The hostel was not such a great idea as it turned out. One of my roommates decided to listen to hippety hop music at 2 am, after I left the room to use the rest room. Maybe I should have started singing I’m Still Here or some other Crowded House obscurity to change his ways. Fortunately, the other six roommates came in shortly after and calmly talked him into being a decent human being and turning the crap off.
The promised breakfast was coffee and oatmeal, make you own of course. No thanks.
I rolled out at daybreak taking a winding course through Charleston. I came to the Fort Sumter National Monument. Fort Sumter wasn’t there. (I know, it’s on an island in the middle of the river.) So I checked out the sunrise.
Speaking of Civil War things, I have seen four houses or cars with confederate flags so far. Many fewer than I expected. The Ravenel bridge out of Charleston was packed with runners enjoying the early morning humidity before the late morning heat. This looks like a running town to me, so many obviously fast runners.
I retraced my route from yesterday for about 35 miles. I stopped for one of those sausage on a biscuit things at a gas station. It was disgusting but it was portable and kept me from bonking. I turned off one road through the Frances Marion National Forest onto another. This area is also an Indian reservation. Other than a roadside sign it appears no different than the rest of the rural, wooded, swampy environs. Also, the roadkill now includes armadillos.
My turn put me on a halfway decent road with light traffic nearly all the way to metropolitan Moncks Corner. It was 50 miles into the day so I stopped at an Arbys (the first restaurant I came upon – selectivity is all important in bike touring) and ate mass quantities topped off with a vavilla shake. All the food gave me a massive surge of energy and I headed out at 11 miles per hour because The Mule is in charge of speed.
My route maps are pretty good but there have been many changes to the roads around here so I am stopping to check the Google whenever I am in doubt. I often do this to make sure I haven’t fallen into a trance and missed another turn.
Not knowing where I’d stay for the night, I kept buying food at every convenience store. The roads had now lost their rumble strips and their traffic so the riding was pretty joyous. Level, shaded, puffy clouds blocking the sun. Sweet!
I came to Givhans Ferry State Park and called it a night in one of the tent sights reserved for hikers and bikers. The site came with sand, electric hookup, water, and 10 billion goddamned mosquitos. My head was in a cloud of the pests. Setting up camp was insane. I used the bug spray Mrs. Rootchopper had provided. If I am going to camp again I need a can of Off that I can tow behind my bike.
After I was all set up I headed off for a shower. It was outdoors next to a playground. With a spring loaded faucet that you had to hold in the on position to get any water. I rinsed off as well as I could without getting charged with exposing myself to the little kids on the swings. I headed back to the tent for an evening of repose. I stayed up until the sun set then closed my eyes and rolled around for about 8 hours. My left knee was shrieking at me all night. (For me this is not abnormal, just an old volleyball injury reminded me that I am an old fool.)
I did manage to get about 2 hours of sleep at about 4:30.
Even with the mosquitos, this was a pretty successful day on the bike. 85 more miles for a total of 869.5.