Day 2 — 68.9 miles from Smithfield to Fayetteville, plus a long car ride

This was our longest day. It’s also the day we found out that the ride will end early because of Hurricane Matthew.

This is about all I saw of Myrtle Beach.
This is about all I will see of Myrtle Beach on this trip.

Today was our longest day on the East Coast Greenway. But today was more than the bike. The forecast for Hurricane Matthew is turning grimmer, and we’ve been told that the ride will end after 3 1/2 days. So we’ll be back in Raleigh on Thursday night instead of Saturday night.

That’s fine for all of us who’ve come from the north. But Chris, who I met on the Maine ride, had left a car at our end point in Myrtle Beach. So he needed to get that car out — today. So he rented a car after we spent seven hours on the bike with no proper lunch break, and we drove two hours to Myrtle Beach, moved it to Elizabethtown, where we will be tomorrow night, and then got back to Fayetteville.

Today’s route was heavily on roads, but we still had a taste of trails. We started with a repeat of Monday’s trail in Smithfield, then enjoyed the Cape Fear River Trail before the unpleasant ride through Fayetteville. We did miscalculate at one point, getting off the trail at the rocky parking lot instead of continuing on to the nature center and beyond. We thought we would have to climb a hill to get back on track — or backtrack. Neither was that appealing. The maps on our phones gave conflicting information about the neighborhood streets — did they dead end, or could we find a path to the other side?

ecg-escapeFortunately, we found a way to squeeze through. Note the barbed wire protecting the no-cursing neighborhood we escaped! (Oops, I almost cursed going through it.)

Here are some of the day’s other sights:

ecg-corn-signThe lower price is what farmers will be paid. The higher price is for dried kernels of corn (no longer on the cob) that can be fed to pigs and other animals. Even deer, if you’re crazy enough to do that.

ecg-cotton-fieldLesson learned about venturing into the fields: beware of fire ants. My ankles are still swollen. How did the slaves tolerate it? And yes, the cotton does feel as soft as a cotton ball.

Author: alliumstozinnias

A gardener (along with the Brit) who has discovered there is more than hybrid tomatoes. And a cyclist.

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