I woke up today feeling a bit sore from yesterday’s punishments but otherwise in fine spirits. I ate my leftover pizza for breakfast and set off for what I hoped to be an easy recovery day. It was a bit windy but nothing like yesterday. The road I was riding on was in excellent condition and there was nary a car or truck in sight. The sun was out and I was feeling great!
I forgot to charge my helmet batteries last night so I didn’t have any music on but it was extremely relaxing just listening to the sounds of the countryside. So there I am, beep bopping along, when I hear the unmistakable chik chik chik chik of dog paws on pavement. Now this is the first run in i’ve had with man’s best friend since starting out so my fight or flight reflexes kicked into high gear. I kicked it into a high gear and started pedaling as hard as I could before I looked back to get a look at my pursuer. He was the fattest, greyest little wiener dog I’ve ever seen in my life! I burst out laughing at my own reaction to this little fella. He was hot on my trail when I gave him a hearty squirt to the face from my water bottle. Poor little guy turned tail and ran home! James 1, Greybeard 0. Let’s hope all my encounters end so fortunately.
Something I’ve noticed while riding on these North Carolina backroads is the amount of tiny little graveyards. It seemed every mile or so I’d run into one in various stages of disrepair. Some would be beautiful and pristine while others it looked like the earth was ever so gently swallowing it back up, slowly lost to time. If I die, plant an apple tree on top of me.
I stopped in at a church in a tiny little town that was so small I can’t remember the name to see if I could fill up my water bottles and rest in the shade a bit. The Pastor was more than happy to oblige me and even gave me a bit of a history lesson about the town while I made my lunch of bagels, peanut butter and honey. I may not be a religious person but it is truly amazing how welcoming and hospitable the local churches have been to a road weary traveller.
So I set off towards my destination for the evening about 10 miles down the road when my body suddenly tells me that it really, really needs a pickle. Like right now. My mouth was watering so much thinking about it. Luckily for me there was a tiny gas station a few miles ahead that had the biggest, most mouth puckering pickles you can imagine. I ate three of them before setting off for my campsite. Soooo good.
I get to my campsite, unpack my bags from my bike and almost immediately run and jump straight into the river that sits adjacent to it. It was the most refreshing thing ever! And considering this place doesn’t have any showers it will have to suffice as my bath for the day. Gross? Maybe. I care not 🙂 Well I think this post is sufficiently long. They may get shorter in the future depending on my mood and level of exhaustion but I’ll keep it up as much as I can. 50 ish miles tomorrow!