Burlington is a pretty big town. Nine miles after I began riding, I was just getting out of a suburb called Haw River. US 70 was anywhere from 4 to 7 lanes wide through that stretch. I found myself being happy it was a Sunday morning, because it looked like it gets really busy through there. US 70 did a fine job getting me 20 some miles and through Durham. I went right past Duke University, and, once again, I pretty much had a very busy area to myself. Just a note... I went through a little town called Efland, and I remembered the little towns of Pleasant Union and Climax that I went through yesterday. It may just be my dirty mind, but what were those guys thinking about when they named these towns!???
Anyhow, back to the ride....I took a little detour off of 70 onto business 70 through the town of Hillsboro. With a name like Hillsboro, I should have known I was gonna have a climb in there somewhere. I did. It was a nice little town with sidewalk cafés and a busy park. The climb I had out of there though, wasn't the only good climb I had. Today threw many more climbers at me than yesterday, even though my total ascent wasn't as much as yesterday. When I left Burlington this morning, I was over 600 ft above sea level. When I finished in Wilson, I was about 120 ft above sea level. So the descent is over. It was helpful today, along with a sometimes stiff tailwind, in helping me average 13.3 for the ride. My century was done in 7:31, which is OK for me, especially when I'm all loaded down with panniers. Also, I've noticed a huge difference in how I'm approached and passed by drivers in North Carolina. After such tentative drivers in Arkansas and Tennessee, these NC NASCAR drivers blew right by me like they've done it before, and I'm totally good with that. Except in the towns, strangely enough, US 70 was pretty busy, but not with semis and working trucks, but cars. I think that every time a Baptist Church let out, I had a parade go by me. With all the Baptist churches, there was one parade after another!!!!
Out of Durham, I picked up NC 98 for about 25 miles into Wake Forest. That's a busy stretch of highway, even on a Sunday, but there was never a problem, because there was a shoulder, and people drove like they had seen a biker before.
I took the business route through Wake Forest, got some food, and barely skirted the college, before heading back out of town, picking up some NC roads, 96, and a little of 97, before picking up US 264 in Zebulon. 264A was the old road, as US 264 is now a four lane, that looked really busy. My 264A started out rough, but it got really nice and smooth, passing through little towns like Bailey and Sims, before taking me across the I 95 corridor, and into Wilson. I noticed while I was on 264A that the creeks looked like tea water, and the elevation was 120-140 ft. Sure signs that I'm getting close to shore waters. The scenery was nondescript for a second day in a row, with a little more farm land as I got East. My favorite parts of today's trip were going through the town's. The relentlessly rolling country roads are all looking the same now. I checked into a motel next to a hospital in Wilson, and had the worst pizza I've ever had at a Pizza Hut. At least they had beer to wash it down.!!
|This Popeye and Olive Oil sculpture is obviously referring to a house divided between the NC Tarheels, NC State Wolfpack and Duke|
|Looked like a beautiful campus|
|A sign in the downtown area|