Let’s begin at the end.
I arrived in New Bern, NC with low expectations. I am happy to report that they were greatly exceeded. What a cute little town!
Getting here was pretty ho him, though.
I left the Chateau Monte Python at daybreak with a quick stop at a gas station Quikie Mart for breakfast. Boy, did that chicken and cheese on a biscuit taste yummy. NOT. But it was calories. I neglected to write down the departure times for today’s ferry so I hammered away across the level ground in hopes of catching an imagined 9:30 ferry.
The crops were the same. There were dogs from time to time too. (They really need to up their game. None of them came close to The Mule and me – although we did manage to accelerate to nearly 18 mph.)
The poverty is wearing me down. Poor people living in crummy mobile homes next to old homes that are falling apart. Every few miles a hoarder, with a shit ton of junk either inside the house, on the porch, or strewn about the yard.
People here spend a ridiculous amount of time mowing their lawns. The lawns look like fairways on golf courses. They are cut so low. I suppose there is not much else to do.
It is apparent to me that your express your masculinity in these parts by having several big pick up trucks. You prove your virility by having big noisy tires, especially the kind that stick out from the frame of your car.
So many houses have derelict cars in the yard. They’re like monuments to economic frustration and global warming.
About 6 miles short of the ferry I stopped at an eatery that had the ferry schedule displayed. The early ferry left at 8:45 It was after 9:00 so I ordered some food. A hot dog. It was apparently a meat based food product but it was so desiccated from the microwave that it achieved a culinary impossibility; it tasted worse than the neoprene vegan hot dog I had at Nats Park. (Katie Lee, you may convert me yet!)
The ride to the ferry was lackadaisical. Even so I still had a 30 minute wait. There were two trucks and me for the 40 minute voyage across the bonnie Pamlico River.
The ferry dropped us off at the Aurora Potash mine. Gray dirt in piles that extended for miles. We’re having fun now.
Along the way I was startled by a loud buzzing sound coming from beneath me on the bike. Apparently I had intersected with a gigantic bug of done sort. It freaked me out until the bug disengaged.
As I approached New Bern I looked for the KOA campground nestled between busy US 17 and the Neuse River. I never saw it because I was busy riding on the shoulder of a divided highway. This was no less stressful than riding around DC but the change from near zero traffic country roads to high speed mayhem was a shock.
I spent some time toddling around New Bern looking for a pharmacy so that I could get some toothpaste, earplugs, and a cotton t-shirt. It’s Sunday in bible country. Not gonna happen. But the pharmacy I did find is the birthplace of Pepsi Cola. (Being nearly a descendent of the Coca Cola inventor- a very long story – I decide to leave before being accused of spying.)
Part of the reason I gave up on the campground was the fact that the Nats are playing on ESPN tonight. In order to explore options I decided to take a seat at The Bruin, a craft beer place. After two beers I contacted a Warmshowers host. My last minute communication was understandably not welcome so I checked into a hotel across the river from town. The ride there was admittedly a tad wobbly but the two pick up drivers who showed no kindness as they honked their horns did not float my boat.
The room is clean. I have a view of the river. There is a restaurant within walking distance. The game starts in 2 hours.
And I rode another 70 miles. 431.5 miles so far.
I hope to find a clean shirt before I get to Wendy’s house. Hope your washing machine works.