Poking my head out of the tent this morning the sky was looking like rain. After a quick breakfast and breaking down camp, I hit the road about 8:00.
The last 10 miles yesterday gave me the first taste of hills. Today’s section of the route provided more of the same, gradually getting bigger and longer as the day went on. Thinking rain might be part of my day I stopped at subway about 10 miles in to charge some things and write yesterday blog post and just kinda take it easy.
As soon as I walked in the door I was greeted by a small group of local men that likely gather daily to share stories and drink coffee. One of the gentlemen asked if I was part of that race across America? Told him I was, but technically I was not “officially” racing, was touring the route. Also included I was brining up the rear of the group. He was telling me about an Italian couple that came by the other day on a tandem bike and appeared lost doing the race.
After my nice conversation with the group I set to updating the blog which quickly became a daunting task. I couldn’t get the Bluetooth key board to connect to my iPad. Not sure what was up but I threw in the towel on making that work and used my phone to write Day 3 of the blog. Not exactly efficient, but got it done.
A couple of hours later I hit the road and not after the gentleman that asked me if I was part of the race, made a revisit to Subway for lunch commenting on ‘still being there’. As I mentioned the grades of hills became steeper and longer. The morning clouds gave way to partly sunny skies and rain never appeared. Temp was low 80’s
Thinking about where to stay for the night and might I be able to make my destination include a place to get a good dinner, I used maps to look ahead of the route. Was going to try for Candor, NC for the night.
Made it Candor about 6:00. When I arrived in town I used Google maps to see what Candor offered for dining. Not much existed but opted for Kristi’s Pizza, which included Japanese food and Subs. Can’t go wrong with that combination.
As I parked my bike a couple was coming out the door. He said to me, “I told her you were definitely traveling somewhere. They asked me all the typical questions. Where did you start? Where you going? Steve and Melody were so gracious and interested in my trip so, I gave them a wristband and invited them to follow this blog. Before we parted ways I asked if they knew of a place I could put up my tent for the night. Could tell they were very unsure and never had to answer the question of where to camp in their town. Told them staying at church’s have been serving me well. Right away they pointed to their church which was just a block away and said I should be able to stay there. They would also let the Pastor know.
In the restaurant, my first order of business was sitting near some outlets to get things charged up. Then ordered the special of the day… Steak sub. Which by the way was very good, and not because I hungry. It was a truly good sub. Sorry Subway.
With my sandwich done and just waiting out some charging, through the front window I see Steve standing outside next to my bike with a plastic grocery bag. He holds up the bag, and points to me. Reading his lips to say “for you”. I went outside and he told me they brought me some snacks, water, and Gatorade. Then he hands me a $20 bill. I was very touched by their kindness and generosity. I did refrain from giving the man a hug.
Made my way to the church and surveyed the situation, looking for the best, least conspicuous location. The best spot seemed to be on the side of the church. I lean my bike against the wall and soon I see the neighbor lady heading my way. I start heading toward her. When I got within earshot I started telling her who I was and what I was doing, bike ride, setting up a tent, place to stay… Yada, yada.
To put credence to my presence I told her about running into Steve and Melody and their invite to put up my tent at the church. Once I dropped those names here guard greatly lessened and she introduced herself. Another woman who’d had been taking care of the yard joined our conversation and we talked for some time. Before bidding those kind women a good evening they invited me to set up tent in their yard, use the faucet to wash up, asking if I need towels, soap etc. I told them with all the kindness I’ve meet in this town you ladies are going to make it hard for me to leave in the morning. The other woman said, “it is a good town, especially this street.” “That street over there however, we’re not sure about.”
Tonights stop has turned out to be a total blessing. It’s not about riding bike but the people you meet along the way.