I had planned to ride into North Carolina today, but I didn't quite make it... it was farther than I thought, 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.
This morning I brought my breakfast to the beach and watched the sun rise over the water. Then I strolled over to Atalaya, the summer home of Archer Milton and Anna Hyatt Huntington. I last crossed Archer Huntington's philanthropic footprints at Aztec Ruins National
[posted to the Wheeled Migration Yahoo Group on March 15, 2005]
When last I wrote you on Friday evening, I was about to go in search of a bar with happy-hour specials on food. I found an Irish-American pub that fit the bill. Then I walked to the riverfront and watched the sun set. A tremendous, gusty, cold wind blew in as the sun went down, so I had to keep walking to stay warm!
Once the traffic died down, my camp in the forest was amazingly quiet, and I slept very well. Today was much cooler than yesterday, but not uncomfortable.
I followed US-17A into Georgetown, ate a hearty buffet lunch, and continued north on US-17 to Huntington Beach State Park. This is my first SC park, and I'm impressed -- they gave me a good deal on a great campsite. Tomorrow morning I'll stroll down the beach to Atalaya, a 1930s mansion.
Today was another very short day's ride, because I wanted to be sure to take advantage of free camping in Francis Marion National Forest, and my route doesn't go through very much of it.
Francis Marion is mostly pines with a few deciduous trees in the dense underbrush -- none of the palmetto, live oak, and magnolia that characterized Florida and Georgia's forests.
After a hearty breakfast, I rode to the Unitarian Church in Charleston, which is the second-oldest church in town and the oldest Unitarian church in the South. Its exterior is under renovation, but I had been assured that the "perpendicular Gothic" interior would be open for tours this morning at 10. It was not. I waited for half an hour and called the office phone, but I couldn't wait all morning, so I left disappointed.
I slept in this morning and had a leisurely breakfast of complementary waffles with some other guests. After a short shopping/sightseeing trip in the morning, I just hung out all afternoon.
Towards evening I decided to go find a bar with happy-hour specials on food, and I found an Irish-American pub that fit the bill. Then I walked to the riverfront and watched the sun set.
I was exhausted last night and went to bed early, but the spring break crowd was up late playing a heated game of Monopoly. After a few hours I put my earplugs in and was dead to the world... slept great! The hostel provides free grits, which the college group's advisors prepared with cheese, and I got their leftovers.
[posted to the Wheeled Migration Yahoo Group on March 11, 2005]
Greetings from "The Most Historic City in the Country!" As you already know, I rode back through Savannah Monday morning and got a new bolt for my seat, plus a spare just in case, and I stopped at a gelato shop to send you all an e-mail.
I tried wearing my sweatshirt last night instead of using it as a pillow like I usually do, and I stayed warm until 6:00, half an hour before dawn. I crawled out of my tent and onto my bike and was in the warm Waffle House in minutes.
It was not a happy morning at the Waffle House. Near as I could make out, the shift that had just ended had left an overflowing dishwasher and a filthy grill for the new shift -- just one cook and one waitress to handle the morning rush -- to clean up. The food was OK anyway, and I was glad to have it.