Hank – We waited for some rain to pass before leaving Rich and Melisa’s house. Southward we went to catch the Fort Fisher ferry to Southport. As usual for us, the Fort Fisher museum was closed, this being a Monday. But the remaining earthworks and informative signs got us up to speed. Fort Fisher was the last major coastal stronghold of the Confederacy and was successfully seized by Union forces in 1865.
We rolled into the ferry terminal about 10 minutes before the 9:15 ferry. I paid two bucks each for our bicycles and we waited alongside the three cars in line. Loading went quick. During the ride a gentleman in one of the vehicles came up to the passenger area and asked about our bikes. He had recently taken up cycling and was inspired by us. I hope he takes a tour some time.
We disemarked in Southport and made our way to Local’s Family Diner, which was highly recommended by the crew on the ferry. If you didn’t know it was there you’d pass right by it because there is no sign for the place. It was just a building with an “Open” sign and a full parking lot. We had a very enjoyable late breakfast.
Next up was some much busier than expected roadway with little shoulder. Traffic from another road was using Route 211 as a detour so that probably made it worse. Once the detour ended the noise and traffic was much more tolerable. Thirteen miles later we stopped at a gas station/Dairy Queen. I had a small Oreo Blizzard. Kathy had a medium Butterfinger Blizzard.
Next up were some much quieter back roads while on a sugar high. Once we reached Shallotte, NC we got back on US Hwy 17 and followed that almost the rest of the way to the KOA campground.
For $27 we got a tent site and hot showers. Wine with our dinner capped off the evening after our 52 miles of riding.
Kathy – We left our new friends Melisa, Rich, Derrick and the two lovely kiddos Lena and Erik. We really enjoyed meeting this beautiful family. Everyone was so welcoming. We are grateful and appreciate for all their hospitality. Eric and Lena are such adorable children. We had fun playing with them. Our time ended too soon. We were really starting to connect well with them and sadly it was time for us to leave. A thank you goes out to Kathy and Gunnar for connecting us with your wonderful friends. And a much deserved thank you to Rich and Melisa for everything! We hope to return the hospitality if you are ever in Spokane.
So, today’s ride did not go as expected. Yesterday I reviewed the weather and it called for sunny skies with temps in the mid to high 60’s. We were also expected to have north winds which would give us a nice tailwind to push us along today. We were on back roads so we were expecting a quiet ride with a low amount of traffic.
What really happen: It was raining in the morning, with cloudy sky’s throughout the day, temps in the 50’s, a nice headwind the entire 53 miles, and let’s just add uphill riding all day. The back roads were very busy with traffic so we had the constant noise of traffic wizzing past us. We had limited shoulder on all the roads today. This meant minimal relaxation because you had to closely monitor traffic all day. I must say it wasn’t a horrible riding day, just a different than expected type of day. We are hoping for a better day tomorrow, but I’m not getting my hopes up this time. Figure if I keep my expectations low, than hopefully tomorrow’s ride will exceed my expectations …and be a glorious day! Wish us luck! 🍀
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