Day 9

September 12th, 2010

It rained last night, and quite a bit too, which made it even nicer that we ended up in a house!  If you’re going to spend one of seven nights under a roof, the night it rains is the one you want!

After a late, sleeping-in-a-bed start, we got hammered by some high humidity and gray (but rain-free) skies.  In Beaufort, we saw a McDonald’s AND a Burger King, right across the street from each other.  After a day’s exile, we had returned to civilization!  We found out later on that that sort of civilization is pretty new to Beaufort, a town founded in 1722 and made up of many families that have been living “down east” for hundreds of years, nearly maintaining their own version of English.  And they like to bury dead family members in the front yard, right along the road.

We got this local color from a couple we met at a swanky brunch (prime-rib, Eggs Benedict, shrimp-and-cheese grits, etc.) in Morehead City.  We also met the cheeky old cougar of a hostess, who in ten seconds of conversation managed to both mention our buns of steel, and ask about us riding with our shirts off (and suggest that she might like to do the same).  She also sent us on our way with a box of pastries, so that was cool.

We’d had a sort of crazy dream about kayaking to an island to camp this night, but given our shortage of time left in the day, accumulated stresses, questionable weather, and work ahead, we decided to bag that idea when we got to Swansboro.  Instead we chilled out drinking milkshakes and smoothies in a coffee shop (and getting spit on by evil 2-year-olds), and then backtracked a few miles to a nice campground in the Croatan National Forest, which is by far the least-remote National Forest campground I’ve ever been in (a major shopping center is half a mile away).

Earlier we’d had the luck to find a bike shop open on Sunday, so I got a new derailer cable, after I got the nice-but-bike-ignorant guy minding the store to let me rummage through their supplies to find what I needed.  “Have a good ride, even if y’all are a coupla Yankees!” (ok, he was a former Yankee too.)  In camp, I almost felt bad replacing our hack-job, since it had worked perfectly all day.  But I figured better to do it now than when it fails in the middle of a 90 mile day.  We had a taco dinner, with a seashell centerpiece and candlelight left by our site’s previous residents. 

And now that’s the end of the lazy short days, from here on in we blaze to Savannah!

2 Responses to “Day 9”

  1. Steve M. Says:

    My-oh-my, cougar attacks and possesed children! This is starting to get interesting.

  2. Louise Gregie Says:

    Wow, you’ve done a lot of camping so far on this trip. I remember your ambitious “plan” to kayak one night to an island camp site. Glad you let us know that one has been abandoned. LOL at Steve’s comment & your story telling.