TRIP 2012

Update #25 - November 15th
Summerville, South Carolina
1,744.17 miles (2,790.67 KM) - Mission Trip 33
4,550.60 miles (7,280.96 KM) - Year Total

The last six days have been okay. Once I got to Charleston, South Carolina October 14th, I completed the second leg of Mission Trip 33. The third leg will take me to Lexington, South Carolina near Columbia and then I will be riding to Americus, Georgia. I'm not sure where I will be riding to after Americus, Georgia.

November 10th : Carolina Beach, North Carolina to Shallotte, North Carolina - I had an okay night at the motel. It would have been better if I had been woken up by a phone call. I had gone to bed around 9 PM. Around 10:30 PM, the phone started to ring. I ignored the first set of rings but after a minute of silence the ringing started up again. I had't told anybody where I was staying. I thought that it was the office and there was some kind of emergency. When I picked up the receiver, there was loud music. Along with the music, there was this loud and rowdy voice telling me that this was the bar keeper of the bar in the motel complex inviting me to come and party. I told him that I didn't go to bars. I should have told me that I was a priest and he had disturbed my sleep.

I woke up around 5:30 AM. I finished the trip update that I had started, posted it on my website, and updated the rest of the pages that I needed to. It was around 8:30 AM when I left the motel. If the office had been open, I would have told them about the rude interruption of my sleep.

It was a lot warmer than what I had expected so I took off my windbreaker and left my other jacket on. About a mile (1 KM)down the road, I had to take some pictures of a homemade long wheelbase recumbent that somebody had put on the roof of a bar. The recumbent had been made out of a female tandem bike frame. It was interesting seeing it have two chains instead of one long chain.

I stopped to take a few pictures of Fort Fisher.

 Fort Fisher, North Carolina

 Fort Fisher, North Carolina

I got to the ferry landing at Fort Fisher about 5 minutes before they were getting ready to launch for the 10 AM trip across the Cape Fear River to Southport. It was hot enough to take off my jacket. The afternoon temperature was supposed to be in the 70s Fahrenheit (around 21 Celcius). There were two other bicyclists and we were the last ones to board. I took some pictures but as soon as the ferry left the dock I went up front and switched my camera over to video mode and I took a video of the whole passage to landing at the other dock. The four mile (6 KM) ride took about 20 minutes.

 Fort Fisher Ferry, North Carolina

 Fort Fisher Ferry, North Carolina

 Fort Fisher Ferry, North Carolina

 Fort Fisher Ferry, North Carolina

 Fort Fisher Ferry, North Carolina

I was the last person off the ferry. I took my time leaving the ferry property. There were a lot of people in Southport. They were having some open houses at the galleries. I got on NC 211 for the 17 mile (27 KM) ride to US 17 at Supply. I stopped at a McDonalds for a light lunch. US 17 had been reecently repaved and there was a shoulder but I could ride in it because there was a very wide rumble strip. I just had a very narrow space between the rumble strip and the white line.

It was about a 5 mile (8 KM) ride to Bus 17 to get into Shallotte. I rode into Shallotte. I remembered from past trips through the area that there were some motels but I couldn't remember where they were and how much they were. About a mile south of the downtown area, I came across the Presbyterian Church. I saw some cars pull into the parking. It was some ladies going to a concert in Florence. One of the ladies told me that she was one of the ministers. She called the head pastor and he gave me permission to stay in the church for the night. I'm staying in the youth room in the basement. There is a door that I can get Alice outside and the restrooms have showers and there were even towels to use.

November 11th : Shallotte, North Carolina to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina - I had an okay night at the church. I camped out in the youth room in the basement. There were bathrooms with showers and an outside door. The room was warm enough that I just stretched out on the sofa without using my sleeping bag. I went to bed around 9:00 PM.

I woke up around 5:30 AM. It was light enough to head out around 6:30 AM. I got on NC 179. The ride to the South Carolina state line went okay. About six miles (10 KM) from the church in Shallotte, I stopped to take a few pictures of a patriotic display at the entrance of a neighborhood. Today is Veterans Day. The display had a lot of flags and a banner that said "Freedom Has A Price".

 Freedom Has A Price

I stopped to take the traditional picture of Alice and the state sign.

 South Carolina State Sign

It was a short ride to US 17. I stopped at the state visitor. I got a coupon for a pretty good rate at a motel in Myrtle Beach.

Around 10 AM, I stopped at the Little River United Methodist Church. I connected with a Sunday School class. I was able to share. The lady who led the class took me through the church to the main sanctuary. There was a pancake meal that the Methodist men was doing. The lady bought me a ticket. I sat in the front row. The pastor had a period to welcome visitors. I got to share a little bit. There was also a minister from Pennsylvania who was a visitor. I might have ridden through his town. For visitors, they gave out small loaves of bread. The bread was more like banana bread.

This was committment Sunday where members put cards into a small church with their financial committment for next year. Something happened during the children's sermon that was quite interesting. The lady who did the talk had an offering plate. She put it on the floor, took off her shoes, and stepped into the plate. She told the kids that G-D wanted them all not just their money. This was also a Veterans Day service. The pastor asked all of the veterans to stand up. It was quite moving to see all of the elderly gentlemen stand up when their arm forces was called out. One gentleman struggled out of his wheelchair when the Army was called out. The sermon was okay. After the service, one of the guys slipped me $20. The pancake meal was pretty good.

It was around 1 PM when I headed out to Myrtle Beach. Between Little River and North Myrtle Beach, there were some veterans standing at a bridge overpass with a couple of flags and said "Lest We Not Forget". A lot of people honked their car horns. I decided to do something better. I got up to the bridge and shook each of the guy's hands. They were between 60 and 80 years old.

 South Carolina Veterans

 South Carolina Veterans

The ride to Myrtle Beach was slow and kind of tricky. There was a lot of traffic and there were sometimes two and three lanes. It took a long time to get from US 17 to Bus US 17 and then to Ocean Boulevard. Once I got into Myrtle Beach, it was a long ride to the Tropics Hotel. The hotel was a high rise right on the ocean. The coupon was for $30. The room that I got was on the third floor and the ocean side. I had a small balcony to get on.

I'm going to be riding to Georgetown tomorrow. I think I will ride to Charleston and then ride to Lexington. I've got about 260 miles (416 KM) to ride. I should be in Lexington either Friday or Saturday.

November 12th : Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to Georgetown, South Carolina - I had an okay night at the motel. I slept for about 7 hours. I got a late start because I wanted to update the website. I left the motel around 8:20 AM. From the hotel, it was just a short ride over to US 17. There was a lot of traffic on BUS 17 and US 17. There were a some shoulder to ride along and a few short paved bike paths.

It was good when I got on BUS US 17 through Murrells Inlet. I got in about 22 miles (35 KM) in by noon. Between Murrells Inlet and Georgetown, there was a narrow shoulder to ride along even though there were several miles with a narrow rumble strip in the shoulder. The closer that I got to Georgetown the skies got more dark. It looked like it might rain.

I walked over the Intercoastal Waterway bridge and the second bridge before getting back on the mainland. As I was walking across the second bridge, I heard several loud bangs but I thought that it was thunder. When I looked over to the East, there was a replica tall ship coming closer to a marina. They shot off a couple of cannons. I tried to take some pictures but there wasn't much light.

 Schooner Lynx

It started to rain lightly. The rain didn't last long. I stopped to check out the churches. I stopped at the Episcopal Church but none of the rectors were there. I went across the street to the Catholic Church. The secretary told me that the priest had just left on some kind of emergency and she didn't think he would be back until evening mass at 5:30 PM. I rode over to the Benson United Methodist Church. The minister wasn't in. The secretary offered to get me a room at a local motel through their Friendship Fund.

After I got situated into the room, I Walked over to the marina to see if I could get close to the tall ship.

 Schooner Lynx

It was the square top-sail schooner Lynx that was designed and built to interpret a privateer or naval schooner from the War of 1812. The original Lynx was built at Fell's Point in Maryland and was commissioned during the opening days of the war and was among the first ships to defend America's Freedom, This ship was launched in 2001 in Rockport, Maine. The sparred length is 122 feet (37 Meters) , LOA is 78 feet (23 Meters), beam is 23 feet (7 Meters), draft is 9 feet (2.7 Meters), and the top of the mainmast is 94 feet (28 Meters). It weighs 114 tons (103,400 KG) and it is mostly made out of Douglas Fir. The Lynx sails as a living history museum. From Georgetown, the ship is going to sail to Charleston and then South to Fort Lauderdale.

There is supposed to be more rain tonight. It might be a rainy day tomorrow. The weather report says at least a 30% chance for rain but the temperature is supposed to be close to 70 Fahrenheit (21 Celcius). I might not make it clear to Mt Pleasant. I might just stop in McClennanville or Awendaw.

November 13th : Georgetown, South Carolina to Mount Pleasant, South Carolina - I had an okay night at the motel. I slept for about 6 hours. I got a late start because I wanted charge up the battery for my NiteRider Light just in case I needed it. I left the motel around 7:40 AM. The ride south went really well. I did have to stop at a country store in North Santee to use the restroom. They had a really interesting chicken coop. It was called Chicken City. It was really big. Instead of a regular chicken coop there were quite a few small buildings made to look like a church, school, bar/hotel/bordello, bank, etc.

 Chicken City, North Santee, South Carolina

 Chicken City, North Santee, South Carolina

 Chicken City, North Santee, South Carolina

I stopped for an early lunch in McClellanville but I still got 25 miles (40 KM) in by noon time.

The afternoon ride went okay. The closer that I got to Mt Pleasant the darker the skies became. There was a 30% chance for rain today. I did have to stop at a closed down sweet grass basket stand to wait out a brief rain shower and put on my jacket. It was around 4:00 PM when I got into the outskirts of Mt Pleasant.

I stopped at Eastbridge Presbyterian Church. Rev Steele has only been there since the end of August. He and his secretary were very friendly. They arranged for me to have a Comfort Cabin at the KOA Campground nearby. I'm about 8 miles (13 KM) from the Ravenel Bridge to Charleston.

November 14th : Mount Pleasant, South Carolina to Charleston, South Carolina to Summerville, South Carolina - I had an okay night at the campground. The Kabin was quite comfortable and the little electric heater kept the kabin warm. Here is a photo of my home on the shore of a lake.

 KOA Komfort Kabin, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

The inside of the cabin was warm enough that I didn't use my sleeping bag. It was good getting all of my clothes washed and dried. Having sliced turkey, rolls, and cookies made a good meal. I went to bed around 9 PM. I woke up around midnight to use the restroom and I fell back asleep till around 5:00 AM.

I left the campground around 7:40 AM. I stopped at a nearby McDonalds for some breakfast. It must have been seventeen degrees colder than yesterday. The morning high was in the 40s Fahrenheit (around 4 Celcius) and the afternoon high is supposed to be in the 50s Fahrenheit (around 10 Celcius). There was also a cold wind. The 8 mile (13 KM) ride to the Ravenel Bridge. The ride was kind of tricky because there was a lot of road construction. Along the way, I stopped to get some hot chocolate and also to take some pictures of a stand that sold sweet grass baskets.

 Sweet Grass Baskets, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

When I got near the bridge, somebody stopped me to give me directions on how to get to the bikepath of the bridge.

 Ravenel Bridge, Charleston, South Carolina

I walked up to the top of the bridge and across most of it to the other span. I rode the last third of the bridge into Charleston. I didn't ride much into Charleston. I rode over to the Charleston Museum and the visitor center. At the museum, I took pictures of the CNS Hunley (iron clad hand cranked submarine).

 Civil War Sub Hunley

From the visitor center, I got on Missions Street and took that West into North Charles.

I stopped in North Charles for some lunch. I stopped at a thrift store and found another light weight jacket to replace the windbreaker that I've been wearing because it was getting old and dirty. Also, I stopped to get a few more things at a nearby Dollar store.

The ride to where US 78 split off from US 52. For a lot of the way it three lanes of traffic. Traffic became lighter once I got passed I-26. For most of the way to Summerville, I used a bike path and sidewalks to stay out of the road.

I got into Summerville around 4:30 PM. It was getting dark. I stopped at a gas station and I checked a phone book. I found a motel South of the downtown. I didn't feel like checking out a church. This is an interstate town. On the way to the motel, I came across a guy who was walking a cross down the sidewalk. The cross had wheels at the bottom. The guy also had lights on it. He told me that his name was John and he walked the cross all around the Low Country of South Carolina.

 John and Cross. Summerville, South Carolina

Tomorrow might be a wet day's ride.

November 15th : Summerville, South Carolina - I had an okay night at the motel. I woke up around 6 AM. When I looked outside, I saw that it was raining. There were a couple periods of hard rain. Around 9 AM, I headed out from the motel. It was lightly drizzling.

I didn't feel like riding pretty well all day in the rain. I decided to go and check out the local churches to see if I could find someplace to stay for the rest of the day. I rode a few blocks to the St Lukes Evangelical Lutheran Church. I talked with Rev Steve. There was a child care center at the church so Rev Steve offered to get me a room for the day back at the motel that I stayed at last night.

I don't know how long this next trip will be, how long I will be on the road, and where this trip will end. I'll be waiting and praying for what the L-RD has me to do. The next update will possibly be posted between November 22nd and November 29th.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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