Hank – We started of the morning with a breakfast of oatmeal because we are champions and that’s what champions eat. Maybe our faces will grace a Quaker Oats cylinder someday.
The rain fly had condensation on both sides. I hung it out for a bit. That didn’t help much so it got put away wet. Hopefully we can dry it out before setting up the tent this evening.
Just as there was a dramatic difference in the roadway between North and South Dakota so was there such a difference between North and South Carolina. There are no shoulders. In all fairness we were warned about this back in Virginia, but you always have hope, you know? Nope. There is no hope for cyclists in this state so we’re going to maximize each day’s travel and get outta here.
When the shoulders disappeared the fireworks stores took their place. They must love their fireworks here because there are plenty of huge stores selling them. The one right at the border had statues of a polar bear, a big horn sheep, and two gorillas outside. So I guess the wildlife comes here for the fireworks, too.
Just after the border and the fireworks store we encountered the South Carolina visitor center. Inside, Marsha was extremely helpful in guiding us away from Hwy 17 and to Ocean Drive in North Myrtle Beach. Plus, she gave us a ton of info on Charleston once she learned we were going to stay there a couple of days. Marsha also pointed out that the roads in South Carolina are, for the most part, not conducive to enjoyable cycling.
Fortunately, we got to ride on quiet roads along the ocean instead of US Highway 17 for 15-20 miles today. And then at the last two miles we were on a paved trail in Huntington Beach State Park where we got a tent site. Outside of that we were keeping a close eye on traffic. Lots of traffic.
Kathy searched for a restaurant in Myrtle Beach at lunch time. She found a BBQ joint and ribs were sounding really good to me. But we found they didn’t open until 5:00 pm so we went to a combination Mediterranean restaurant/art gallery known as the Collector’s Cafe. The food was excellent, especially the butternut squash soup. The entire place was adorned with paintings and sculptures that were for sale, many by artist/sculptor Thomas Davis, who apparently has a solid reputation. He also owns the place and features works of many other artists as well. And you’d never know this gem is in a little strip mall in Myrtle Beach just by looking at it.
Back on the road and we worked our way to the state park. I made a reservation so checking in went quick. Still, by the time we got the tent up and our stuff inside it was almost dark. One concern I have about riding 50 miles is getting to our destination in plenty of time before 5:05 pm sunset. Tomorrow’s planned 51 miles will be no different as we’ll be camping in the Francis Marion National Forest.
The “Do not feed the alligators” sign got Kathy all worried. The folks at the camp office told us it’s too cold for alligators to eat. Interestingly, the tent site has a bear box for our food. There was no mention of bears.
Kathy – Our 55-mile ride today was chilly. The sun didn’t manage to peak through the clouds. We had sporadic rain and lots of headwinds. Temps were in the low 60’s but it felt cooler with the wind and rain. We also had limited shoulder room on the side of the roads in North Carolina.
We arrived in South Carolina (our 27th state!) and I was hoping for more shoulder room. Unfortunately, we ended up with no shoulder room. The roads is South Carolina are not very bike friendly. We had constant traffic going by us today. Not sure if people are traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend or if this is normal for around here. Regardless, I am thankful we made it to our campsite today without injury. It looks like our remaining time in South Carolina will be in busy traffic and with little or no shoulders. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers over the next few days. Thank you. 💗
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