Longwood, NC to Murrells Inlet, SC
I ran over a lizard this morning. It was a total accident and I totally tried to swerve but I guess the poor guy had a death wish. I just really needed to get that out.
I woke up this morning at 6, ate an avocado for breakfast and packed up my camp. I was a bit sad to leave the Whispering Pines, it really was it’s own little pocket universe. From what little I saw everyone there was extremely friendly and welcoming and not the least bit judgmental. And how can you be? When you you let go of the last vestiges of your privacy, lay bare your physical insecurities and find that no matter your age, race, gender or body type that those around you are not there to point and laugh but to be friends. It was a very moving experience for me and I’m so glad that I made myself do it.
I left my camp with the sun just peaking over the horizon and started pedaling towards my next adventure. My sole motivation in the mornings seem to be pushing out 20 miles so that I can stop and have a second breakfast. So that’s what I did. I crushed 25 miles in about an hour and a half and pulled into a gas station to make myself a giant pepperoni and cheese bagel. I went inside to fill my water bottles up and as I was leaving I held the door for a lady carrying a big box of donuts, she saw me sticking my bottles onto my bike and came over to chat for a bit. Turns out she was late for work and bringing donuts for the office was the get out of jail free card. She offered my one and even though I was stuffed full of my sandwich, how could I refuse?! I thanked her and we both went on our ways. Oh, and I crossed into a new state! South Carolina watch out, James and his Bike are here 🙂
So another hour or so of pedaling go by and it’s absolutely beautiful out! There were a lot of cars but they were all extremely courteous about giving me enough room to feel safe and I had a killer tailwind to boot. This almost felt like Turtle Luck. And maybe it was. It’s a well known fact that the Turtles and Lizards have been at war for centuries. Maybe by my accidentally crushing the enemy of the Turtles under my wheel I had inadvertently given myself a Turtle PowerUp! Score 1 for James.
My next stop was this tiny fruit stand about 20 miles from the gas station. There was a huge sign outside that said FRESH STRAWBERRIES. I can’t resist the allure of fresh fruit for my belly and I felt like I could use a little more gas in the tank so I pulled up. The woman running the place was the epitome of Sweet Southern Bell. So incredibly nice and hospitable. I told her I just wanted a few handfuls of her strawberries to devour in the parking lot before I set off and she was most happy to oblige me. She went to the back and came out with “ the ripest, sweetest strawberries you’ll ever eat, honey.” And boy oh boy were they. I was shoveling them into my face when another customer pulled up. She asked me how the strawberries tasted and I, rather uncouthly with my mouth full, told her they were the best in the world. She got a kick out of that.
With my tummy full of berries I press on towards my final destination about 20 miles down the road. There was a ton of road construction but, being a guy on a bike, I was able to ride pretty much the whole way on the coned off zone. It was smooth sailing. I passed a bar that had a sign reading “Bikers Welcome. 2$ cans.” Now this was obviously a motorcycle bar but I could not resist. I pulled up on my trusty steed and parked him right in front of the open door. I walked in with my helmet still on for dramatic effect and, with my most charming smile, asked the bartender, “I’m on a bicycle, does that still count for the 2$ cans?” She giggled with delight and said that they welcome all bikers in her bar. It was like that scene from Super Troopers except that I’m, you now, awesome 🙂 I got to talking to a few of the guys sitting next to me, they were a bit wary at first but once I told them I was a veteran and was bicycling across the country they warmed up to me real quick. I’ve found that people, once they find out I served in the military, really seem to let their guard down quicker and talk to me. It’s a good weapon in my arsenal to find new adventures.
So after my 2$ Bud Light I pedal the last few miles to my campground. But there’s a hiccup. Despite having called them yesterday to verify that there were sites available the woman told be that they were all booked up! How could this be?! The only logical explanation is the Lizard. Like the tricksy little devil’s that they are they waited until I was most secure with myself before springing their trap. I didn’t realize it this morning but by running over that Lizard soldier I had inadvertently put myself into the middle of an inter-species war that shows no signs of abating. All glory to the one True Turtle!
So after trying unsuccessfully to find a different campsite, all of the ones within a reasonable cycling distance were RV only, I relented and found myself the dingiest flea bag motel I could get and that’s where I currently reside. All in all it was a spectacular day, the riding was perfect, the weather was beautiful but I got cocky and was blindsided my an unfortunate bout of Lizard Luck. Tomorrow is a new day. though. Stay tuned for the next edition of James and his Bike.
Oh! If you like my adventure’s please share the post! Knowing people actually read my adventure time nonsense gives me motivation to put myself into strange and awesome situations (looking at you , biker bar) That’s all, thanks for watching 🙂