TRIP 2015

Update #05 - April 05th
Jacksonville, North Carolina
700.99 miles (1,121.58 KM) - Year Total

Mar 28 : Kingsland, GA to Darien, GA : 66.09 miles (105.74 km)
Trip Total: 257.51 miles (412.02 km)

I had my hopes that the motel wouldn't have been a roach motel but it was. In the morning, I spotted several roaches crawling up one of the walls and when I opened the bedstand drawer there were two more. At least, I wasn't bothered by them at night. The portion of the motel my room was in was in repair. When I got into the room, I found the bulbs to the bedside lights missing. It took me several trips to the office to get a couple. At least, the room was warm and there was a good wifi signal. I didn't bother going to the office to see what there was for breakfast.

I left the motel around 8:15 am. With the passing of the cold front yesterday, the temperature was down into the 40s. The high should only be in the upper 60s. Right before I got to the intersection where I was supposed to turn left back into Kingsland, this black guy rolled down his side window to slip me $2.

It was about a 2.4 mile (3.84 km) ride back into downtown Kingsland and I got back on US 17. I stopped at a gas station for a cup of hot chocolate. The ride to Woodbine went okay. There was some activity at the United Methodist Church. They were having a community easter egg hunt. I stopped for a little bit and had lunch. I talked with the pastor some. He knew of some of the ministers that I knew. I had hoped that this connectiveness would have helped in his decision in possibly helping me find a place to spend the rest of the day but it didn't.

I headed out towards Brunswich around 12:40 pm. I was thinking that I was going to have a hard time with any strong winds but the trees on either side of the highway blocked the winds. The ride to Brunswich went okay. Instead of trying to get over the high bridge at the mouth of the Brunswich River, I took the long way into town across Blythe Island.

I got into downtown Brunswich around 4 pm. I stopped at the police station to see if I could make any connections with a local minister but I wasn't able to. There wasn't a department chaplain. There was a Salvation Army shelter but you had to submit to a background check before you got the location. I rode passed a couple of the main churches on the way back to US 17 but there was nobody around them.

The ride along US 17 to Darien went okay. I was able to ride over the bridges. I got into Darien around 6:40 pm. I found some activity at the parish house of the Episcopal church. Some of the people were gathering for a movie. The movie was the 2000 film Chocolat with Johnny Depp. The movie was pretty good except for the two sex scenes during the first part ofthe movie.

The rector was pretty friendly. He was a cyclist himself. After the movie, the rector took me over to the annex where there were restrooms and a nursery where I could camp out in. I am way ahead of my projected area. I'm at least 120 miles (192 km) ahead of schedule. I should be riding through Darien next Wednesday.

Mar 29 : Darien, GA to Darien, GA : 00.00 miles (00.00 km)
Trip Total: 257.51 miles (412.02 km)

I had a good night camping out in the nursery. I must have slept around 8 hours. I woke up around 6 am. The rector came around 8 am. I got permission to stay over for the day.

The diocese actually had two churches a block away. The church with the first service was 9 am at the historically black church St Cyprian, which was built in 1876 for former free slaves. The building is the tabby (made out of concrete using sea shells) structures still in use in Georgia. The congregation was both black and white. The service was a little long because of a Palm Sunday processional. The congregation was pretty friendly. For the passing of the peace, all of the congregation all went into the center aisle, got into two lines, and shook hands like you would at a little league baseball game. There was a guy who played harmonica with the organ. He was pretty good. He had a whole case with over two dozen harmonicas).

After the service, there was a short bible study in the parish house where the movie was last night. There weren't too many people there. The second service was at St. Andrews. This church was founded in 1844. The Civil War shut the church down for a while. The church was started in 1879. The congregation here was all white and mostly elderly. They didn't seem to be as reverent as the other church. The noise before the service was really bad. The service was more liberal. There was a choir but the voices weren't that blended.

There was a meal afterwards at the parish house. The food was okay but nobody from the first church showed up. Afterwards I moved back into the nursery. There was internet and plenty of Disney videos to watch.

I'm either going to stop in Richmond Hill or push on to Port Wentworth tomorrow.

Mar 30 : Darien, GA to Bailey's Crossing, SC : 94.02 miles (150.43 km)
Trip Total: 351.53 miles (562.45 km)

I had a good night camping out in the nursery. I watched several Disney movies : Country Bears, Pete's Dragon, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I was able to get on the church wifi. I went to bed around 9:30 pm. It took a little while falling asleep but I slept through the night around 6 am. I left the church grounds around 7:45 am. I was able to say goodbye to the rector.

It was a little chilly so I rode with my coat on. The ride North went okay. I was able to get in about 32 miles (51.2 km) in by noon time. About 8 miles out of Richmond Hill, I had to wait out a rain shower at a gas station. The ride to Richmond Hill went okay. Since I really didn't have any extra money, I couldn't stop early at one of the motels.

I pushed on to Port Wentworth. Instead of going all the way into Savanna before turning Westward to Port Wentworth. I got on GA 307 through Garden City. The ride was okay until I got closer to the interstate and the ports. There was a lot of truck traffic and for the most they were pretty courteous around me. I thought that I might be a little crazy doing this but two local guys on bikes rolled passed me riding side by side.

At GA 25, I turned Northwards to Port Wentworth. I got into Port Wentworth a few minutes after 5 pm. It was too late to try and find somebody at a church. I decided to go on into South Carolina. The ride to the state line through the marsh area went okay. Once back on US 17, the ride was a little dicey until I got on SC 170. The ride along SC 170 went okay even though there wasn't much of a shoulder at times. It was around 8:30 pm when I got into Bailey's Crossing. I was planning to keep on going to pass the C mark but the right light system went out. I've got to check out what is causing the problem since these are new lights. I was worried about finding some place to camp out.

I decided to pull off the road at a Methodist Church. There was some woods behind it. I got into the woods away so I wouldn't be close to the church. This was the first time that I've camped out in the new tent. My plan tomorrow is to ride to Walterboro and get on US 17 for the ride through Somerville, Monks Corner, and then through the Francis Marion Woods to Georgetown. I don't want to try and ride through Charleston like I did last year.

Mar 31 : Bailey's Crossing, SC to Walterboro, SC : 59.97 miles (95.95 km)
Trip Total: 411.50 miles (658.40 km)

I had a good night camping out in my tent. It didn't get that cold. I was able to sleep about 8 hours. Once it got daylight, I quickly got packed up and Alice loaded up. It was around 7:30 am when I left the church grounds. My first task was to get across the busy highway to a nearby ga station so I could use the restroom.

The ride to Burton went okay. I was able to ride the bridges onto Port Royal Island. I stopped to get a few things at a store in Burton. It was warm enough that by 10 am, I was able to take my jacket off. I turned Northwards on US 21. I tried out a new bike path that followed US 21 a bit but it didn't go very far before the pavement ended. The ride along US 21 went okay but there wasn't much of a shoulder in spots. By noon, I had made 30 miles (48 km).

At Gardens Corner, I got on US 17 for a bit. I followed a bike path for a bit. US 17 has been greatly improved with making it a divided 4 lane highway. I followed US 17 for maybe 9 miles (14.4 km) before I turned northwards on SC 307 for the ride to Walterboro. I wasn't going to continue on to Charleston even though I was about 40 miles (64 km) away.

I got into Walterboro around 4:20 pm. I found the pastor in at the Bethel United Methodist Church. He thought that he had met me before someplace. There was the offer to possibly stay in a store front across the street from the church but the electricity and water had been shut off. Instead, I was given permission to stay in a Sunday school classroom across the hall from the sanctuary.

I'm 4 days ahead of schedule. According to my projected schedule, I should be coming into Walterboro next Saturday afternoon and possibly staying someplace Easter Sunday. I'm going to be riding to Monks Corner tomorrow. I spent the night there during one of my previous trips.

April 01 : Walterboro, SC to Moncks Corner, SC : 53.17 miles (85.07 km)
Trip Total: 464.67 miles (743.47 km)

I had an okay night staying in the church. I got some rest but not as much as I had hoped because there were several street lights outside being that there was an alleyway behind the church. There were a couple of sofas in the parlor next door but they were two short. At least, the room had several outlets and there was a power strip so I could charge up all of my electronics. I tried out the wifi card but I didn't stay too long on the internet because I didn't know how much time was in the account. I spent a good portion of the night watching a couple movies on my laptop.

I woke up early before 6 am. I got pretty well everything packed up without using any lights. It started to get light outside around 7 am. I got on the road around 7:15 am. The sky was kind of overcast and it looked like it might rain. I had to wait a little while at a gas station in Cottageville because of some light sprinkles. After about 20 minutes, I got on the road again.

A couple of miles down the road, I got caught in some more rain. This time the rain lasted about 40 minutes but there wasn't any place that I could seek cover for a bit. I got wet but not that wet. I got 34 miles (54.4 km) in my noon.

I stopped at a McDs in Somerville for some lunch. Between Somerville and Moncks Corner, I pretty well rode along the sidewalks because there was no shoulder and lots of traffic. It wasn't maybe four miles (5.6 km) out of Moncks Corner when I was able to get back on the road to ride in the street.

I got into Moncks Corner around 3:20 pm. I stopped at the First Baptist Church but the only person in the office was the secretary. She told me that basically everybody was out of town till Saturday night. I rode over to the First United Methodist Church. The pastor was pretty friendly. He took me over to the fellowship hall. There are showers in the restroom. I was given access to any food that was in the kitchen and there is a washer-dryer that I could use. I'm going to be camping out on the stage behind the curtains because there are no curtains in the windows of the fellowship hall and the hall is right next to the highway.

I'm either going to stop for the day in Georgetown tomorrow or try to get closer to Myrtle Beach. My projected route had me riding between Walterboro and Somerville Monday April 6th.

April 02 : Moncks Corner, SC to Surfside Beach, SC : 78.89 miles (126.22 km)
Trip Total: 543.56 miles (869.70 km)

I had an okay night staying in the church. I got about 7 hours of sleep camping out on the stage behind the curtains. I woke up around 5:30 am. It was so good to wear clean clothes to start the day. I was able to get the bike packed up again in the dark.

I left the fellowship hall around 7:20 am. The ride to Jamestown went okay even though there was some road construction to get through before getting into Jamestown. I was able to get in 34 miles in by noon time. I stopped at a park in Sampit for a late lunch off the bike.

The ride between Sampit and Georgetown was a little tricky because it was a divided 4 lane highway with very little shoulder. Coming into Georgetown, I had to do some sidewalk riding again. I stopped in Georgetown at a McDs to get something to drink and check my email. It was around 3:00 pm when I got into Georgetown. It was still early in the afternoon so I decided to keep on going to get closer to Myrtle Beach.

It was a little tricky riding to Murrells Inlet because of all the traffic and they were getting ready to do some road construction. I took advantage of every bike path that there were. Some of the paths were pretty long and went through some woods so the paths had a lot of twists and turns. It would have been nice if the bike paths were connected.

I got into Murrells Inlet around 6:20 pm. It looked like they were getting ready to have a Maudy Thursday service at the Belin Memorial United Methodist Church. I got to talk with the associate pastor before the service. The service started around 7 pm. During the sermon, I was really impressed that the senior pastor talked about the real way that Y'shua and his disciples at the passsover meal were lying on low couches and pillows while they were eating. After the sermon, the associate pastor washed on of the member's feet. The music during the service was really nice. The choir was quite large and there was a violinist playing with the organist. I was the first person to take communion. The darkening (covering) of the chancery and the silent dismissal was quite emotional.

After the service, I got taken into offices to meet the sr pastor. Instead of letting me stay in the fellowship hall, there was an offer to get me a motel room somewhere. The motel in town was full so we loaded Alice into the back of Scott's (the associate pastor's) truck. On the way to a motel, we stopped at a pizza place. I had a good time talking with Scott. The church is really growing by at least 100 people a year. On any Sunday, there are 4 services. These services are simultaneous in pairs. Scott is in charge of the Contemporary service. He has only been at the church since last July. His last church was in Conway.

After we ate, Scott took me to a Comfort Inn in Surfside Beach. Before leaving, Scott slipped me a GH.

I'm about 33 miles (52.8 km) away from the NC state line. According to my projected schedule, I'm about six days ahead of schedule.

April 03 : Surfside Beach, SC to Shallotte, NC : 52.61 miles (84.18 km)
Trip Total: 596.17 miles (953.18 km)

I had an okay night staying at the motel. I got the room warm. I went to bed late but got almost 6 hours of sleep. There was a decent free breakfast with scrambled eggs. I got on the road around 7:20 am.

The ride into Myrtle Beach went okay. I stayed on Ocean Blvd for as long as I could. There was a lot of construction along the Southern section of motel row. I rode about 6 miles (9.6 km) riding close to the coast before I had to get back on US 17 Bus. The ride North through North Myrtle Beach and Little River was a little tricky because there was a lot of traffic and no shoulders. I almost got hit a couple of times. I tried to ride the sidewalks but there wasn't much of them. I stopped at a McDs for an early extended lunch.

There was some shoulder to ride along between the intercoastal waterway bridge and Little River. Once I got passed Little River, it wasn't that far to SC 179 near the NC State Line. Traffic was a lot less and more courteous to me. There was a bike lane most of the way to Shallotte. A few miles into North Carolina was surprised at finding a nice insulated water bottle and a good pair of Trek Cycling gloves. The gloves were a little bit bigger than the ones that I got started out with.

I got in Shallotte around 4 pm. I saw some activity at the Camp Memorial Methodist Church. The pastor was in his office. Rev Vaughan was pretty friendly. Instead of letting me stay in the church for the night, Rev Vaughan called over to the local Comfort Inn to get me a room for the night.

According to my projected route, I'm six days ahead of schedule. I should be coming into Shallotte Thursday, April 09th.

April 04 : Shallotte, NC to Dixon, NC : 87.24 miles (139.58 km)
Trip Total: 683.41 miles (1,093.46 km)

I had an okay night staying at the motel. There was a decent breakfast that I took to my room to eat. I left the motel around 7:40 am. Instead of going back into Shallotte, I got on US 17 for the ride to Supply. In Supply, I got on NC 211 for the ride to Southpot. Coming into Southport, it started to sprinkle. I stopped for an early lunch at a McDs.

In downtown Southport, there was an arts and crafts festival going on. I didn't stay long. The paths were too tight for Alice. From the downtown area, it was a 2 mile ride to the ferry landing.

I got to the ferry landing as the cars from the noon ferry were disembarking. I paid the $2 fee. It was a 15 minute wait for the next ferry to leave. The gnats were pretty bad. I was the last person on the ferry. The ferry ride to Ft. Fisher went okay and it was 45 minutes long. I was the last person off the ferry.

The ride through Carolina Beach went okay. Once across the Intercoastal Waterway bridge South of Sea Breeze, the ride was really hard because the road was a divided 4 lane highway but there was no shoulder. I got off at Myrtle Grove Road. The ride along this road was nicer because it was a two-laned road with light trafic. I had to stop at this one section because somebody had tossed out a lot of loose change. After I picked it all up, I found out that it was almost $2.50. Myrtle Grove Road ended at Pine Grove Road and I took that to get on US 117. I rode passed the University of North Carolina - Wilmington.

I got on US 17 Bus a couple of miles East of downtown Wilmington. The ride East along US 17 Bus and US 17 went okay because there was a shoulder to ride along. I got into Hampstead around dusk. It was a little tricky getting through Hampstead because the shoulder disappeared and it was replaced with gutters. I was so happy to get on the other side of the town because the shoulder started up again. I used my headlights to get through Topsail and Holly Ridge.

I found a fire road a couple of miles before Dixon. It was good that I did because I would soon get on Federal property for the Marine Corps Camp Lejuene. I went down the fire road about a tenth of a mile. There was evidence of a wild fire. I found a stand of short trees to camp in.

I'm about 17 miles (27.2 km) out of Jacksonville.

April 05 : Dixon, NC to Jacksonville, NC : 18.48 miles (29.57 km)
Trip Total: 701.89 miles (1,123.02 km)

I had an okay night camping out. It got a little cool but it wasn't that bad. I woke up a little before 6 am. I got on the road around 7:15 am. The ride into Jacksonville went okay.

I stopped at the Trinity United Methodist Church. I got there before the 8:30 am. traditional service was leaving the sanctuary. Rev Speake was happy to see me again. We last saw each other last year on Aug 18th. I went to the 9:45 Contemporary Service. During the time of Celebration and Prayer, I mentioned that I passed the 241,000 mile mark yesterday. There was some applause. Rev Speake mentioned me at the beginning of the service. After the service, a lady slipped me a GH. I went out to watching the release of some butterflies. I went to the 11 am traditional service. During the beginning of his service, Rev Speake introduced me again, After the service, two guys slipped me GH's. Rev Speake met me at the local Ramada Inn and got me a room for the night.

I'm changing my route. Instead of riding to New Bern and then on to Suffolk, VA., I'm going to take advantage of the different ferries in the state on the way to Elizabeth City and take the Currituck Ferry to Knotts Island.

The next trip update should be posted sometime between April 12th and April 19th.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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