I don’t know what day it is.

April 6, 2010

  Right now I am here:

Supple but indestructable.

Eastern NC, bless your poor little heart, but goodbye. We left Pembroke and started hitting our first small hills, got our first flat tire, one for each of us. The rain has given up, and we spent two nights looking up at the stars.

Highway 74 took us through a few small cities, and then bigger ones, Hamlet, Rockingham, and eventually to Lylesville at the end of a tense troublesome day. We stopped for dinner at a kitschy road-side diner, dirty as ever. I was spattered, on various parts of my body, with thick black grease that had coated my hands from changing my tire earlier. It took the kindness and patience George, a retired man living right near the Pee Dee river on 74, to pump up my tire after I piddled about getting the new tube in. But at the restaurant we were treated with honor, which gave us some much needed dignity. Everyone in the restaurant joined in inquiringly: “where are you going?”‘how long?””why?” as well as the “I wish I could do that”s and the “I couldn’t even ride to the next city”s. One man, having dinner with his family, paid for both of our meals and left before we could even thank him. Another man, Mike, invited us to camp by the lake right where we were. He owned the diner, and from what we came to gather, was quite a big shot in the area. We slept well, and woke up to a huge breakfast in the morning, where one of Mike’s friends picked up our tab again without us knowing until he’d left.

There is a certain quality to this trip that takes a mass appeal, everyone seems interested and impressed. From VFW’s to lonely mechanics to tired wives. In return it has given me a view of the quiet dignity that many amazing people live out in small corners of the state.

The ride to Charlotte was long and hot. 74 was bustling and dangerous. While riding through Rockingham, we saw a familiar truck, it was Mike. He had stopped and waited for us. He sent us up on a back country road, said that 74 would only get worse. We followed his way northwest, and eventually back southwest, until taking the quiet country highway straight into Charlotte where our friends Daris and Maggie picked us up.

Charlotte was a nice rest, a lot of food and a lot of love. I took a foray into strip-mall yoga, complete with Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” a little too loud.

It was nice to talk with an old friend.

On leaving Charlotte, Tess and I discovered we had a few existential differences. She has since left for Raleigh, so, for as long as I can go on, I will be going solo.

Right now I am sitting in the lodge at the Table Rock state park in western SC, and will soon be in Georgia, where the real mountains start. My wheel needs to be trued.

This morning I had the worst pancakes of my life.

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2 Responses to “I don’t know what day it is.”

  1. Al Comanchero said

    You won’t be alone for long, I’d be willing to bet. If you don’t want to be, hit a college town along the way. If you want to be, you’re set. Keep on bikin’!

  2. tom emory said

    Found your blog. Hope your ride to huntsville went well. We will enjoy following your trip. Tom

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