1st June 2016 White Lake, NC to Hubert NC 145.7 kms - 90.6 miles Up = 274m - Down = 288m
1st June 2016 - White Lake, North Carolina to Hubert, North Carolina.
OK – the first day of a new month - and after today - one day to go!! Camp Clearwater on White Lake had been a lovely stop – but we had arrived after the office had closed, and ended up departing before the office opened. It had great facilities and was in an excellent position on the lake. The RV and tent part tho this was very small compared to the rest as there was a huge area of permanents. Again, I was amused by how many “golf carts” are used around these places. No one seems to walk anywhere!! They whiz past to the camp store, the laundry, the toilets, even some have dogs on them so I suppose this is the American way of taking a dog for a walk?
Anyway – we headed off on our 145 km, virtually flat ride for the day. It was a nice quiet road and part of one of the US bicycle routes. Flat is OK, head-wind is not so good, but fortunately it wasn’t too strong. I recall many “flat” days when I rode across Australia – you do actually have to pedal all the way – while no exertion needed to get up hills – there are never any real downhills to roll down and rest on! Again - where there were trees along the roadside we got good shelter - wide open fields and we had to work harder.
We made good time – a toilet stop at Atkinson, and then made the choice not to stop at Bargaw thinking there would be eateries where we crossed the I40 – there weren’t! So we pressed on a further 12 mile to Maple Hill – which looked like a reasonable size town to be mentioned on my map, but was in fact just one service station and a medical centre. We were able to get some food from the service station and then set up our chairs from the van and sat outside to drink our coffee and eat our food.
The guys from the servo found this amusing and chatted about what we were doing. They came out and posed with us for photo's and we were to go on their facebook page. Great guys - again - super to chat to the locals!!
We had a few rain-showers through the morning, but none of us put our coats on as it was quite humid. We seemed to dry out between the showers anyway. When we reached the “24” just out of Jacksonville there was a sign prohibiting cyclists on the 24. While working out an alternate route I was thinking it strange that Pat hadn't caught up to us. I rang Pat to tell her – only to discover that she had made a wrong turn and was lost!!
My advice to her was just to ask her way to Hubert while we attempted to make our way. Everything ended up well despite Pat ending up in Camp Lejeune, one of USA’s largest military establishments at one stage. Fortunately the gatehouse staff gave her good directions to get her to the turnoff for our camp that night!
Meanwhile we made great use of a lane that was “coned” off for roadworks to get through a busy section of Jacksonville, and before too long were following signs to get back on the “24” where there were no signs preventing cyclists from going. There were very black clouds overhead and I was wondering whether we should seek shelter or press on. We pressed on and didn’t get actually rained on – but the road was very wet and we got heaps of spray from the passing traffic.
We met up with Pat – who had spoken with some other cyclists en route from Key West, Florida to Quebec. They were carrying all their own gear and one had broken a spoke. Good on them – but thank goodness we have a support vehicle for our gear!! We booked into the Hawkins Creek Campground – just as a huge thunder and lightning storm started with heavy rain. We have been here for 2 hours and while it is very humid the rain still falls. Apparently they have had heaps of rain a day – and the ground is soaked with a lot of surface water around …………………….. good for camping??????? Not really!!!!!
But luckily for Don and Annie – they have been allowed to put their tent up in a covered area. We have power, lots of tables so we are dry and have just enjoyed a cup of coffee, bikkies and cheese and nibbles
A really strange feeling – tomorrow we will actually reach our destination – and will have ridden from Newport Beach, California to Newport, North Carolina. As we started off dipping the back wheel of our bikes in the Pacific Ocean – after stopping at Newport – we will carry on a few more kms to Atlantic Beach to complete the Pacific to Atlantic crossing.