Woke up in a room full of plants because Eli, the oldest son who gave up his room for me, is very into plants and knows everything about them and planting techniques. I felt refreshed and thankful for this family that took me in for the night. Walked downstairs, had some cereal and coffee and then Michal helped me clean my bike.
It had gotten pretty dirty from all the sand, dirt and rough roads. He got the power washer out, some cleaner, a brush and I scrubbed my bike chain until all the gunk came off. It now looks brand new and rides smoother too.
The family invited me to their church and I happily agreed so we loaded up the van. Seacoast Vineyard Church is pastored by an older surfer dude. I helped myself to too many donuts and a lots of coffee with my favorite vanilla creamer.
This was one goal of mine on this trip – to visit a new church in a new town every Sunday. Today I accomplished that and the message was both a good thinker and relevant.
After church they invited me out to lunch. We had a hard time finding somewhere without a long wait time due to the country music fest and all the people that brought to town.
We drove back to the house, got some pictures, said my good-byes, and at about 1 in the afternoon, I started my ride towards North Carolina.
While riding in the heat of the day with close to 100% humidity, all I could think of is how nice the people have been along the way and more specifically in South Carolina.
One interesting and funny thing I noticed about riding close to the beach in South Carolina is that everyone names their home. There are signs on homes with names like mermaids tail, big Papa’s beach house, 7th heaven, sea it all, sea monster, and a whole lot more.
Made my way into North Carolina for the first time. Then rode a few more miles to a campsite. A campsite that turned out to be the worst in terms of mosquitos and sand flies.
The mosquitos were so bad that I couldn’t just sit at the picnic table or do anything outside of the tent, so I had to leave the campsite and go to a brewery. Luckily there was one right down the road! Not like I planned that or anything..
Brewery was called Makai Brewing Co, and was Hawaiian themed. It was pretty empty on a Sunday evening, but got to talk to a few good souls, and have my usual flight before they closed for the night.
I couldn’t leave that campsite quick enough. Even after lathering myself in mosquito spray, once I stepped out of my enclosed tent, at least 20 mosquitos were there waiting to suck my blood.
I was the only tent camper in this campsite, and I realized why. As quick as I could, I packed up my tent, and loaded up my bike all while dancing around the campsite trying to swat the annoying bugs. The people in the RVs probably had a good laugh watching me at a distance fight the air around me and keep slapping myself.
I rode as fast as I could on the gravel out and took US 17 about 10 miles to a coffee shop before getting any food or drink in me.
Another 30 miles down a long, straight road brought me to the small town of Southport and a ferry where I waited 20 minutes to load up and cross the Cape Fear River.
After unloading the boat, I had a nice easy ride up along Kure Beach to Carolina Beach where I was planning on staying for the night. Right next to the Carolina Beach State Park was Good Hops Brewing.
This place was cool as they had a disc golf course that was a part of their property. You could walk in, grab a beer and go play some disc golf. A couple walked in after me and told the bartender I needed a sticker for my ride so they bought me one.
I met another 2 guys and one of them had just finished riding his bike 6 days from Mississippi to Tennessee. We talked for a good hour and they ended up wanting to pay for my flight of beer. I let them.
Biked across the street and set up camp where there was luckily no signs of mosquitos, yet. Since my beer had been paid for, my budget was open for me to go grab some dinner from a local restaurant. I chose a burrito joint and had a big ol fajita burrito and $3 frozen margarita in honor of my mom’s birthday. Happy birthday mom!
Got back to camp and decided I was going to try to make a camp fire. Well I failed. I had a lighter, was able to get a pretty big flame going with a bunch of pine needles, but couldn’t get the wood I collected to catch. A nearby camper saw me and yelled toward me if I wanted some lighter fluid. He came over, we drenched my teepee of wood and then he left. He said he was from the Army and said I had everything set up nicely, but when I set it all aflame again, it didn’t last past a couple minutes.
I gave up even with him yelling if I wanted more lighter fluid. Luckily there was not a mosquito or horse fly problem here where the fire would have helped me get rid of them.
Once it got dark, I got in my hot tent and sweated myself to sleep.