Day 15 / Monck’s Corner SC to Georgetown SC

More meandering rivers

More meandering rivers

A long entry road to an old plantation

A long entry road to an old plantation

Peering through the gates at what looks like the road to Tara

Peering through the gates at what looks like the road to Tara

Another good day for riding. Spent most of the day on country roads. Still lots of lumber trucks, but we should see the end of these once we get to North Carolina. We passed a number of old plantations as we got closer to Georgetown. Evidently, pre-Civil War, this area was a major exporter of rice to the rest of the U.S. and to Europe. With the end of slavery, rice production became too expensive with paid labor.

Georgetown, a port city, is one of South Carolina’s oldest cities. There’s a nice historic district by the water. We made it into town in time to have a tasty lunch at one of the many restaurants on its Front Street.

There is a storm coming up the Atlantic that will put us in rain and high headwinds winds for the next few days. Onward and upward.

One of the rural "clubs" we passed today.

One of the rural “clubs” we passed today.

Day 14 / Point South, SC to Moncks Corner, SC


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More country roads and horse farms and rumble strips.

More country roads and horse farms and rumble strips.

Galilee Baptist Church and churchyard.

Galilee Baptist Church and churchyard.

Another beautiful day for biking, with some annoying headwinds and bumpy country roads. After two days off,  I felt pretty strong for the 40 miles I rode. This part of South Carolina seems to have lots of commercial forestry. The roads today carried lots of short haul trucks loaded with pine trees, primarily used for pulp and paper. On the whole, the drivers are pretty considerate.

We continue to pass old, abandoned farmhouses, barns and other outbuildings. Saw more horse farms than on other days. The corn is a lot shorter than what we saw in Georgia just a few days ago. (So much for the  agricultural report.)

Rumble strips continue to be a challenge in South Carolina, as they were in Georgia. They rattle your bones and other parts when you can’t avoid riding over them. In Georgia they would show up in the road unannounced, take you by surprise and really challenge you to stay upright. When present on the side of the road, they make riding on the shoulder a real challenge.  I’ll be glad to see the end of them.

We continue to pass a multitude of small country churches, primarily Baptist, some missionary and some primitive. Some members of our cohort stopped on Sunday in front of a particularly lovely church and were invited in for the service and were introduce to the entire congregation. Lots of friendly people down here.

I didn’t get to see much of Monck’s Corner, but did read that Clare Booth Luce and her husband are buried on the grounds of the local Trappist Monastary.

 

 

Day 13 / Rest Day in Point South, SC

Once a week we have a rest day and today’s is truly restful. We are staying at a motel not far from an exit off Route 95. There is nothing here but some food franchises  and a Sabatiere (sp?) outlet. Emilie will receive a new knife in the mail shortly. Sometimes the route and the daily distances drive hotel location decisions. I think today’s venue is one of those days. Yesterday was a 71 mile day and tomorrow will be 81 miles. A day off between the two makes sense.

So we get to sleep in, clean and lube our bikes, do laundry and catch up on mail, etc. An afternoon nap is a strong possibility.

No pictures today.

Day Twelve / Statesboro, GA to Point South, South Carolina

.                              ODE TO SADDLE SORES

O Saddle Sores, O Saddle Sores why do you vex me so?

I shift my weight to compensate

But only more do grow

There’s only so much real estate on saddles made of leather.

The current center of my universe!

The current center of my universe!

You twist and turn and shift and yearn

For something that feels better.

With udder butter and assos creme I lathered up my bottom.

I shimmied into padded shorts and hoped that I had got ’em.

But five miles in, as on I spin, the sores begin to fester

O Saddle Sores, O Saddle Sores, why do you sorely pester?

So in the van I sat today and watched the bikes go by

And hoped a day of cushioned seats would heal you on the fly.

Tomorrow I will rest again and then continue biking.

I hope this respite cures these ills

O why did I stop triking!

 

 

 

Day Eleven / Glennville GA to Statesboro GA

The route, the weather, the scenery were perfect today. We started under clear, sunny skies, temps in the mid fifties which rose gradually to the low eighties by early afternoon. We rode almost exclusively on country roads, with gentle, rolling hills, past farms and dairies. Tomorrow we leave Georgia and head into South Carolinaimage

Thia is my biking group.

Thia is my biking group.

Onions in the fields being harvested

Onions in the fields being harvested

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Day Ten / Blackshear GA to Glennville GA

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More country roads

More country roads

Lots of dairy cows

Lots of dairy cows

It was a beautiful day for riding, with clear blue skies, not too hot and not too cold. Headwinds at about 10-12 mph and some roads with chipseal paving were the challenges of the day. We rode through rural areas all day, past dairy farms, sweet onion farms ( as in Vadalia onions) and red pine tree logging areas. Only friendly dogs today. I did approximately three quarters of the mileage today, almost 40 miles and felt good about the day in general. I sprained my right wrist just a week before the ride began, so bumpy, chipseal roads are problematic. I ride with a wrist brace and this gets me through.

Not too many pictures taken today. Not much change in the scenery.

 

Day Nine / Folkston, GA to Blackshear, GA

We had a good Margherita party at dinner last night. One of our cohort taught a short class in salsa dancing. Picture 30+ women sitting in plastic lawn chairs in a motel parking lot trying to dance. Quite a scene.

We left this morning under sunny skies, and temps in the mid-fifties. A very nice day for biking. For most of the day, the ride took us through rural Georgia countryside, with farms and logging. Already, the corn is two to three feet high. Now that we are in the country, dogs become an issue, and are more worrisome for me than urban traffic. One of my riding buddies has a pretty good dog command voice, so I’m counting on her to keep me bite-free.

For those of you who don’t do bike trips, I’ve included a picture of a cue sheet. This is a turn by turn set of directions, based on mileage ridden. After dinner each night we are given the cue sheet for the following day, and our guide reviews the route with us, pointing out potential hazards and points of interest. We insert the sheets into plastic, waterproof cover.

After a poor night sleep, I only completed half of today’s mileage. I got to the hotel early and was able to stroll through Blackshear, a small town, but the county seat. We had lunch in a sweet local restaurant, where everyone who came in seemed to know everyone else. It reminded me of PTown in the winter.

We are now riding some long rolling hills. It’s a little more challenging than the flat coastal roads of the past week. I’m still slow going up, but I am making it to the top. Onward and upward.

Salsa lessons

Salsa lessons

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Wildflowers line the roads

Wildflowers line the roads

Cue Sheet

Cue Sheet

 

 

Day Eight / Fernandina Fl. To Folkston, Georgia

We got off to stormy start. As we made our way up the bridge to cross the Amelia River to leave Amelia Island, torrential rains began to fall and we were pretty much drenched by the time we got off the bridge. The rain abated within 15-20 minutes, but we rode under threatening skies for the next few hours. My goretex shoes filled with water and I rode for the day with wet feet, prune-like by the time we arrived at our motel.

We headed inland today, leaving behind yesterday’s terrible headwinds. Our route was mostly rural roads, with tall pines and farmland. Temps in the 60’s made the ride enjoyable. We crossed into Georgia at mile 51 and were at the motel by mile 55. Woman Tours has a tradition of serving Margheritas each time you cross a state line. This is a drink I feel I have earned.

Here I am in my full rain regalia.

Here I am in my full rain regalia.

Lovely rural roads, inland Northern Florida

Lovely rural roads, inland Northern Florida

Passing into Georgia

Passing into Georgia

 

Day Seven / St. Augustine to Ferdinada, Florida

We left early, under threatening skies and temperatures in the low sixties. After recording breaking high temps for the past week, this was a welcomed relief. We missed the rain, apparently moving North fast enough to out run the downpours. The downside for the day were the strong headwinds ( 16-18 mph), particularly as we road along the Atlantic. Amelia Island reminds me of the Cape.

Despite threatening storms, we stayed ahead of the rain as we move up the coast.

Despite threatening storms, we stayed ahead of the rain as we move up the coast.

We ferried over the St Johns River, a pleasant mid-day break.

We ferried over the St Johns River, a pleasant mid-day break.

A lovely birding opportunity as we headed over the bridge to Amelia Island.

A lovely birding opportunity as we headed over the bridge to Amelia Island.

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Day Six / Rest Day in St Augustine, Florida

A lovely rest day in St Augustine. Temps were in the seventies, good for walking around the old section of the city. Had a pleasant lunch in the deep end of what was once the largest swimming pool in the U.S. and a fun dinner at Columbia, a Spansh restaurant. A good rest day, which should set me up for a good second week.

Strolling through the historic section of the city

Strolling through the historic section of the city

Courtyard of the Lightner Museum, a collection of "Gilded Age" furniture,

Courtyard of the Lightner Museum, a collection of “Gilded Age” furniture,

Some of the gilded age memorabilia in the Lightner Museum

Some of the gilded age memorabilia in the Lightner Museum

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What was once the largest indoor pool in America

What was once the largest indoor pool in America

The pool is now a restaurant, where we ate lunch in the deep end.

The pool is now a restaurant, where we ate lunch in the deep end.

Dinner with friends at the Spanish restaurant, Columbia.

Dinner with friends at the Spanish restaurant, Columbia.