Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015

Monday, May 9, 2016

May 9, 2016....Wilson, NC to Edenton, NC

90.7 miles in 6:49...13.3 mph with no downhills and no tailwind! I'll take it. I must be getting in shape! (2632.33 miles for the trip in 33 days, for an average of 79.767 miles per day....ascent...( not much) 686 ft....68,144 ft for the trip.
I gave Google girl a shot at the route today, because she promised me a trip that was 12 miles shorter than Map Quest girl. The question is, why? I'm beginning to trust Map Quest girl alot more now, but she sucks so much energy out of my phone. When I use her, I keep my power pack very close by. She is more efficient, doesn't insult me by giving me every little twist like I'm a moron, and will take me through towns where you can find food and water. But, anyhow, I went with Google girl. She pulled her normal crap, and had me out in farm country for 40 miles or so. Between Wilson and a town called Bethel, there was all farm land. There was corn and lots of other stuff growing that was too small to identify. I did see some solar power projects, lots of family cemeteries, and lots of clothes hanging in the line. ( Monday is wash day). I talked to some horses, saw some longhorn cattle, saw some quail, and a ton, of squirrels, but the miles were crawling by. Mentally more than actual speed.
When I rolled into the Bethel town limits, I actually thought I saw my first store. I hadn't seen a gas station or anything for forty miles. Then Google girl said " turn right onto Cemetery Road, " and I said "ain't gonna happen", and I shut her down. Some GPS girls take so much more energy, but they are just worth it. After refilling my water bottles and grabbing a ice cream bar, I asked Map Quest girl her opinion. She put me on US64A, but instead of going on her long route, I took Google girl's shortcut on US 17.
Once I got on 64A, it was the old 64 not the four lane, which is the 'highway' through this area.
But, it took me through towns: Parmalee, then Robersonville, then Everetts, then Williamston. Small but interesting towns, and the miles began to melt on by.
When I got into Williamston, I picked up US17 and headed north. At this point, I did pick up a little tailwind, and some good slipstream from the traffic, and made real good time.
Traffic was sort of heavy, and there was no shoulder, and that's why Map Quest girl didn't want me to go that way. Google girl will keep me on ' dirt' roads, then throw me on that. She is out of control. Well, the excitement for the day happened on that busy stretch. It's the only road that goes through what they call the Roanoke River Wetlands. That means 'swamp.' There were turtles and snakes smashed all over the road. I almost hit a fish that a bird must have dropped. I saw one live black snake that didn't pay me much mind, but there was this other snake....
I was riding the white line because there was no shoulder, with two side by side trucks coming up on me fast, when I saw a snake right on the White line. His head popped up, his mouth opened wide, and I had to decide in a millisecond whether to go out in front of traffic,  or take the snake. He was about three-four feet long, stretched out, not coiled, and his mouth looked orange on the inside. I lifted the pedal closest to him high, because I didn't have time to unclip, and just missed him. Traffic was blowing by me, and by the time I looked back, he was coiled in a small coil. I don't know if he struck at me or not, but if he did, he missed me and may have gotten a mouth full of spoke from my back wheel. The road was bumpy anyhow, so I didn't feel whether I hit him, or he hit me. ..but the traffic missed me. That was priority number one. I wanted to go back, but it was busy and there was no shoulder at all, so who knows if he was wounded, pissed, dead, or just on guard. I had to look away at that one split second and check to see if I was gonna get hit by a truck. Hmmm. Snake or truck. You decide. In .5 seconds. At 16-18 mph on a bike.
After that, every ratchet strap, broken fan belt, tire scrap, and stick looked like a snake!
After 12 miles of US17 under those conditions, I came to the town of Windsor, and got off onto business 17. It got me away from traffic, and by the time I got back on the main 17, there was a nice shoulder, across the two miles Chowan River bridge and into Edenton. I stayed at the same motel where Pam and I and some neighbors evacuated after our failed attempt to ride out Hurricane Arthur over the fourth if July a few years back. I had chicken dinner at the Original Chicken House, then a DQ banana split for desert, before my final day, tomorrow, to finish up my trip.

The family graveyards all throughout North Carolina are what makes it unique to any other state.  This one looks like it ought to be in New Orleans, with the graves above ground.

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