We have finally found a library with wireless Internet and can update the blog with pictures. There is much to tell. Since our last entry we continued south towards the coastal region of the state. North Carolina has vast forested regions down the coasts and we were able to find camping in great spots all the way into South Carolina. One of the best happened to be next to a huge man made lake which acted as a cooling pond for water that was used to operate a coal generating electricity plant in Conway South Carolina. The pond was surrounded by swamp and forest with a long public walking/ jogging road which circled it. We snuck off into the woods and pitched our tent right next to a river bank then walked around to explore the area. We saw a crocodile, a mother and baby geese, and a multitude of different birds and wildlife. After our stay we made it into the Myrtle Beach area. Myrtle Beach is a huge tourist city at the top of the state. From what we could tell the whole area was nothing but hotels, mini golf courses, and restaurants. We passed the tourist traps in town and stayed at the Myrtle Beach State Park about two miles away. The beach was perfect for us and nowhere near as crowed. We camped in the woods there for two days and enjoyed some ocean swimming. The water isn't as hot now as it will be at the peak of summer but still incredibly warm and swimable.
We kept heading south after our stay at the beach towards Charleston, SC where we knew we had a warmshowers host who we contacted days before. We biked down hwy. 17 all the way from Myrtle Beach to Charleston. On the way we camped outside the Francis Marion National Forest then biked all the way through, arriving in Charleston in the early evening. We lucked out and found a great household of folks to stay with who live in a great neighborhood on the peninsula of Charleston about two miles from downtown. Our host were Andrea and Cedric and their two room mates Faith and Rachel. Our first full day in Charleston Cedric and Faith took us on a bike tour around the peninsula by the Ashley river and to the point of Charleston where Battery Park and the Waterfront Parks are located. From there we explored the city on foot and by bike ourselves. Charleston is smaller than we thought and in a full afternoon we were able to see all the key points and sites of downtown. The old homes down by the waterfront are beautiful as are the shopping districts, market, and old cemetery we explored that Cedric recommended. That same night Ryan and I made dinner for all our hosts and their awesome neighbor Kim and her brother Scott who happened to be in town. Kim and Scott brought over amazing beer from a local company called the Beer Exchange and we had a great party that night with everyone.
The following day we helped Cedric, Andrea, and Faith set up their front yard for a fundraiser gathering to earn money towards the community garden they are creating. They arranged to have a keg, wine, and food for guest who came. Two local bands played amazing music for the event and the whole thing turned out to be a success. The weather was perfect for the event and the two of us were able to meet more great people at the party.
Since our amazing time in Charleston we have continued down on to Beaufort NC. We are just outside town and plan on looking for some good camping for the night.
Much thanks to our great hosts and their wonderful neighbors and friends who we were so fortunate to meet. We had such a great time and will miss you all very much.
Ryan and Allegra.
Fixing what we believe is our 100th flat tire.
Butterfly I found on the side of the road. I think it's a black swallowtail.
Classic southern driveway to a plantation or large home.
Our favorite tomb stone in Huguenot cemetery.
Live music from one of the bands.
The Royal Tinfoil playing a set.
Front yard of the house we stayed at while in Charleston, SC.
Huguenot cemetery in downtown Charleston next to an old Unitarian Church.
Sweet grass baskets at the open market place downtown.
Museum just before the beginning of the market.
Classic old building in downtown.
Small park with ancient oak trees.
Bridge we took into Charleston.
View from the bridge looking at downtown Charleston.
Sign we passed through the Francis Marion National Forest.
Rainbow after a huge rain shower at Myrtle Beach, SC.
Hotels along the beach front.
Myrtle Beach State Park where we camped for two days.
Road leading into the State Park.
Camping spot we stayed at in a swamp outside a small town in SC.
Crocodile we spotted on are walk along the walking path where we camped.
Legs looking for signs of life off the walking path.
One shot of the park/ path surrounding the manmade cooling lake we camped by next to the swamps.
Opposite the bikes looking down the path.
Canadian goose and chicks by the pond.
Entering South Carolina!
Frying potatoes. We are such healthy eaters on the road.
Ryan pumping the gas container for the cook stove.
Leaving the Raleigh/ Durham area headed South.
One of many lakes we biked over just outside of Durham NC.
Barn where are bikes were stored over the winter months.
Haging out with the boys and their friends the day we arrived in Chapel Hill.
Riding the public bus to Chapel Hill in order to pick up our gear and bikes.
Public transit stop.
One of many monuments outside of the capitol Building in Raleigh NC.
Monument to confederate dead.
Canyon we drone over while on greyhound in Idaho.
Desert in Utah.