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Three days of South Carolina, and two nights wild camping

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Three days of South Carolina, and two nights wild camping

We wake up early to tear down our tent, before somebody may detect us in our wild camp spot. Although two cars drive by the road close to our little piece of heaven, they never even notice our existence.

 

After a cup of Joe and a bite to eat, we start rolling.
The skies are gray today but there is no wind, so this makes us happy. We ride by many peach orchards and other fruit trees in bloom. Many trees show off their pink, yellow, and white blossoms–it actually feels like spring around here!

 

Soon it starts to drizzle and we pull out our rain gear. Not only are we getting wet from the rain, no we are also getting sweaty inside of our jackets, because we are climbing more hills now.
Oh yeah, that’s right we are not in Florida anymore, there are actually hills in South Carolina.
Later that day, after many long uphills and way too short down hills, we finally reach our destination in Aiken, SC, where we are warmly greeted by our next hosts–the Eckenrodes.
Ida and Ray invite us into their home and insist on feeding us pasta and meatballs, it takes a lot of convincing to let us help at least with the preparation of the salad or the clean up after dinner. They also offer us their washer, so we can wash our clothes…which was much needed! We chat for a while and Ron is able to give back a little by teaching Ida more about her iPad and getting her Skype account back online for her.

 

After riding all day against headwind we fall asleep early. In the morning we enjoy a fantastic homemade breakfast by Ida while learning a lot about Aiken–apparently Aiken is known for all kinds of horse activities–races, steeplechasing, and polo are a big part of this city. Soon we get ready to get back on the road.

 

This morning is damp and cold after the thunderstorm last night.
After a few miles we stop to get more supplies and to warm up with more coffee. As we sit at the tables outside the store, a very nice gentleman stops and talks to us. He overheard a conversation in the store about two cyclists traveling the world, coming all the way from Florida. So he thought he had to “meet the two people that are hardheaded enough to follow their dream”. He turns out to be a local Pastor and before he says his goodbyes he sits and says the most heartfelt and powerful prayer for our travels and our family that we have ever heard.

 

ron_hills_tiredAs we ride on, we have all kinds of thoughts running through our heads…one of them, how much we start disliking the media, that tries to portrait our world as being such an evil place! Although we are only 11 days into our journey, we have nothing but good things to say about people and how generous and kind people are along our journey.
Today we travel much slower, the hills are getting bigger and steeper, and our legs are tiring faster. However, the landscape remains to be beautiful, with lots of farm land, horse- and cow-pastures, and many beautiful southern style homes.

wild_camping_pedalpowertouringAs it is getting later in the day we stop for another wild camp near a river inside a national forest. We set up camp and go to sleep while listening to a couple deer trot through our campsite.

petra_walking_bikeWe wake up to all kinds of wild animal sounds, birds are singing, deer are grunting, woodpeckers are making a racket. We try to tear down camp quickly, but it is so cold outside that we can see our breath and our fingers are a little stiff. Eventually, we have everything back in its place and push our bikes out of the woods.

 

Today we’re going to have a nice easy ride until we set up camp in an official campground to relax most of the afternoon.

8 Comments
  • John Wooten
    Posted at 23:06h, 20 March Reply

    Thank you so much for your post! I wish you the best of luck and the wind at your back! Keep safe and keep writing!

    • Ron
      Posted at 12:51h, 21 March Reply

      Thank you for reading our blog and we hope to keep it interesting as best as possible.

  • Derek Smith
    Posted at 11:58h, 21 March Reply

    You passed the area my grandmother lives, just south of Saluda off of highway 39. Awesome scenery up there!

    • Ron
      Posted at 12:52h, 21 March Reply

      Yes Derek it is beautiful up here, but it’s really cold at the moment. If we knew your Grandmother was on our route we could have stopped by and said “hello”.

  • Darlene Cook
    Posted at 09:03h, 22 March Reply

    We look forward to checking in on you two and reading about your trip. Thanks for mentioning the love and kindness of most people you meet. I think that is true and I teared up a little being reminded of the good in the world.

    • Petra
      Posted at 13:07h, 23 March Reply

      Thank you Darlene for keeping up with us and cheering us on. It is people like you and your family that make our journey so special!

  • JOSE M FERNANDEZ
    Posted at 12:20h, 22 March Reply

    In a year you are going to have hundreds of people visiting your blog and sending you comments. Nothing like a bike to truly discover the world!…..

    • Ron
      Posted at 20:46h, 22 March Reply

      so far we’re discovering that there are a lot of kind people still left in this world!

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