Thursday, May 29, 2014

Coast to Coast: Day 22: Beaufort, SC - Wytheville, VA. Thursday, May 29, 2014

     I was up and ready to go at about 3:00 in the morning. I figured that since I had travelled six hundred miles from Los Angeles to Holbrook that I could handle six hundred and fifty miles from Beaufort to New Albany.

     I left the hotel at about 4:00 when it was still dark. I made my way out of Beaufort and into Columbia just as the sun started to peek over the horizon. I wanted to stop for food so I took an exit ramp that took me into the city. The blue signs on the ramp were misleading, because I didn’t see any of the fast food restaurants displayed on the sign and wasted half an hour looking for them. Instead, I stopped at a BP and got gas and food. As I was paying, a man outside was taking pictures of my bike. We had a short conversation, and I got straight back on the highway.

     It was quite hot that day, so I didn’t wear any layers. The ride from Columbia to and through North Carolina was very enjoyable. The sun was out, and I was excited by the fact that I would be coming home that day.

     I had just crossed into Virginia when I decided to take a break at a nearby a rest stop. As I got off my bike and took a seat at one of the sheltered tables, I noticed to my disappointment that the flora was still very southern. The kinds of trees I saw were similar to those in eastern Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Alabama. I was less than 400 miles away from home, but I felt like I was much farther because the landscape was still very different from Ohio.

     As I approached the Appalachian Mountains, it started to become cloudy. The weather couldn't make up its mind about whether to rain or not. It would start sprinkling, then stop, and then start again. Finally, it really started raining so I pulled off the highway and put on my leather jacket. As soon as I got back on the highway it stopped raining again.

     I made it to Wytheville before my I hit a brick wall. I didn't sleep too long the previous night, and it was finally coming back to haunt me. I knew I wouldn't be able to make the last 300 miles to Ohio, so I checked into at a nearby Hampton Inn. Then it started pouring.

     The concierge, like in Kansas City, told me I could move my bike under the canopy in front of the hotel. I went outside and moved it to the sidewalk. It was raining so hard that the two minutes I spent moving my bike, I had been drenched from head to toe.

     I took a shower and changed clothes because I was at my limit with being cold and wet on my trip. It was only 4:00, so I still had plenty of time to prepare for my last day on the road. I spent a couple hours updating my journal, and then I took a short nap. I woke up hungry, so I went to McDonald's for dinner. Luckily, it had stopped raining by the time I left the hotel.

     The McDonald's in Wytheville was memorable for one reason only: it had one of those casino gaming consoles at every table, but they were set to free play. While I was eating, I played a ported version of SameGame. I was pretty McHappy.

The latest in fast food entertainment 

     I was tired when I got back to the hotel, but for some reason I just couldn’t sleep. My mind was still running on pure adrenaline. I spent a good twenty minutes staring at my computer screen. I wasn’t writing or doing anything productive. I was just staring at my desktop while my mind wandered into la la land, like I was in a semi-conscious state without actually sleeping. I attempted to break out of that state by listening to music. I don’t even remember how long I was listening to tunes. It was like I had lost the ability to perceive time.

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