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TRIP 2014

Update #08 - April 08th
Pocomoke City, Maryland
3,154.49 miles (5,047.18 KM)





I am at least eight days away from New York City. This coming Friday, April 11th, I'll be catching a ferry between Lewis, Delaware and Cape May, New Jersey. I'm planning to catch a NJ commuter train from Asbury Park, New Jersey to Manhattan, New York City, New York Wednesday morning, April 16th. I haven't really decided where I will be going after New York City. I'm either going to head East through Brooklyn to Long Island and then take a ferry to either Bridgeport or New London, Connecticut. From either of them, I'll head West back towards New York City. After visiting a pastor friend in Norwalk, Connecticut, I'll either catch a CT Rail commuter train back to Manhattan, New York City, New York and then catch a NY Rail commuter train to Poughkeepsie, New York or find my own route to the Hudson River and then ride along it to Albany, New York and then start my ride Westwards to the Chicago, Illinois area.

March 29 : Southport, NC to Woodside, NC - 48.41 miles (77.46 KM)

I had a decent night at the motel. It would have been nicer if I hadn't had to contact my friend in NY. It was really frustrating that the minister at the Methodist church passed me off. If only I had connected maybe an hour earlier instead of just a few minutes before the fundraising program started. I had stopped at the church a couple of times but I didn't find anybody around it. Going out to the ferry landing might have been a waste of time but I was also looking for someplace where I could camp out if I needed to.

I got the room quite warm so I could get all of my clothes dried out. The warmth put me to sleep around 10 pm and I slept till around 5 am. It was still raining. There was a pretty good hot breakfast. After breakfast, I took my time posting a trip update and updating the website.

It was around 9:15 am when I left the motel room. The same lady from last night was on the desk. She gave me a breakfast to go bag. The rain had turned to a light mist when I got back on the road. It was about a 2 mile (3 km) ride when I got back into town. According to a sign that had a ferry shedule, the next ferry to Ft Fisher would leave at 10:45 am. I took my time getting to the ferry landing.

I was the 1st person there. They wouldn't be selling tickets until 10:15 am. I had about a 25 minute wait so I hunkered down at the ticket office to wait. After about 5 minutes, this lady at the visitor center flagged me over. She was the security lady who wrote down the license plates of the vehicles and also directed traffic on to the ferry. Anna was pretty friendly. She told me that the fare for me would be $2 and if I gave it to her she would give it to the lady who ran the ticket booth. I shared with Anna the Tupelo article from last year. She made a copy of the newspaper article since the papers that I had were kind of ripped up. She also surprised me with a $20 GH.

They ddn't load the ferry until around 10:30 am. I was the last person on the ferry. The four mile (6 km) ride across the Cape Fear River took a half hour. It was around 11:15 am when the ferry arrived at the Ft Fisher ferry landing. The rain really started to come down hard while I started the ride through the area where the Civil War fort "Fort Fisher" (Confederate) was.

In Kure Beach and Carolina Beach, I looked for a low-cost motel but I couldn't find one. I rode passed a motel that had rates in the mid $40s but it was a Potel. I stopped at a McDs for lunch. There was a bike lane most of the way to the bridge over the intercoastal waterway. The bridge was under repair so I walked over it. The North Bound lanes had been recently resurfaced and workers were using jack hammers to clean out the expansion joints. Once passed the bridge, riding became quite harder because there was no shoulder to ride along. I had to stop at a gas station to add more air to my rear tire. The six mile ride to where NC 132 split off from US 421 was really hard. There was a bit of a bike lane on NC 132 so I became a bit more relaxed. The rain had stopped but I didn't take my coat off. It was about a 4 mile (6 km) ride to Bus US 17. Bus US 17 was really hard because there was a lot of traffic and no shoulder. From where I got on Bus US 17, it was a 6 mile (10 km) ride to US 17.

Riding on US 17 was a lot easier because it was a divided 4 lane highway with a paved shoulder. I rode through the small towns of Scotts Hill, Brown Town, and Hampstead. In Hampstead, the shoulder disappeared and it was taken up with miles and miles of curbing. I really rode my mirror through Hampstead. There were waves and waves of traffic. Most of the motorists were courteous. I was so happy when I finally got out of Hampstead and the shoulder appeared again. I started to see if I could find a place in the woods for a tent but there wasn't much open land.

Just outside of Woodside, I came across a Baptist Church. I saw some activity at a building (possibly the fellowship hall). There were some people finishing up a program for the kids. I got to speak with the youth minister who was also a deacon of the church. Instead of letting me stay in the fellowship hall for the night, I got invited to stay with the youth minister. Alice was locked up in the fellowship hall.

I'll be staying on for church. I'm going to try and push it to Jacksonville before dark. Jacksonville is about 29 miles (46 km) away.

March 30 : Woodside, NC to Wildwood, NC - 62.81 miles (100.50 KM)

I had a decent night at Chris's house. I slept on an air futon. I was able to get all of my wet clothes washed and dried along with my sleeping bag and sleep sack. These last two things were a big plus. Before going to bed I watched a video from the BBC called "How To Be A German". A couple from Britain with two young kids moved to Nuremburgh, Bavaria, Germany to live for a couple of weeks like Germans to compare lifestyles. It was pretty interesting.

Chris and I went back to the church around 9 am. I had plenty of time to pack up Alice before the Sunday school class. There were also a couple of boxes of Snyder snacks to pack up. Somebody had put them on Alice's seat. Chris had to go to the church building to teach the youth. I stayed in the fellowship hall for the adult classes. I should have gone to the other class instead of staying in the main part of the building. I was able to speak to the people in attendance before the class started. The guy who led the class was pretty boring. He was a former pastor. The guy droned on and on without taking any questions. He was pretty boring with his monotone voice and I almost fell asleep. Nothing happened after the class.

There was about a 15 minute gap before the service started. There was an older guy up front who was the pastor but he didn't introduce himself to me. After about 5 minutes after I had sat down up front, the guy got up to start walking towards me. I thought that he was going to stop and talk with me but he went on by and stopped to talk to some people behind me. Chris sat up in front of me with his fiance. They will be getting married the end of May. The service was okay but the sermon was long. Nothing really happened afterwards. Chris went out with me to Alice. After we had gotten outside, Chris slipped me $20. I didn't get maybe 100 feet down the road when the guy who led the class pulled off the road in front of me. Instead of getting out the car, he reached out his left hand to give me $10. He mumbled something but I didn't understand what he had said.

I went down the road about a mile and stopped at the first fast food place that I came to for lunch. Bojangles chicken. I didn't like the chicken very much because it had some Cajun spices. After lunch, I stopped at a Lowes and I was able to find some oil for the chain. The ride to Jacksonville was pretty slow because I was riding against a headwind. It took me about three hours to ride to Jacksonville.

Being that it was cold I was debating on whether to find a motel room or wait out in the cold for a church service and then hope that the minister might be compassionate to help me find someplace out of the cold for the night. Jacksonville but a pretty big city and it was the home of Marine Corps Camp Lejeune. There were just a couple of motels coming into town. Only one motel had a listed price but I thought that it was a little high for the looks of the motel. It would have been almost a two hour wait for church so I decided to start the ride to Morehead City. There were a lot of businesses on NC 24 catering to the marines but no motels. There was one church but it didn't have a Sunday night service.

Once passed Camp Lejeune, it was a long ride to Swansboro. I did stop at a gas station for a break. It was around 7:30 pm when I got to Swansboro. I was surprised at finding some activity at the First Baptist Church. I got to speak to the pastor. I was hoping that he would help me out with a place to stay but he passed me off. He told me that he had to get permission from the committee that took care of the building and nobody from the committee was around. Instead of being the shepherd of the church it sounds like he was an employee of the church council. There were a couple of motels in town but they were high priced chain motels.

I didn't really want to ride in the dark but I had to. I got maybe 12 miles (19 km) in and I found some woods next to a summer camp outside of Wildwood to camp in. Along the way, I had a scare when somebody had gotten too close to my recumbent and hit my side flag. The impact didn't break the flag mast but it did make a loud bang. There hadn't been much of an impact because I didn't get pushed over. It was around 10:30 pm when I had the tent pitched and all of my gear inside.

March 31 : Wildwood, NC to Roan, NC - 50.36 miles (80.58 KM)

I had a decent night camping out even though it was a little cold when I woke up. It was a little after 8 when I got back on the road. The ride to Morehead City went by quickly. I stopped at a visitor center in Morehead City to pick up a schedule for the ferry to Ocracoke from Cedar Island. It was really windy getting across the bridge to Beaufort. I stopped in Beaufort for an early lunch.

I got into Davies around 2:30 pm. I stopped at the Baptist Church. I knew the pastor there. I must have missed him by a half hour. There was nobody at the parsonage next door. I kept on going to Cedar Island.

I made it onto Cedar Island around 6 pm. The last ferry to Ocracoke had left 2 hours earlier. I stopped to camp out in some woods on the outskirts of Roan. The first ferry to Ocracoke is at 7 am but I will not get that one even though I'm about 4 miles (6 km) away from the ferry terminal. The second one is around 10:30 am.

April 01 : Roan, NC to Mile Marker 48 - Cape Hatteras National Seashore (near Salvo,NC) - 45.54 miles (72.86 KM)

I had a decent night camping out even though it was a little cold when I woke up. It was a little after 7:30 when I got back on the road. I stopped at a general store in Cedar Island for some breakfast. I took the time to finish up the last two journal entries. I tried to get on the web through the store's free wifi router but something was wrong with the router. As I was typing the journal entries out, a fox from the side of the store's property ran across the road in front of me, down a road, and into the woods west of me. Not more than 5 minutes later a beagle dog tried to get it's scent. Once it did, the beagle ran down the road and into the woods.

I stayed at the store for about 40 minutes and then I rode over to the ferry terminal. There was somebody in the ticket booth to take my $3 for the ferry ride. The ferry ride is supposed to take 2.5 hours and traverse 24 miles of Pamlico Sound. Since I had a little over an hour to wait, I got out my toiletry kit and went to the men's restroom to shave.

They started loading up for the ferry ride around 10:15 am. I was the last person on the ferry. The ferry was pretty well full with vehicles. I was the only bicyclists. The ride across was pretty smooth and there wasn't much chop. There were quite a few dolphins. About 20 miles (32 km) out of Hatteras, we caught up with and passed the Swan Quarters to Cedar Island ferry. It had left from Swans Quarter a half hour earlier and it had boated three miles further. We were the first one into the ferry terminal.

It was around 1:10 pm when I got off the ferry. I didn't stay very long in Ocracoke. I wanted to get to the ferry to Hatteras. It was almost a 14 mile ride to the ferry terminal. I got there around 3:10 pm. I had about a 40 minute wait till they started loading for the 4:00 pm ferry. They really loaded up the ferry. There were a lot of cars, a schoolbus, a large rv, and a ups truck. The four mile (6 km) crossing took 40 minutes to traverse Hatteras Inlet.

I got off the ferry in Hatteras around 4:50 pm. I didn't stay long in Hatteras. There was a church but there wasn't anybody around it. At a gas station/ general store in Buxton, I met up with three cross-country cyclists (a guy and 2 girls). They had started from Washington, DC and were riding to St Augustine, FL and then heading West to San Diego, CA. Arrival date in San Diego was sometime late June. They were going to camp out in a nearby park service campground but I decided to go on. I wanted to get far enough down the road to maybe make it through either Nags Head or Kitty Hawk tomorrow.

I kept on going and once it got dark I got out my helmet light. Traffic along NC 12. I stopped at Mile Marker 48 Cape Hatteras National Seashore near Salvo,NC. This was where off-road vehicles could get off the road and go down to the water's edge of the sound. There weren't any trees. I was able to find a place to pitch my tent in an open area amongst some reeds behind a seawall barrier. The tent was probably less than ten feet from the water's edge. It's not supposed to get too cold tonight.

April 02 : Mile Marker 48 - Cape Hatteras National Seashore (near Salvo,NC) to Coinjock - 77.30 miles (123.68 KM)

I had a decent night camping out even though it was a little cold when I woke up. When it got light enough to look out of my tent, I saw waves and waves of geese and other waterfowl rising up off the water to fly over me. It was a little after 7:40 when I got back on the road. The ride North to Nags Head went okay. There were only a couple of hitches. There was some road constrution through the Pea Island National Refuge. Crews were putting in a water line and also doing some repaving. At the Southern edge of the bridge over Bodie Sound there were some workers inspecting the bridge.

I finished up the Cape Hatteras National Seashore around 2:30 pm. It was a little tricky getting through Nags Head to Kitty Hawk because of a breeze coming off the ocean. I used residential streets whenever there were any. I stopped for a late and extended meal break at a BK in Kitty Hawk. Tried to get on the internet there but couldn't.

It was around 4 pm when I headed out to get to the bridge to the mainland. It was around 5 pm when I got to the bridge. There was road construction on the bridges. The west bound bridge was totally blocked off for resurfacing. They had all traffic directed onto the Eastbound bridge. There wasn't much of a shoulder on the northern side of the bridge. It wasn't wide enough for me to walk it and keep Alice out of the main lane of traffic but it was wide enough for me to ride it. It was really tricky trying to keep a straight track without weaving and I still had to avoid any road debris. I was so happy to get off of the four mile long bridge and back on to the mainland.

US 158 had been redone and it was a four lane divided highway with a narrow but rideable shoulder. I was hoping to find a church along the way that had a Wed night service but there wasn't any. I had to get my helmet light out for the ride between Jarvisburg and Grandy. I got into Grandy around 8 pm. I stopped at a MDs for something hot to eat. At the northern edge of Grandy, I stopped at an Assembly of G-D church. Service had just ended and people were leaving but the pastor was still around, They had a separate building for their fellowship hall. I was hoping to maybe be able to stay in the fellowship hall for the night to get off the ground. I talked with the pastor. He talked to another guy. It was the other guy instead of the pastor who told me that I couldn't stay in the fellowship hall for the night. A lot of excuses. There was a possibility to camp out somewhere on the church property but the position of the tent had to be careful since it couldn't get too close to the pastor's nearby house. The only place where the tent wouldn't have been seen from the road was behind the fellowship hall but it would have been close to the pastor's house. I just left. This wasn't a real compassionate church even though they had a food pantry. Nobody had made the offer to see if I needed any food or water from the pantry.

I rode on in the dark for maybe an hour and a half until I found some open woods outside of Coinjock. I'm about 10 miles (16 km) away from the ferry at Currituck to Knotts Island.

April 03 : Coinjock, NC to Creeds (Virginia Beach, VA) - 25.85 miles (41.36 KM)

I had a decent night camping out. It didn't get that cold possibly in the 50s but it did rain a little bit during the early morning hours. The tent stayed dry inside. My waterproofing attempt paid off. I did pack the tent and flys wet. It was around 7:40 am when I got on the road. I stopped at a gas station in Coinjock for a break. The ride to Currituck went okay. I got to the ferry landin around 9:20 am. The last ferry had left at 9 am and the next one was going to be at 11 am. There was a nearby McDs at a gas station. I took the time getting on the free wifi.

I got to the ferry landing around 10:40 am. They started loading up the ferry around 10:50 am. There were just a few cars for the 40 minute 4 mile (6 km) traverse of Currituck Sound to Knotts Island. The ride across the Sound went okay. I left the ferry at Knotts Island around 11:50 pm. I stopped for a lunch break at a gas station/general store in Knotts Island.

The 6 mile ride along the Marsh Causeway through the Moyick Island National Marsh Preserve went okay. There were a lot of turtles basking in the warmth in the marshes before they plopped down into the water as I rode passed. I was able to take a few pictures of the turtles before they went into the water and I also spotted a woodchuck.

I crossed into Virginia Beach, Virginia but there wasn't a state sign to take a picture of. The ride North along Princess Anne Road was slow because the road was rough, there was a slight headwind, and lots of dumptruck traffic from a gravel and stone pit that I had passed just North of the state line.

Around 3 pm, I got to the Oak Grove Baptist Church just North of Creeds. I had stopped there a couple of times staying inside the picnic shelter. I got permission to use the shelter for the night. Sleeping on the concrete slab will be a bit better than being on the ground. There was talk on the radio about a possible shower in the evening. There was enough open space behind a serving table so the tent and recumbent will not be seen from the road. The churh bus is going to hide me from the North and a building with a kitchen is going to hide me from the South. There is water and electricity available. This is going to be the first time I'll be able to use the power pocket in the tent wall to have access to electricity inside the tent.

I'm about 18.2 miles (29 km) away from the main part of Virginia Beach and 30.9 miles (50 km) away from the Southern terminal of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel to the DelMarVA Peninsula.

April 04 : Creeds (Virginia Beach, VA) to Fairview - 43.52 miles (69.63 KM)

I had a pretty decent night camping out under the picni shelter. It didn't rain like they had predicted during the night. It also didn't get that cold. Around daylight around 6:30 am, I woke up to the flashing of a strobe light on top of a school bus parked in the church parking lot. I started packing things up around 7 am. I got on the road around 7:30 am. The ride North on Princess Anne was a little slow because of the poor road surface, the traffic, and a slight headwind. The ride along General Booth was a little better to the ocean section of Virginia Beach.

I got to the boardwalk along the ocean around 11:30 am. It was a little breezy. There were not that many people on the beach and nobody in the water except for a couple of boarders in suits. I switched from the boardwalk to a side street because of the wind. I stopped for some lunch at a Wendys. After lunch, I went back to finish up the boardwalk bike trail and took a lot of pictures along the way.

Most of the way North to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel went okay because there was either a seperate bike trail or a designated bike lane. This went on until the last three or four miles to the bridge. I tried to follow some residential side streets but I landed up in a culdesac.

It was around 3 pm when I got to the Bay Bridge and Tunnel. It was about an hour and a half wait before somebody was found to take me across the bridge to the other side. We didn't directly go across the bridge. We had to wait for other bridge personell to get into place because we were the tail vehicle lending assistance to a wide load trying to get across the bridge. A truck carrying a crane was trying to get across. Bridge personell had to be in place to block Southbound traffic through the two tunnels because the wide loaded truck took both the Northbound and Southbound lanes in the tunnels. We got through the first tunnel okay. This was supposed to be a straight shot from one end of the bridge to the next but for one reason or another the guy in the lead police car pulled us all off to one side to let the vehicles behind us go through the second tunnel first. This was a bad decision because there wasn't a break in traffic for a long time. What should have taken a 25 minute crossing of the bridge system took almost 1.5 hours. It was almost 6:15 pm when I was finally dropped off at the terminal building on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

I quickly loaded up and headed North on the highway. After about a mile down the road, I switched over to a short rails to trails paved bikepath. I took the time to add air to both tires. The bike path lasted for about a mile more. There was a wide shoulder along US 13. It was starting to get dark so I got out my helmet light. I rode about 4 more miles in the dark and I was finally able to find a place to camp out in the woods near Fairview a couple of miles South of Cheriton.

April 05 : Fairview, VA to Onley, VA - 36.45 miles (58.32 KM)

I had a pretty decent night camping out. It didn't get that cold. I got on the road around 7:40 am. I didn't get too far down the road because I had to do another roadside repair on the rear rack. I stopped at a fireworks stand. As I was doing the repair, a guy who was the owner pulled in. We talked for a little bit. Before I left, the guy surprised me by slipping me $7 so I could get a hot breakfast at a McDs down the road and $20 for a new rack. My repair job didn't hold so I had to stop at a roadside rest to do a much better repair job. I used the remaining zipties that I had to do the repair. The rack is more stabler now but sooner or later I've got to buy a new rack.

I stopped at the McDs for some breakfast. I had planned to go just to Exmore and stop but I went on to Onley. The ride was a little slow because there was a headwind. For about six miles (9 km), I had to deal with traffic because the wide shoulder disappeared when I got into another county.

I got into Onley around 3:30 pm. I found some officers at the police station. They suggested that I go to the Catholic church about three/quarters of a mile away. On the way, I rode passed the Baptist Church. There was a guy pulling out of the parking lot. I stopped him to see if he might be able to connect me with his pastor. He called up the pastor and I got permission to stay in the church for the night. This will be the first time in a week that I'm staying inside for the night.

April 08 : Onley, VA to Pocomoke City, MD - 35.49 miles (56.78 KM)

I had a pretty decent night. I got a little more rest and the air mattress stayed up during the night. I had Alice packed up by around 7:40 am. The pastor came to the church around 8 am. He had a sack lunch for me and also a GH. I didn't get far away from the church because the front tire was flat and the rear tire was soft. The pastor offered to take me to the nearby Walmart. We put Alice into the office. At the Walmart, the pastor surprised me by getting me two front and rear inner tubes. On the way back to the church, we stopped at the parsonage so the pastor could get his electric powered air pump. It didn't take too long to get both of the wheels fixed. The rear tire just needed air.

I got on the road around 8:44 am. Instead of getting directly on US 13, I headed North on VA 316. In Parksley, I stopped to check out the Eastern Shores Railroad Museum. It was a collection of railroad buildings, cabooses, passenger cars, and railroad cars. There were no engines.

I stayed on VA 316 to Hallwood and then I headed East and got back on US 17. I got 22 miles (35 km) in by noon. I stopped at a Methodist Church in Temperanceville to have the sack lunch. After lunch, the rest of the ride to the MD State Line went fast. Before crossing into Maryland, I stopped at a gas station to check out the 1/6 size replica of the Civil War ironclad ship CSS Virginia, which used to be the Union Ironclad Merrimac.

From the gas station, it was just a tenth of a mile to the state line. From the state line, it was just a short 4 mile (6 km) ride into Pocomoke City. I stopped to do some shopping. After shopping, I rode into town. I stopped at the First Baptist Church because I saw some activity. There were a couple of guys doing some yardwork. One of the guys told me that the pastor was in his office and he left me into the church. Instead of letting me stay in the church for the night, the pastor offered to get me a room at one of the motels that I rode passed coming into town.

I'm either going to stop in Berlin tomorrow or ride to Ocean City and stop there for the night. I'm looking at catching the Lewes, DE to Cape May, NJ ferry Friday morning. I'm looking at catching a NJ commuter train from Ashbury Park, NJ to Manhattan, NYC, NY a week from tomorrow (April 16).

The next trip update should be posted sometime between April 15th and April 22nd.




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