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TRIP 2016

Update #15 - July 29th
East Dublin, Georgia
Trip 48 : 4,316.78 miles (6,906.85 km)
Year Total : 5,078.91 miles (8,115.17 km)



July 11, 2016 : Williamston, NC to Washington, NC : 23.29 miles (37.26 km)
Trip Total: 3,732.88 miles (5,972.61 km)
Year Total: 4,485.80 miles (7,177.28 km)

I had an okay night. The room was okay. It was night being able to have a hot meal. Pastor Dean had made arrangements at the restaurant next to the motel so that I could get a meal there. I went to the restaurant around 5:30 PM. I chose to get the Buffet since it seemed to be more cost effective. I took advantage of all of the vegetables.

I got maybe six hours of sleep. I woke up a little after 6 AM. There was a light breakfast.

I left the motel around 7:40 AM. The ride South went okay. Once on US 17, the shoulder pretty well disappeared when the highway became a two-lane road. There wasn't much of a shoulder. Whenever there was a lot of traffic especially with trucks, I took advantage of any cutoffs so I could wait for the traffic to go passed. About six miles out of Washington, the highway became a divided 4-lane highway so there was a shoulder.

i got into Washington around 11 AM. I stopped for some lunch at a BK. I got into downtown Washington around 11:30 PM. I stopped at the Methodist Church. I talked with the minister but because he had only been in the area for just two weeks he said that he didn't know of a way to help me. I went across the street to the Presbyterian church. The minister there was out of the office because one of the members was in the emergency room of the local hospital. It was about a four block ride to the First Baptist Church. The secretary was still in the office. The pastor was away but the music minister was in. The music minister offered to get me a room at one of the local motels that I had rode passed.

I've got a long ride tomorrow to New Bern about 39 miles away.

July 12, 2016 : Washington, NC to New Bern, NC : 41.77 miles (66.83 km)
Trip Total: 3,774.65 miles (6,039.40 km)
Year Total: 4,527.57 miles (7,244.11 km)

I had a rough night at the motel. I thought that the room was going to be a clean one but right around 10 PM roaches started to appear in the room. I killed a couple of big ones in the bathroom and I killed one that was going up the wall next to the bed. There were also some little ones crawling on top of the night stand by the bed. I slept lightly because I was concerned that I would find one in bed with me.

I woke up around 5 AM. I left the motel to find some breakfast around 6:40 AM. I stopped at a Piggly Wiggly to get some groceries and then I stopped at a McDs to get some breakfast.

It was around 7:20 AM when I headed out from the McDs. I backtracked through the downtown area. The ride South went really well. There seemed to be a slight tailwind to push me along. There were quite a few times when I was cruising over 10 pmh. In some places, I was cruising up to 12 mph.

Even with two breaks, I got the first 20 miles in by 10:10 AM. By noon, I got in around 31 miles. I stopped at a gas station for a short lunch break.

The ride across the bridges to downtown New Bern went okay. I got into downtown New Bern around 1:20 PM. I stopped at the First Presbyterian Church to see if my friend was there. Tommy had left for the day about ten minutes earlier. I was given Tommy's cell phone number. Tommy suggested that I go to the nearby First Baptist Church. At the First Baptist Church, I talked with the Sr pastor. I was really surprised that the sr pastor got me a room at a really fancy hotel at a marina on the opposite side of the drawbridge that I had ridden across. A big plus for me at the hotel was a guest laundry.

July 13, 2016 : New Bern, NC to Jacksonville, NC : 41.36 miles (66.182 km)
Trip Total: 3,816.00 miles (6,105.62 km)
Year Total: 4,568.93 miles (7,310.29 km)

I had an okay night at the hotel. The room was very good. It was at least 300% better than the roach motel I stayed at the night before. The big plus for me was the guest laundry. I've been looking for a laundromat for the past four days.

I woke up around 5:30 AM. There was a breakfast but the hot stuff hadn't been put out when I got my stuff.

I left the motel around 7:20 AM. I backtracked into the downtown area. I was looking for signs to Bus US 17 but I didn't see any. I basically followed local roads until I got on Trent Road. In the Trent Woods area, I got a little lost but I was able to find my way to Bus US 17S.

The ride South went okay. I took several short mini breaks. By noon, I had ridden about 24 miles. I stopped for a short lunch break at a gas station in Maysville.

The afternoom ride went okay. I got into the Jacksonville area around 2 PM. I stopped at a Wendys to get a small Frostie. I stopped at the Memorial United Methodist Church. I wanted to see if the pastor who I was friends with was still there. I found out that my friend had retired. I got connected with the new pastor. He has only been at the church for three weeks. There was an offer to get me a room at a local motel.

July 14, 2016 : Jacksonville, NC to Masonboro, NC : 59.27 miles (94.83 km)
Trip Total: 3,875.28 miles (6,200.45 km)
Year Total: 4,628.20 miles (7,401.12 km)

I had an okay afternoon and night at the hotel. The room was okay but there were signs that it was going downhill. Last year, the motel used to be a Ramada Inn. Now, it's under the Motel 6 chain. Because of the high heat in the afternoon, I didn't venture out to get a hot supper even though there was a McDs nearby.

I left the motel around 7:20 AM. The ride South went okay even though the temperature was already in the 80s. For about 10 miles, I rode through Marine Corps Camp Laguene. There were flashing lights indicating that there were maneuvers going on in the woods. There were several overpasses where military vehicles crossed under. I got to watch about a dozen halftracks go passed.

c In the Sneads Ferry area, I tried to contact the WS member but they were not home. By noon, I had ridden a little over 22 miles. The ride to Hampstead went okay. I took several long breaks along the way.

I got into the Hampstead area around 3:20 PM. It was really tricky riding because there was no shoulder. I rode the gutter. I was able to contact the WS member but they were out of town. I stopped at the Methodist Church to see if a friend was still there but the office was closed. For almost 90 minutes, I waited at a Circle K for a thunderstorm to go through the area. I stopped at the Hampstead Baptist Church. I had stayed and worshipped there before. There was no contact information. On the sign, the lign where the pastor's name was listed had been painted over.

It was almost 5:50 PM when I got out of the Hampstead area. I was so happy when the shoulder started up again. It was about a 13 mile ride into the Wilmington area. I stopped for some supper at a Wendys. I was able to contact one of the WS members that had an active profile. They were getting ready to go on a trip to Ontario. There was an offer to camp out in their back yard but their house was five miles out of my way.

The only thing that I could do was start on the way to the ferry at Fort Fisher. I stopped at this Baptist Church where some people were leaving the church. They were finishing up their vacation bible school. One lady got me some refreshments. I talked with the pastor. Insurance wouldn't let me spend the night in the church without me being babysat. I was given directions to this bike trail nearby that went through a wooded park.

I found a place to camp out in the woods. It was really strange hearing voices around me. People were coming into the park after dark to play the new Pokemon Go Augmented Reality cellphone game.

I'm about 18 miles from the Ft. Fisher Ferry.



July 15, 2016 : Masonboro, NC to Sandy Hill, NC : 40.27 miles (64.43 km)
Trip Total: 3,913.27 miles (6,261.23 km)
Year Total: 4,668.47 miles (7,469.55 km)

I had a really rough night in the park. The inside of the tent was a sauna. I didn't roll out either my sleeping bag or pad. There was no breeze. People were coming into the park at dark to play the new Pokemon Go cellphone game. The last person left around 1 AM.

I woke up around 5 AM. I found out that I wasn't as hidden as I had thought. I was less than 30 feet from the bikepath through the park. I quickly packed up and got the bike back on the bikepath. I rode back to S College Drive. At this street corner, I almost got hit when this guy didn't stop at an intersection and abruptly turned South without looking. I came within inches of being clipped.

I stopped at a McDs to get some breakfast and to get on the web. I must have been in the McDs for about an hour. When I got outside to my recumbent, I had a scare. One of the below seat panniers was missing. It was the right one. I quicklyt was less than a foot and a half away from the bike path. I was also able to find the water bottle that was carried there. I've got to find some way to look the pannier better. The lost pannier cost me almost 6.5 extra miles.

Once S College Avenue joined up with US 421, the shoulder disappeared. Traffic was really bad and there was no real place for me to get off the road when the traffic bunched up behind me. I took several breaks along the way. A couple of minutes before I stopped for the last break, I almost got hit again. This guy in a work truck didn't yield to me when I was going through an intersection. The guy sped up in front of me and then turned right. He missed me by a couple of inches. I'm so glad that my disc brakes worked.

I was so happy when I got to the bridge across the intercoastal waterway to Carolina Beach. There was a bike path across the bridge. Once in Carolina Beach, there was a bike path. I stopped at a McDs for some lunch. Traffic was pretty light through Kure Beach to the ferry landing in Ft Fisher.

I got to the ferry landing right as the 1 PM ferry was being loaded up. The next ferry would have been at 1:45 PM. I quickly paid my $2 fare and joined up with two other guys who were on bicycles but they were just locals. Two other vehicles were loaded up before the ferry left.

The ferry ride lasted about a half hour. I was the last person off the ferry. On the way into Southport, I stopped at the Presbyterian Church. I talked with this guy who was leaving the offices but he wasn't that helpful. In Southport, I stopped at the Methodist Church but there was nobody there. The offices had closed before noon on Fridays. I stopped at the Episcopal Church. I talked with the lady rector. There was an offer to stay in the old chapel but there would be no access to either restrooms or water. I didn't feel comfortable trying to sleep in the old sanctuary so I passed on the offer. I stopped at the Baptist Church but there was nobody in the office.

It was almost 3 pm when I left the downtown area. I tried some other churches on the Northern edge of town but there wasn't anybody around them. I stopped at a McDs for a break.

The ride along NC 211 went okay because there was a shoulder to ride along. People were at least courteous. I was really getting concerned about the sky since it was looking dark. I stopped at this gas station in the small town of Smith because I saw some lightning flashes to the North. There was a porch where I could get Alice on and some old theater chairs to sit on. I waited out the storm for about 80 minutes. There were only some light sprinkles.

I headed out around 6:40 PM. I rode down the highway about five miles before I found some place in the woods to camp out in. It took a little while finding a place that could be easily cleared out to pitch the tent. I had everything in my tent by around 7 PM.

July 16, 2016 : Sandy Hill, NC to Shallotte, NC : 15.57 miles (24.91 km)
Trip Total: 3,928.84 miles (6,286.14 km)
Year Total: 4,684.04 miles (7,494.46 km)

I had an okay night camping out. I had set the tent up for rain. Because of the late afternoon rain storm, the tent didn't get that hot inside. I did sleep a little lightly.

I woke up a little after 6 AM. I took my time packing up since the tent was a little wet. I was out of the woods by a little before 8 AM. The remaining 7 mile ride to US 17 in the small town of Supply went okay. I stopped for a short break at a McDs.

The five miles along US 17 to the Bus 17 turnoff East of Shallotte was really hard. There was a rumble strip that took up most of the shoulder. There was a thin strip of clear pavement between the rumble strip and the white line. Whenever there was a large amount of vehicles coming up behind me, I pulled off the road as quickly as I could.

I was really happy to get into Shallotte. From Shallotte, I could follow smaller highways to the SC state line. It was around 11 AM when I got into Shallotte so I stopped at a BK for some lunch. I didn't feel like going any farther. I didn't want to deal with any extra weekend traffic.

I remembered stopping one time at the First Presbyterian Church on the West end of town. There was a picnic shelter on the East edge of the church grounds. I was able to find the phone number of the pastor but I was just able to leave a message. I didn't want to head out again. I decided to hunker down for the rest of the day. Just in case I couldn't get approval to spend the night in the picnic shelter, I checked out a couple of spots in the adjoining woods to camp out in. Around 4 PM, a couple came to the church to take care of the memorial gardens. The guy contacted the pastor and I was given approval to spend the night in the basement youth room.

July 18, 2016 : Shallotte, NC to North Myrtle Beach, SC : 27.91 miles (44.66 km)
Trip Total: 3,956.75 miles (6,330.80 km)
Year Total: 4,711.95 miles (7,539.12 km)

I had an okay afternoon and night at the church. I took a long nap in the afternoon. I went to bed kind of early for me. I did wake up a couple of times in the early morning but I was able to fall back asleep till around 6 AM.

I left the church around 7:10 AM. I got on NC 179. I pretty well took it to the SC state line. The ride to the state line went okay. There was some traffic but there was a small shoulder to ride along.

SC 179 ended back on US 17. Traffic was really heavy. I carefully made my way into Little River. I got into Little River around 11 AM. It was already in the upper 80s. I decided to try and stop for the day. I stopped at the First United Methodist Church. I had gotten some help from the church on a previous trip. The pastor who I knew there wasn't there anymore. I met the new pastor who was younger but he wasn't that helpful. The church did have a ministry that provided showers and food but I didn't take part in the program.

I stopped at a BK for some chicken nuggets. Even with the couple breaks that I took in the morning, I still made a little over 21 miles by noon.

My plan was to get onto SC 90 and ride to Conway but I didn't. Right at the intersection where I was going to get off of US 17 and get on SC 90, I attempted to downshift to get into some lower gears so I could get up an incline. As I was downshifting, the mount of the front derailleur snapped off. I tried fixing it but I couldn't do anything with it. The only things that I could do are moving the chain to the middle ring of the front cluster, disengage the cable from the derailleur, and fasten the derailleur onto the frame. At least, I could ride the recumbent till I could find a way to replace it.

It was around 2:15 PM when I got into North Little River. I decided to try again and stop for the day. I stopped at the First Baptist Church. The interim minister was at a funeral so I talked with the music minister. I couldn't spend the night at the church because there was a day care center so an offer was made to get me a room at a Comfort Inn that I had passed.

I checked out the web for bike shops in the Myrtle Beach area. The nearest bike shops are in the Southern section of Myrtle Beach, Surfside Beach, and Murrels Inlet. The nearest bike shop was about 23 miles away.

July 19, 2016 : North Myrtle Beach, SC to Georgieville, SC : 37.93 miles (60.69 km)
Trip Total: 3,994.68 miles (6,391.49 km)
Year Total: 4,749.88 miles (7,599.81 km)

I had an okay afternoon and night at the motel. I just wished that I could have gotten a room on the first level. There wasn't an elevator. I had to go to the back of the building to get inside and then take everything upstairs and walk about a third of a way down the hallway to my room. It took me five trips to get everything upstairs. I could have tried to keep the recumbent locked up under the stairs but I didn't have a comfortable feeling about the motel. The motel wasn't really up to Comfort Inn standards. The back stairwell really needed a paint job. There were two fluorescent bulbs missing in the lamps of my room and one flourescent bulb that needed to be replaced. It took a long time for the air conditioning unit to get the room comfortable. I was tired so I fell asleep around 9:45 PM.

I woke up a little before 6 AM. There was a decent hot breakfast with scrambled eggs and turkey sausage. I left the motel around 7:40 AM. I was hoping that the traffic would be light at that time on US 17 but it wasn't. I pretty well rode all of the sidewalks available into Myrtle Beach. It was really tricky getting onto Bus US 17 in the Northern part of Myrtle beach. As soon as I could, I got on Ocean Boulevard.

I got into the main tourist part of Myrtle Beach a little before noon. There were a lot of tourists. The hotels and motels were pretty well full. I stopped at a BK for some chicken nuggets.

The afternoon ride through the rest of Myrtle Beach went okay. I was able to get back on Bus US 17 okay. There was supposed to be a bike shop near the airport but I didn't want to try and find it. There was supposed to be a bike shop in Surfside Beach on Bus US 17 between Myrtle Beach State Park and Murrells Inlet.

I got to Mr C Bike Shop in Surfside Beach around 1:30 PM. The owner of the shop was probably in his 80s. He was already working on a bike. He wasn't sure whether he could fit me in since he had already had some other bikes that needed repaired. I told him that I was on tour and there was no way that I could leave the bike and come and get it. Mr C told me that it might take him about an hour and a half to finish the bike that he was working on and then he would try and work on mine. I made myself comfortable in the air conditioning of his sop. It was probably 3 pm when he started on my recumbent. He carried Sun bicycles and there were several old EZ recumbents but none like mine. He didn't have a front derailleur like the one that I had but it did have one that he thought that he could make work. It took him a little over an hour but he was able to get it to work. I called up Dennis in New York. He had sent me an email telling me that he would help me with any emergencies that might come up. Mr C's assistant took Dennis's credit card over the phone. The charge was supposed to be close to $100 for the derailleur and the labor but it came to a little over $60.

It was almost 4:20 PM when I was back on the road. The ride to Murrells Inlet went okay. I got into Murrels Inlet around 5:20 PM so it was a little too late to try and connect with the assistant pastor at the First United Methodist Church. There was a bike lane to take through Murrells Inlet. I didn't have to get back on US 17 because there was a bike path that took me through Huntington Beach State Park. I rode passed the entrance to Brookside Gardens. It was almost 7 PM.

I was concerned about trying to go any farther because I would start to go through the tourists towns of Litchfield Beach and Pawleys Island. At the Southern edge of the state park, I found some unrestricted woods and I went in about 200 feet and found a spot to camp out in.

July 20, 2016 : Georgieville, SC to Andrews, SC : 37.27 miles (59.63 km)
Trip Total: 4,031.95 miles (6,451.12 km)
Year Total: 4,787.15 miles (7,659.44 km)

It wasn't a completely bad night. The temperature wasn't as high so I wasn't really sweating a lot. I didn't unroll my sleeping pad. I slept on top of my sleep sack. Around midnight, it started to lightning and thunder. The storm came so fast that I wasn't able to get outside my tent and rescue a jersey that I had hung up on an improvised line. The storm must have lasted about a couple of hours. It came down hard in periods but the tent stayed reasonably dry inside. I had put down the small ground cloth inside the tent as an extra floor to sleep on. I was able to get some rest.

I woke up around 6 AM. Instead of rushing to get back on the road, I took my time because I had to do some sewing to repair a rip in the tent bag. It took longer than normal to pack up the wet tent. I was out of the woods and back on the bike path about 8:20 AM. I followed the bike path through Litchfield Beach and then I got US 17. For most of the way to Georgetown, there was a small shoulder to ride along but I had to deal with a rumble strip. About 5 miles out of Georgetown, I found this seat cushion. It was big enough to cover up the seat pad. I stopped alongside the highway to sew it on. The new seat cover gave me some extra padding.

When I got to the two bridges on the Northern edge of Georgetown, I was able to downshift into my granny gears. Traffic was kind of heavy across the bridges. I got into Georgetown around 12:30 PM. I stopped at a BK for some chicken nuggets. I was hoping to get on the wifi but it was down. There were no outlets so I wasn't able to get my laptop charged up.

From the BK, I made my way over to the Methodist Church. The secretary was in but the lady pastor was out. The secretary didn't know if the pastor was going to be coming back to the church. I rode over to the First Baptist Church. I had gotten some assistance through them on a previous trip a couple of years ago. The guy that I talked to wasn't that helpful. He didn't tell me his name or what his status was at the church. He told me that I should go to the law enforcement center and see if they were still giving out vouchers for a local motel. I didn't feel like doing this. I had no idea on where the law enforcement center was and besides it was a little demeaning having to go through some background check to see if I was worthy enough for a motel voucher and there was no guarentee that the funds would be at the police station for a voucher.

The next city/town on my route through South Carolina was Andrews 19 miles to the West. It was a little tricky riding along the 10 mile section where US 17A joined up with US 521. There was just a small space left on the shoulder because of the rumble strip. It was really tricky navigating the six inch wide pavement and not hitting the rumble strip. Once US 17A split off of US 521, the traffic became less. I had to stop a couple of times at churches to take some breaks from the heat.

I got into Andrews around 5 AM. I found my way over to the First Baptist Church. There was a lot of activity at the church. Samaritans Purse was here doing some relief work after some major flooding back in Oct of last year. There were some adults and a youth group from a church in PA. I got to talk with the pastor. He told me that it would be okay for me to stay in the church for the night after the Bible study. I was able to have a hot supper with the Samaritans Purse group. During the Prayer service/ Bible Study, I was able to give my testimony and tell about my ministry. This was my 36th church for the year (31st church for the trip). Before everybody left and after the closing prayer, somebody started to pass around a hat to collect a love offering for me. This was the sixth love offering during the trip. It was a sizable amount. A big plus for me was that the Samaritans Purse group had a trailor that had showers and a washer and dryer so I was able to get all of my wet and smelly clothes washed and dried. I'm staying in the conference room in the main sanctuary building because it has it's own air conditioner-heater unit. There was enough in the back hallway to pitch my tent and hang up the tent flies and ground cloths. They should be all dry by the morning.

My goal for tomorrow is Monks Corner 38 miles away. According to my current planned route, I've got 4 more full cycling days left in South Carolina. I could be back in Georgia near Sylvania North of Statesboro next Monday.

July 21, 2016 : Andrews, SC to Moncks Corner, SC : 37.19 miles (59.50 km)
Trip Total: 4,069.14 miles (6,510.62 km)
Year Total: 4,824.34 miles (7,718.94 km)

had an okay night. The big plus for me besides getting a hot shower was access to a washer and dryer so I could get all of my dirty and smelly clothes washed. It's been a little over a week since the last time that I was able to use a washer. The only problem that I had that the washer stuck at the spin cycle so I had to restart it. This got the clothes in the dryer late. I was able to pack up all of the clean clothes by 11 PM. I camped out on the carpeted floor without using my sleeping pad. I found a pillow to use. There was some light coming into the room from a street light but it didn't bother me much.

I woke up a little before 6 AM. The first take was to strike my tent and pack it up. It was nice being able to pack up a dry tent along with dry tent flies and groundcloths. I did have to get on my hands and knees to pick up the leaves that had come off of the tent bottom and groundcloths.

I left the church around 7 AM. I saw that the Samaritans Purse group were in the fellowship hall having breakfast so I went inside to say goodbye. I was invited to take part in the breakfast of pancakes and scrambled eggs. Before I left, I was able to pack up a paper bag with a lot of goodies and snacks.

It was around 7:30 AM when I left the church grounds. I was only a block South of Bus 41. The ride West on US 41 went okay. Traffic was mostly light. The highway was two-laned. US 17A joined up with US 41 in Jamestown. I stopped for a few minutes at a roadside park that a church had set up.

The miles clipped by. I got the first 20 miles in by 10:50 AM. By noon, I had ridden almost 26 miles. I stopped at a gas station in the small town of Macedon for a break.

The afternoon ride to Moncks Corner went okay. I rode through the Francis Marion National Forest. The forest was in a lot better shape here than what it was along US 17 between Charleston and Georgetown. The only real problem was the remaining mile into Moncks Corner when US 17A joined up with US 52 and I had to walk up the approach to the bridge over the old Santee Canal.

Once I got into Monks Corner, I rode the sidewalk. I stopped at a Wendys for a small chocolate Frosty. I got into downtown Monks Corner around 2:30 PM. I stopped at the First Baptist Church but the pastor had to go to the hospital to visit with some people. I stopped at the First United Methodist Church but the pastor wasn't there either. I was really hoping to find a place inside because there were dark clouds in the sky and it looked like it might become a thunderstorm. My pastor friend in Columbus called me and he told me that he knew the pastor at the Presbyterian Church. I rode over to the church. The pastor was out but the secretary was able to contact him and I got permission to spend the night in the new youth building behind the church.

My goal for tomorrow is to get to Walterboro. The only problem is that it is almost 50 miles away. The nearest town from me is Summerville and it's only 16 miles away from Moncks Corner.

July 22, 2016 : Moncks Corner, SC to Summerville, SC : 20.37 miles (32.59 km)
Trip Total: 4,089.51 miles (6,543.22 km)
Year Total: 4,844.71 miles (7,751.54 km)

I had a bit of an okay night in the youth building of the Presbyterian Church. There weren't any dark spaces in the building. In the main room, there was a chandelier that was probably on 24-7. There wasn't a switch for it. The classroom that I was staying in had floor to ceiling windows without any blinds or coverings. There was a street light by the playground across the parking lot that shined into the room. I moved some of the furnture around to make me a space. There was a futon on a frame to sleep on. In the hallway, there were a couple of ceiling mounted spotlights that stayed on along with the fire emergency safety lights. The bathrooms also had lights on inside that stayed on. The sexton before he left gave me access to the drinks and food in the kitchenette. It was okay having an ice cream sundae while watching a movie on my laptop.

I fell asleep before 10 PM. I did wake up around 3 AM because of the stray light but I was able to fall back asleep after staying up a half hour. I stayed asleep till around 6 AM. I had some lemon pastries and some orange juice for breakfast.

I got on the road around 7:10 AM. On the way out of Moncks Corner, I stopped at a gas station to get some milk. The ride West to Summerville went okay. For most of the way, I rode on sidewalks. The sidewalk was pretty well continuous.

I got into Summerville around 10:45 AM. I stopped at a BK for an early lunch and to also get on the web. I rode the sidewalk into downtown Summerville. I was amused at seeing a sign that said that the town was the birthplace of sweet tea.

I didn't feel like trying to go on to Walterboro 33 miles away. It was close to 90. I decided to try and stop. Usually, I don't have much luck in large towns especially ones near an interstate. I decided to stop at the Bethany United Methodist Church. I talked to one of the assistants to the pastor. Elizabeth was pretty friendly. She offered to get me a room at one of the motels back at the interstate.

My target tomorrow is Walterboro. I'm going to try and stay over Sunday for church and also a day off the road.

July 23, 2016 : Summerville, SC to West Walterboro, SC : 37.47 miles (59.95 km)
Trip Total: 4,126.98 miles (6,603.17 km)
Year Total: 4,882.18 miles (7,811.49 km)

I had an okay afternoon and night at the motel. The motel room had a few problems. You couldn't completely shut off the hot water. Instead of dripping, there was a steady drizzle. I got maybe six hours of sleep.

I woke up a little before 6 AM. There was an okay breakfast. I left the motel around 7:20 AM. The temperature was already in the low 80s. The high in the afternoon was going to be close to 96.

It was about a two mile backtrack into the downtown area. The ride along US 17A went okay. For most of the way, there was a slight shoulder separated by a rumble strip. There was an older section of highway that was really rough and washboardy.

I got about 23 in by noon. I stopped for a short break at a gas station in Cottageville. The afternoon ride into Walterboro went okay. The highway was much improved. I got into downtown Walterboro around 1:30 PM. I didn't go into the downtown area to check out the churches. I got on SC 63. I rode on to I-95. I found a coupon book and was able to get a room at a motel under $40.

July 24, 2016 : West Walterboro, SC to Walterboro, SC to West Walterboro, SC : 07.49 miles (11.98 km)
Trip Total: 4,134.47 miles (6,615.15 km)
Year Total: 4,889.67 miles (7,823.47 km)

I had an okay afternoon and night at the motel. The motel room was really good. I got some good sleep.

I woke up around 6 AM. I left the motel around 8 AM and I rode back into Walterboro to locate a church. I wasn't able to find the Presbyterian Church so I opted between the First Baptist Church and the First United Methodist Church. They were across the street from each other. The first service was going on at the Methodist Church. I spent the night of March 31, 2015 at the church.

I decided to go to the First Baptist Church. Sunday school was going to be at 9:50 AM. I wasn't at the church very long before people started to come. They were pretty friendly towards me. I got directed up to a Sunday School class. The class was pretty friendly towards me. I got to share before the teacher started his lesson. After I shared, there was a suggestion by one of the ladies to collect a love offering for me. I got involved in the lesson. When the teacher after the class gave me the love offering, it was almost half of what I got at the First Baptist Church in Andrews Wednesday night. I got my money back from the motel room yesterday and then some. Normally on Sundays, I try to connect with a compassionate minister to see if I could maybe spend the rest of the day at the church. I decided to go ahead and find another coupon and go back to the motel and get me another room there. I felt comfortable with the decision because I was able to meet the pastor before the service and I didn't get a good feeling from him. The service was a bit rushed. Even with all of the singing before the sermon, the service was over in 50 minutes.

Before going back to the motel, I stopped at the McDs across the highway to get some lunch. I got the same room at the motel.

I've got a 40 mile ride to Allendale, SC. I'll be in Sylvania, GA Tuesday. I'm around 338 miles away from Columbus, GA

July 25, 2016 : West Walterboro, SC to Allendale, SC : 42.73 miles (68.37 km)
Trip Total: 4,177.20 miles (6,683.52 km)
Year Total: 4,932.40 miles (7,891.84 km)

I had an okay afternoon and night at the motel. The motel room was really good. I got some good sleep.

I woke up around 6 AM. I left the motel around 7:37 AM. The temperature was already in the lower 80s. The morning ride went okay. Traffic was courteous. By noon, I had ridden about 26 miles. I stopped in Hampton for some lunch.

The afternoon ride to Allendale went okay but it was a little slow because of the heat. I got into Allendale around 2:30 PM. I went around town to check out the churches. The Methodist Church was quite small. The Baptist Church was a little biggger. I didn't see any indication of an office. There were no cars around. There was a house next door that could have been the parsonage but there was nobody around.

I checked out the other churches but there was nobody around them. According to what I saw on Microsoft Streets and Trips, there were supposed to be a couple of motels North of town on US 301 because there was a small college. The first motel didn't look okay so I decided to stop at the second one. The owner of the motel was Indian but it turns out that he was Christian. He was the assistant pastor at the First Baptist Church. He have me a $5 discount on the room.

July 26, 2016 : Sylvania, GA to Statesboro, GA : 27.94 miles (44.70 km)
Trip Total: 4,238.91 miles (6,782.26 km)
Year Total: 4,994.17 miles (7,980.58 km)

The room wasn't as good as the night before. The paneling was coming down in shreds. I didn't trust the door knob and locking unit. There wasn't a security chain. To feel a little safer in the room, I propped a heavy door next to it. I was able to get some sleep.

I woke up a little after 6 AM. I left the motel a little after 7 AM. My first stop was the McDs for some breakfast. I then stopped at a Dollar General to get a few things.

The morning ride went okay. There were a few hills to cross over. I stopped a couple of times at gas stations to fill up my water bottles and to get something cold to drink. By noon, I had ridden 24 miles.

I got into the downtown Statesboro area around 12:30 PM. I stopped at a DQ for some lunch. The DQ was really packed. There didn't seem to be any other fast food places close by.

After lunch, I stopped at the First Baptist Church. I talked with the sr assistant pastor. He told me that there wasn't much he could do for me. He could get me food (either a grocery voucher or a restaraunt coupon) or a voucher for gasoline but that was basically it. He did suggest to go to the Baptist Association office that was close by to try and connect with a guy there who might have connections to another group. It was a couple of block ride to the association office. When I got to the office, I found it closed. There wasn't a listing off operating hours or phone numbers.

It was too hot to try and go on so I rode around the downtown area to check and see if there were any other churches. I stopped at the First United Methodist Church. There were several friendly ladies in the office. The pastor was out on vacation. There was an offer to get me a room at a motel a couple of blocks away . Coming into town, I had ridden passed the motel.

I've got at least seven more cycling days left to Columbus (236.6 miles). My goal for tomorrow is Swainsboro 37 miles away.

July 28, 2016 : Statesboro, GA to Swainsboro, GA : 43.74 miles (69.98 km)
Trip Total: 4,282.65 miles (6,852.24 km)
Year Total: 5,037.85 miles (8,060.56 km)

The room was terrible. The motel grounds was filthy. I asked for a non-smoking room but I got a smoking room. It was in really bad shape. The toilet constantly ran. Once it got dark, the roaches started to come out of the cracks. There were a lot of roaches in the bathroom. I didn't see any in the bedroom area but I thought I felt one try to crawl up an arm. I didn't get much sleep.

I left the motel a little after 7 AM. It was already in the 80s in the morning. The ride West was slow because there was a slight headwind. The winds really slowed me down. I got maybe 23 miles in by noon. I stopped in pretty every small town at a gas station to get something cold to drink and also to fill up my water bottles. I stopped alongside the road to get some lunch out of my food pannier.

The afternoon ride was a lot slower because of the hills and also the wind. It was almost 3:30 PM when I got into Swainsboro. I rode around the downtown area. I checked out the First Baptist and Methodist Churches but the offices were closed and no contact information. I stopped at the police station in hopes that somebody knew a local minister but I didn't get any information. I was told to maybe try the sheriff department. I talked with a deputy sheriff but he didn't know a local minister. The department didn't have any chaplain.

On the way out of town, I stopped at the hospital. I wanted to see if there was a chaplain. The hospital staff were friendly and they tried to contact one of the chaplains who had gone home but they weren't able to. I was able to fill up my water bottles.

A couple of blocks west of the hospital, I saw a sign at a building that said Music Ministry of Harvest Baptist Mission. THere was a truck there so I thought that I would stop. I talked with a guy but he wasn't that helpful. He told me that he was getting ready to leave. About a mile out of Swainsboro, I rode passed the complex of the Harvest Baptist Mission. It looked like some kind of conference center or summer camp. The grounds were pretty big. I saw a different vehicle so I thought that I would stop to see if I could even camp out someplace. There was an asian lady cleaning. She told me that she would contact somebody. I was pretty upset when the old guy showed up. The guy was all excuses on why I couldn't even camp out some place. The whole idea behind the mission was to work with the Third World Nations of SE Asia and that was all.

It was almost 6:40 PM when I gave up on Swainsboro. I had wasted almost three hours and didn't get anything. I rode down he highway towards Dublin a couple of miles and found a place in the woods to camp out.

July 29, 2016 : Swainsboro, GA to Dublin, GA to East Dublin, GA : 34.13 miles (54.61 km)
Trip Total: 4,316.78 miles (6,906.85 km)
Year Total: 5,078.91 miles (8,115.17 km)

The night in my tent was sweltering. I didn't get much rest. I slept lightly.

I got back on the road around 7:25 AM. I was really happy that a gas station was a couple of miles to the West where I could fill up my water bottles. The ride to Dublin went okay. The headwind wasn't as bad as yesterday. On one of breaks, I found something quite disturbing. There was a really large wear spot on the tread of the front tire. There didn't seem to be any holes but it was kind of scary. I tried to stop and hitchhike but traffic on the highway was pretty light.

I still had almost 24 miles to ride to Dublin. I carefully rode up the hills and watched my speed on the downhill coasts. I was really happy to get into East Dublin. On the Eastern edge of East Dublin, I stopped at a gas station to go to the restroom, fill up my water bottles, and to get something cold to drink. As I was trying to decide on what to buy, this young guy came up to me and slipped me a couple of dollars.

It was around 2:45 PM when I got into Dublin. I saw the temperature on a bank sign. The temperature was 99. I stopped to check out a couple of the churches. The offices of several of the churches had closed around noon. I found an older guy in the office of the First Baptist Church but he wasn't that helpful. He did suggest that I should go to the police station. At the police station, I talked with a lieutenant. He started the conversation a little strange. He told e that a buy on bicycle had stopped by a couple of months ago and he was supposedly doing something like me. I told him that the guy wasn't me and I was probably up North when the other guy had come through the area. I was hoping to maybe get a name and a phone number for a local minister but after checking my id out, the officer gave me a Salvation Army voucher for a room at a motel back in East Dublin.
I was thinking that I needed to go up to Macon to find a bike shop but after checking out the internet I found a bike shop closer to me in Warner Robins and it was on my way West. There is also a Warm Showers member close to Warner Robins. He is also a chaplain at the Warner Robins Air Force Base. I'm around 150 miles away from Columbus.

The next trip update should be posted sometime between August 05th and August 12th.




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