Strap in, folks. This is gonna be kind of a long post.
So two things happened last night after I posted the days blog post that really need telling. One is totally awesome the other is horrifying so let’s get the bad out of the way first. I was talking to my dear, sweet sun goddess-like friend Racheal as I was about to make my dinner for the evening (it was some poor, albeit delicious, version of chili mac I concocted) and I attempted to walk over to where my food bag was hanging on the raccoon pole. Well right smack dab in the middle of my way was a [email protected]#% snake. Just chilling right there in the middle of my camp, not a slithery snake care in the world. Now I’m not a huge fan of snakes but I felt I could scare it off with a rock or something without wetting my pants. Big ol’ nope. This was his camp and he wasn’t gonna be frightened off by some measly rock.
So it’s at this time that Racheal tells me to just grab a stick and fling it into the brush. Ok, I can do that. I’m not a complete wimp when it comes to snakes. So I grabbed my kickstand pole and moved ever so carefully into a prime snake-whipping position, slowly extended it forward towards it’s mid-section (because, you know, that’s where you fling snakes from). As soon as my pole touched the little bastard he started flip flopping around all over like the little snake demon that he was.
I’d like to say that I kept my cool. I’d like to say that I didn’t scream so loud that it echoed through the surrounding trees and probably could be heard the next county over. There’s a lot of thing’s I’d like to say. But they wouldn’t be true. So, yeah. He eventually slithered away on his own and I just had to make peace with the fact that he won. James 0, Snake-Demon 1.
Moving on to the totally awesome part. I was laying in my hammock reading as I’m wont to do after dinner when I heard a shuffling sound coming towards me. Being on high-snake alert I sat up so quick that I almost fell out of the hammock. Turns out it was only my camp neighbor and she had come with a plate of food for me because “You look like you could use a good meal after all that riding you did”. I think it was partly because I went to their camp to borrow a can opener and they felt sorry for me. Whatever. I’m not gonna say no to a freaking steak and strawberry cake! I thanked her profusely and tucked in to my second dinner 🙂 The kindness of strangers is a wonderful thing.
So today I woke up at like 5 so I could make it to the ferry in time to catch the 845 crossing. It was still totally dark when I woke up. The first thing I noticed was how eerily similar these woods look to the woods from the Blair Witch Project. Not a good thing to have running through my mind as I’m breaking down my camp in the dark. I wasn’t like, you know, completely terrified but let’s just say that every rustle I heard in the bushes had my adrenaline pumping and me pointing my headlamp in that direction hoping beyond hope that I wouldn’t see a pair of eyes staring back at me. Luckily I wasn’t paranormally murdered and I set off at about 630 for the ferry station 16 miles away. It was a beautiful morning and I wildly overestimated how much time it would take me to get there as I arrived at 730. The ferry ride was lovely.
Once on the other side I began pedaling away towards a diner that I had googled since I wasn’t about to hang out in witch country while I cooked breakfast. On the way I spotted a little turtle moving from one side of the road to the other. Now I have read a lot of long distance cycling blogs and in every single one there was at least one instance of someone helping a turtle to not get smashed while it crossed the road, so I felt it was my duty to see the little guy safely across. Today for you tomorrow for me friend.
I ate my omelette and hash brown breakfast at the little diner and set off for my camping destination about 30 miles away and I was making record time! Maybe it was the hearty meal I ate that gave me lots of energy, maybe it was the beautiful tailwind that accompanied me the whole ride, maybe it’s my body finally starting to adjust to the rigors of the road. But, no. It was my turtle luck. It had to be. Karma gave me a big win today.
So there I am, cruising along at a cool 20 MPH thanks to my turtle luck, and I pass this ramshackle looking trailer house right as this old grizzled looking southern woman is emerging. She was followed by, and I swear this is not hyperbole, a dozen dogs of various sizes. They all kind of look at me and a few give a half-hearted ruff ruff just to prove to me that they mean business. But one of them, obviously the rebel of the group, decides that he needs to give a violent show of force and lets out a surprisingly loud BARK and takes chase. But before he even takes 5 steps this woman let’s out this deep, bone chilling war cry. “HARLEY!!! That poor dog stopped in it’s tracks, tucked it’s tail between it’s legs and rejoined the rest of it’s crew. Warrior woman gave me a smile and a wave and I continued on and eventually made it to my campsite. James ?, Dog definitely 0, Redneck Xena 1
Enough story-telling for today. I am at my camp in New Bern, NC and I want to lay in the grass and read a book. Stay tuned for the next edition of James and his Bike 🙂