No Way So Hey – Day Seven

The Nats did their part by beating the Dodgers 7-1 or 7-2. I fell asleep before the last 4 runs so I missed some baseball excitement. The delicious and potent craft beer that I drank in the afternoon caused me digestive distress all night. So not much sleep was had until about 4 am. 

I awoke at 7 a bit upset because a long day awaited. I took full advantage of the free breakfast (So much bacon! Sorry, Lily.)

The hotel was exactly on my route so I had no trouble finding my way to begin with. Mile after mile of the same thing. Fields of crops. Dilapidated houses with five cars out front. I wonder how many meth labs have I passed. There were from time to time clusters of actual nice houses. Do it wasn’t all poverty.

I forgot to mention that yesterday I saw my first hanging moss. Today there was more and some palm trees. 

I had a steady tailwind today so I was clipping along at a heathy pace. It induced a bike trance that was so deep that I missed a turn. This led to me getting all confused and going several miles off course. (Yes, Rachel, just like the 50 States!) 

I finally got re-oriented and back on course into Jacksonville NC. Jacksonville highway folks aren’t real big on street signs so I had to stop to check Google maps so that I wouldn’t miss another turn.

Once clear of town I had the joy of riding US 17, the main high speed highway toward the beach and around Camp Lejeune. I am so glad I put a mirror on my bike. Some of the drivers are a bit aggressive with their passing. I turned off 17 and the drivers got worse. At one point I bailed out into the grass along the shoulder of the road. 

I stopped at a tourist trap to buy a cotton t-shirt. I hate sleeping in technical fabrics. I thought briefly about buying a size 6x Large shirt. But I already have a tent. 

The road rose high on a bridge across the intercoastal waterway and there it was: the Atlantic Ocean. Yeah, baby!

I rode slowly past houses on stilts. Many are built right up next to the dunes. Hurricane fodder.

I stopped for some ice cream then rode highways, made more fun by rush hour to and from nearby Wilmington. 

I arrived after 94 miles at Ken and Dani’s charming little house. They are Warmshowers hosts. I was convinced to try this by Andrea from Friday Coffee Club. This has worked out really well. I don’t think either of my hosts are axe murderers. We sat outside until dark talking to their whacky neighbors. I felt like I was in a sit com. Every ten minutes another eccentric person would join the conversation.

Dani made Mexican food for dinner. I am proud to report that I did not make a pig of myself. Much.

I am now doing laundry, the annoyance of all bike tourists, while my hosts watch the telly next door. 

 I have 525.5 miles of bike touring in the can. 75 miles per day. Tomorrow will be less, a bit over 60. 

It seems strange that under normal circumstances 20 miles without a load is a long-ish bike ride, but on a tour carrying 40+ pounds of stuff, 60 miles seems like a short day. 

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