Tonight our internet connection is very slow, so I will wait another night to post pictures, of downtown New Bern, and of today’s ride.
After 100 miles yesterday, my body was not eager to ride 70+ miles today. And the tailwind of yesterday was now a headwind, coming from the northeast as we headed north. My average speed for the day was 12.5 mph, compared to 13.4 for 97 miles yesterday – truly indicative of how my body was feeling.
We started the morning with a 3-mile bridge to cross the Neuss River – luckily more of the traffic was headed into New Bern than away from town. Beginning around mile 6, we enjoyed almost 10 miles of new pavement – so wonderfully smooth. Along this route, Gail and I stopped to watch a small logging operation. We have seen logging trucks all through South Carolina and now into North Carolina, but not seen the process of stripping the logs, cutting them to size, and loading a truck. (Photos to follow.)
Along SR 306 near Aurora, we passed several miles of mining and processing for Potash Corporation, the largest such operation in the world. (Photos to follow.) Our destination was the Aurora ferry, to cross the Pamlico River. We had been instructed to be sure to arrive for the 11:15 am ferry, which actually was the 11:45 am ferry, so we enjoyed some leisure time in the grassy area at the ferry dock, joined by 30 first graders, teachers, and chaperons on a field trip – such exuberance and noise!
The ferry ride seemed to tire me out (30 minutes, about 4 miles) and I was sluggish as we headed further north, still with the wind at our face (less than 10 mph, but felt stronger as I was tireder). As recommended, I wandered into Bath, the oldest town in North Carolina. Still 30 miles to go and I needed to just keep pedaling. Some of the pavement was quite rough, which added to the misery. At 2 miles before our hotel, I stopped for ice cream – with renewed energy, I dawdled a bit in “downtown” Plymouth, which has some interesting Civil War history as the site of the sinking of the Abermarle, a Confederate ironside ship.
The cue sheet mileage was listed as 73.1, I had 81.58, including the 4-mile ferry ride.
Hopefully I can load photos tomorrow, with a shorter (58 miles) day to Elizabeth City, our last stop in North Carolina.