Text to come…
Day 25: Jasper to southern Chattanooga (Battery was dead)
I am working on another update!
In the meantime here is a video that someone took of me riding into Nashville:
Kurze Bemerkung: Zur Nachverfolgung der ersten Etappen habe ich Links zu den GPS-Tracks in den entsprechenden Beiträgen eingefügt!
This day promised to be very adventurous. My plan was to ride from False Cape State Park in Virginia to North Carolina via the Outer Banks. Neither an internet research nor asking some locals gave me an answer to the question, if this was actually a smart way to ride (Well, it turns out it probably wasn’t, but it was a fun day nevertheless), so I decided to just go for it.
First I had to make it to the state boarder. The only option for this was to take the Sand Ridge Trail in the state park for some miles. I should have been warned by the name, since I actually had to push my bike through dry sand about a quarter of the way. When I entered North Carolina through a giant gate on the beach, I thought that it would be just a short ride on the beach to get to the first paved road. How wrong I was! First of all, riding on the beach wasn’t possible, because my bike was so heavy. This meant that I had to push it through the sand against the salty wind. Second of all, what looked like nice little trails on the map, turned out to be dry sand in reality. So I kept pushing my bike towards Corolla, NC (Don’t pronounce it like the Toyota!) without a real plan. I wasn’t desperate enough yet to stop one of the passing cars on the beach. But since Corolla was almost 12 miles away, I was in need of some kind of miracle.
Well it happened. After some time a big pick-up truck stopped and a truly southern voice asked me if I needed a lift. Yes I did! Jodie and Jamie who were riding the truck helped me to load the bike. After we got in the cabin they showed me not one but two guns they had in the arm rest, saying that they would not be afraid to use them, if I did anything bad to them. Gotta love the South for moments like that! The following ride to Corolla was a lot of fun and we got along really well. It was just a nice combination of talking about serious and stupid stuff, and little things like yelling at people to get off the dunes! They even took me a bit farther than needed, so I could get something to eat. Best sub ever! Thank you for your hospitality, Jamie and Jodie!
Later I rode down Highway 12 towards the South, always keeping an eye on the sky, which looked really dark. When I was in Kitty Hawk, a thunderstorm came through the area like I had never seen one before in my life. The rain seemed to come from every direction, so I hid under the roof of an ice cream shop for some time. I decided to get a motel for the night, since it was impossible to camp out. When I turned on the TV in my room, the bad weather in NC was one of the main topics.
Last bike ride to Kitty Hawk:
To make things a bit more confusing, I am going to write blog posts in English every now and then. Especially when they directly involve Americans:-)
On Monday I took a bus from Penn Station to Virginia Beach. The main challenge here was to get all my stuff from the hostel to 34th Street. In addition to all the bags on my bike, I carried my big suitcase on the rack of my bike. The plan was to then put all the stuff in the suitcase, since the bus company officially allowed only one piece of checked baggage. It wasn’t really comfortable to ride like this, but I actually made it to the place of departure without any problems. The bike ways along the Hudson River were excellent! The 7-hour-long bus ride went by really fast.
In Virginia Beach I was picked up by Maggie and Nick in the pouring rain. Being a master of procrastination, I had contacted them on Warmshowers – a site for traveling bikers – only two days before arriving. Both Maggie and Nick had really interesting biographies and were a lot of fun to be around! Here are some of the things they did for me: provided me a place to sleep, prepared an outstanding dinner and breakfast, helped me find a route to False Cape State Park, and they even had a spare bungee cord for me.
The next morning I started my big tour. Thanks to Nick’s help I didn’t have to take any roads with a lot of traffic during the whole day. The weather wasn’t really working in my favor though, it was really windy and it rained quite a bit. One road (Dam Neck Rd) that I took suddenly turned into a military road, so I had to ride about a mile back and go a different way. A quick look at the offline maps on my phone made this easy.
In the afternoon I arrived at False Cape State Park. The wind was even stronger now and I had to stay focused not to be blown of the gravel roads. Some miles later I arrived at the Park’s office to ask for a permission to pitch a tent for the night. First they wouldn’t let me, because it would have been necessary to make a reservation one day in advance due to the limited amount of camp sites. Some small talk about Germany and biking with the manager then helped to solve this problem. My tent site was located just behind the dunes about one minute from the Atlantic Ocean. It felt like I was the only human in a 3-mile-radius that night. After setting up my tent, I packed up some food and had dinner at the Ocean.