegetarian dinner, with pepperonis for protein.

to Raleigh, NC

By Ben |

Today's plan was simple enough: I would bike from Durham to a shopping center on the near side of Raleigh, meet my sister's old friend Amber for lunch at 11, and then ride north to Falls Lake in the afternoon.  But about a mile from the rendezvous, I got a flat on my left trailer tire -- the first one it's had in the whole trip.

Picnic at Duke

By Ben |

I spent the morning tinkering with my bike, undoing the damage the mechanic had inadvertantly done.  Erik packed us a picnic lunch, and we met Tami for lunch near her lab on the Duke University campus.  We strolled through the extensive Sarah P. Duke Gardens and toured the chapel, which is as large and ornate as any cathedral I've seen.

Later, we walked to dinner at an excellent Indian restaurant.

To Durham

By Ben |

I slept well in the warm, quiet night of the spring equinox and woke to another beautiful day.  No one ever showed up to register me as they were supposed to, so I got the campsite for free!  I was the only one there, so they may not have bothered making the rounds.

to Jordan Lake SRA

By Ben |

Today was gorgeous!  The weather couldn't have been more perfect.

I stopped for groceries in the morning and met a man in the parking lot who was riding his grandson's bicycle, though he said he had many bikes of his own.  He asked a bunch of questions and then offered me some military Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) that he gets from Fort Bragg and gives to homeless people and other folks who could use them.  I accepted two.  They're much bulkier than my usual food, since about half of their volume is packaging.

March 19: North Carolina

By Ben |

[posted to the Wheeled Migration Yahoo Group on March 19, 2005]

I had planned to ride into North Carolina Wednesday, but I didn't quite make it... it was farther than I thought (remember I had lost my maps), and there was a constant, cold rain that really took the wind out of my sails. I had to stop at several shopping centers during the day just to warm up and dry off so I could keep functioning.