20 Mar 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.
As 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.
We 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.