90 miles. Only an hour and a half by car. (Quicker if you've got a lead foot.) By bike, as fast as your legs and your heart can handle. This is what I love about riding my bike. My speed is directly related to how I feel. If I am excited or angry, I ride quick, emotions becoming my fuel. If I am tired or sore, I rode slow, riding myself towards sleep. In a car, things are more robotic. No matter what happens, your car will still go as fast on the day your dog died as it did on the day there were nonstop reruns of COPS. (Well, if you are lucky.) I guess what I am trying to say is that riding my bike makes me feel connected. It makes me feel connected to myself and the things around me and I find that to be a very fulfilling feeling.
We left out of Charleston and had better luck leaving there than we did Savannah. Crossed over this beast of a bridge that allowed bikes across but we didn't discover this until it was too late. I tried to make my mom turn around so we could ride back over it, but she pointed out the long day ahead of us, so thoughtful minds prevailed. We pressed on and completed nearly 60 miles to Georgetown before lunch. By this time, Jamaal and I were hot and hungry so we hopped in the van and scouted for a restaurant. We came by a place by the name of Gator Krawls, a nice restaurant with a menu that anyone could love. Even those who enjoy eating fried alligator tail. I tried it, and I admit that it was actually quite good. Not your typical meal, but nonetheless good. Jamaal, however, did not. He decided to eat a chicken tenders instead. Full of food and tired, we napped in the van until three as my mother and grandmother did some shopping. As soon as they got back, though, it was back on the road with no time to even rub the sleep from our eyes.
The last stretch to Myrtle Beach proved to be a pleasant ride, encountering the most beautiful bike trails I have ever seen. Paved trails that lead through the forestry of South Carolina ran parallel with HWY17. There were even bridges built over small creeks that crossed the trails. I wish there were more trails like this back home. The only thing I could compare this trail to would be the UWF nature trails, but they cater more to MTB's. I am glad that we were able to ride on these beautiful trails though. It was a good experience.
Upon arriving to Myrtle Beach, Jamaal and I went to Pirateland Campgrounds. It only took us an hour or so to set up our over-sized, mansion tent that sleeps eight. (Jamaal and I don't like our feet to touch.) We then blew ten bucks in the arcade, and ended up riding our bikes some more. This was an interesting experience because apparently, at night, all the campers get in their golf carts and just ride the same stretch of the campgrounds' paved roads. To be honest, it was almost majestic seeing the conglomeration of golf carts, bikes, walkers, and runners. Jamaal and I cruised this strip for a while, darting through the aforementioned cluster of vehicles and people. Afterwards, we decided to go to the beach to compare it to the one back home. (The sand was grittier, but the beach itself was still nice.) We turned in after we decided there was no more trouble to be caused and slept well having nothing but the tent bottom and a sleeping bag under our backs.
All in all, a very good day. We would ride to Wilmington the next day, and be a little over halfway done with the trip. It's going by so fast. It seems like yesterday that we were in Pensacola. That's how all things go, it seems. Anticipation makes it feel forever away, and then it arrives and it is over and you have nothing but memories and pictures...I wouldn't trade these memories for anything in the world.
On that note, I close Day 10. After I list the crazy finds of the day, of course.
- A life vest away from any apparent body of water. I can't think of any explanation.
- A brunette wig. Probably one of the most disturbing finds thus far.
- A hockey stick. I imagine this was viewed as disposable because with this heat, why would anyone think about playing hockey ?
- A mutilated teddy bear. I don't quite understand why we keep finding mauled stuffed animals. It must be just as tough for survival in the stuffed animal kingdom as it is in the animal kingdom.
- Typical assorted clothes and roadkill. They have become as common as mile markers to us now.
John and Jamaal.