It rained last night, so this morning we ran through our drying out procedures. I snuck off early to see the ocean and do my normal thing. Because of daylight savings, the days ride, and lack of things to do after dinner, we tend to roll into our tents around 6 or 7. Something about going to bed before 9 makes automatically waking up at 5 a curse and a blessing.
The curse is that the sun isn’t up to dry your stuff. The blessing is having time to write, plan, and catch the sunrise.
8:30 rolls around and we weren’t quite ready to go. A few of our neighbors at the camp ground found us during there morning dog walks and we are reluctant to turn away strangers with the same batch of 20 or so questions as everyone else. Where from/to/food/tents/camps/hosts and a wrap up of the usual “yall are crazy” or “id do that in a car” joke. It is fun to be admirably crazy at times and first thing in the morning helps remind me of what it is that we are doing.
So today we had a host just a few miles from Surf City, NC. With just under 60 miles till our destination and some route tips from our previous host, we were off.
24 and 17 were the roads for the day. Highways. Not the most fun and not the cleanest, but we did see other cyclist on our way towards Jacksonville, NC. The major tip of the day was contrary to what Google wants you to think, to intentionally head away from the coast because you are no longer allowed to ride through Camp Lejeune. A marine training base for those unfamiliar. Even south on 17 there are warning signs to signal military training activity to not concern the through traffic. Besides having a good laugh at the kids playground equipment just inside the gate and the “student driver” signs on the fully armored hummers rolling by… I am pretty sure I spotted a guy in full Gili suit and natural camo in one of the training fields. If not for the highway I would have called him out for getting caught by cyclist. Reposition a bit better, bud. Might have been a judge/instructor.
We have seen a lot of roadkill and this may have been the day before last, but at some point we saw a whole fish on the side of the road. A crayfish in a flood is one thing. This guy was pretty far from water and looked like just another natural piece of roadkill.
Well, back on track we stopped just before our McDonald’s lunch at a bike shop in search of tubes. Great folks. I didn’t learn this until later, but the Cane bicycles i didn’t recognize was a brand of bikes made by the owner. Everyone there was helpful and recommended anti puncture strips that I could transfer from tire to tire instead of using the heavy goo filled inner tubes. Wishing us luck we and tossing us some free Gatorade, off we went for lunch.
Normally I don’t focus on lunch, but at this stop I found out two things. Spokes are great for holding fries and I’m not allergic to fire ants. Fortunately we were done eating when I found out that second part.
A ride past the outer end of camp Lejeune later, we stopped at a dollar tree and realized how important actual dollar store are going to be on this ride. Chugging large bottles of chocolate milk, we take off down a bumpy road (in the process of being resurfaced) towards our hosts house. Closing in on a gated community, I brace to get heckled by the “guard” in the booth. Nope, no problems. All the way at the end of the lane we arrive to an open garage, are nearly handed two beers, and are told to wash up. Dinner will be in a bit.
Showers, beds, beer, burgers, pumpkin pie, and clean chains. I’ll gladly ride 60+ miles on a windy highway if if this is waiting for us any day. Sorry to admit that we are not always roughing it.
To top it all off, I’m going to go have coffee and waffles. Have a great day everyone.