Last year at this time I was riding my bike in eastern North Carolina on my way to Key West. The country lies low and there are many rivers to cross. Except right now the whole thing is a river of sorts. I passed through Plymouth, New Bern, Jacksonville, North Topsail Beach, Wilmington, Fishers Island and Southport. I had lovely sunny pre-fall weather. This year not so much. Most of what I rode through either has been, is now, or soon will be flooded.
When you ride a bike you get a different sense of the terrain. You have to work your way over the hills. You feel the cool air pooled in the bottoms. You have a physical sense of how high the river banks are. It’s part of the appeal of bike touring. What is boring at 60 miles per hour is full of sensations at 60 miles per day.
The sensations I felt last year at this time make me acutely aware of how vulnerable eastern Carolina is right now.
Riding through the area will be impossible for at least a week. Rains keep falling and the storm will move into the mountains, only to cause a second wave of river flooding in the week or two to come.
I hope Ken and Dani my Warmshowers hosts are okay. Their community outside Jacksonville has many ponds and creeks. Ditto for my college friend Wendy and her husband Brian who are in Southport near the South Carolina border.
It looks like DC will be hit with the echo of the storm in the days ahead. We should be fine but the rivers will rise and probably damage the C&O Canal again, as it has several times this summer.