Downtown Charleston is beautiful! There are some amazing old buildings. Yesterday Doug and Alyshia showed us around the waterfront and we each enjoyed a tasty flight at the Southend Brewery. Then on home so Alyshia could make a delicious veggie casserole and we could wait for Jason, Ashley, Bailey and Perry. So awesome that Bailey and Perry were passing through town at the same time as us! We had a pretty much perfect little college reunion complete with too many photos and even some beer pong. Why can't all of our friends just live in the same plaaaaaaaace??????
Woke up far too early considering when I went to bed so we could beat the heat. Worth it.
Longest day yet today at 85 miles. We were making good time and feeling fine when suddenly the road google maps had us on turned to dirt. The dirt road became pretty much a mountain bike path and then we hit a gate, by this time there was no going back for us and over the gate we went. Now, on some private land belonging to a hunting club, we rode as quick as we could trying to make to the paved safety of 17. Of course when we got to the next gate, we had to wade through a muddy puddle to get to the other side... where there was more dirt road. We were glad that it rained yesterday, on our rest day, so we were not on our bikes. It also had a cooling effect on the humidity today, but unfortunately a mud effect on the ground in places. The dirt road lasted for MILES, it was totally secluded and we weren't sure if animals, hunters, technical difficulties or deep south horror movie locals were going to get us, but we were certainly not at ease. The Deliverance banjo riff was playing pretty much on repeat in my head the whole time. When according to google we were finally getting close to the end of the sketchy, sketchy route it had put us on, the road became so muddy that, as a bonus, we got to walk out bikes the last mile or so. Our poor, dirty, non-mountain bikes! We were so excited to be on paved roads again that we turned the wrong way, went three miles out of our way and got to backtrack! Like I said, 85 miles.
Not too much else happened apart from a (drunk?) creepy guy following us around when we stopped for a snack. Highlight: about Marie, "if she was alone, I would totally have her." No we do not want to come camp out on your property. Had my first ever boiled peanuts- delicious! I tried fried green tomatoes yesterday, it's true, anything is good if you bread and deep fry it.
Some of the people we had stayed with on warm showers had told us about Hannah and Ning, who were touring on our same route only a few days ahead of us. Our schedules finally synced up, and we are sharing a KOA campsite with them tonight and warm showers host tomorrow in Savanna. If you have never stayed at a KOA, they are swanky campgrounds. We had a refreshing dip in the pool, a hot shower and then even delivered a pizza to our site!
Linking up bike tours is my new favorite thing, even if only for a moment. It is great to get some new stories and mix up the pace. In true fashion with every bike tourer I have met so far, these two are rad. Looking forward to a lighter day tomorrow with some good company.
I'm only going to add a bit, as I was asleep when Robyn entered the tent. Though we had a rest day yesterday, and I slept till 8, I was exhausted by 2pm. But, I had an absolute blast seeing my momma, it was nice to roam around a new city with her. I also had a good time meeting Robyn's friends from Bard, who were all really nice and a lot of fun (then I fell asleep waaaay early at 11pm).
Things I learned today: go with my gut (I cannot tell you how many times I've had to relearn this), if something does not seems like a great idea - it's probably not. Just when I start to think, 'okay, that was out of my comfort zone' and assume nothing else thrown at me will be odd or throw me off, I corrected - someone else will happen.
Other random thoughts:
Not using the fly on our tent? Brilliant.
Little frogs? Cute!
Exoskeletons from cicadas? Not cute.
Cicadas are SO LOUD.
Being a vegetarian on convenient store diet? Hard, bad idea. Stop in a grocery when you have he opportunity (don't be hasty Marie!).