DAY 50

May 3, 1999

My watch alarm went off at 6 am.  Then at 6:01 am I could hear another watch alarm that was just like mine through the thin motel walls.  At about 7:30 am Pat, from the local newspaper called.  We set a time of 8:30 am for me to meet her at the newspaper office.  I don't remember what all I said, I just rambled on and went off on my usual tangents.

Leaving town at 9:45 am, I took 83 north to 97 north.  With virtually no traffic, I was mostly all alone on a landscape of sand hills.  It reminded me of when I was in the desert a year ago.  There were endless rolling hills of sand, mostly covered with grasses, for as far as I could see.  Reaching Tryon, I stopped at Aunt Bea's Cafe'.   Hey I thought Aunt Bea was in Mayberry, NC?  Must've moved huh :)    Inside I ordered a salad and 2 dinner rolls since the rest of the menu was filled with red meat and fried food.  The town of Tryon itself is the county seat with a population of 100 and a county population of 500.  Wow, talk about being in the middle of nowhere!

Continuing north on 97, the hills got tougher, but still had this incredible tailwind.   They talk about how strong the wind gets out here, I was glad to have it pushing me.  It was now gusting to 35 mph, which helped me on the uphills.  The steepest grade was at the Dismal river.  Going downhill I reached 47 mph, WOW what a rush!!   The town of Mullen is at the intersection of 97 and 2.  It was there I stopped at Big Red's Cafe'.  Yes, they even have grilled chicken sandwiches!  That is rare in small places that normally deep fry everything. 

After eating, I headed west on 2 with strong crosswinds which were now slowing me down considerably.  Trains would go by on the track that runs parallel to the road, about every 20  minutes.   The guys up front, are they called train conductors?  Anyway, those guys would always wave at me as they passed.  Most of the trains were very long with 75 to 115 cars.  And yes I counted them :)  And 115 was the most I counted on a train.  One song I listened to, and found had a nice beat to pedal to was "The Difference" by The Wallflowers.

At times I would get into a small area of road where the wind was blocked by the hills.   It was at these places I would ride down the middle of the road and practice riding with both arms held straight out to my sides.  Riding with no hands is very difficult with the weight in my handlebar bag and the weight of the trailer on the rear.  I was fortunate to have the whole road to myself most of the time, still no traffic out here except for the trains.  But I couldn't help but wonder... if I fell, and with no one around to hear,.... would I make a sound?  :)

Reaching Hyannis at 7:45pm, or well 6:45 pm since I just crossed into mountain time today, I was stopped by a lady.  She asked me if I was going to need a place to stay.   Her name was Sharon and she owns a trailer that is normally rented.  Lucky for me it was empty and she let me stay there for the night.  The town did have an old, sort of run down looking motel and a small hotel.  The hotel looked like a nice and it houses the towns only cafe'.  Sharon had told me that if I run out of water out on the isolated roads, I could get water from the small windmills near the road.   They pump water out of the ground and it is clean water that's been filtered in the sand hills.  The trailer was probably about a 1970 model but it was very clean and well kept.  I took a hot shower and then opted to sleep on the sofa.  During the night the wind got very strong and then heavy rain came which sent me off to dreamland.   Thus ending a very nice, sunny and warm day.


wind - blowing to the north
temp - hi 75 degrees


Today - 115.92 miles
Total -  2653 miles
Avg. Speed - 13.0mph
Max. Speed - 47.0mph

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