August 11, 2016 – Sunny, 95 degrees
Miles Today: 119
Miles to Date: 14,337
States to Date: 40
My internal compass went kerflooey today: missed turns; detours; backtracking all over the countryside. Maybe it was the scent of the open fires and pine sap that permeates the sand hills of North Carolina, maybe it was the miles of parched corn begging to be harvested, maybe it was the snap hale storm that bore down on me hard and then stopped within five minutes. What promised to be a long day got completely out of control and turned into the longest single leg of my trip.
Thankfully, the terrain was flat, the wind benign, and logging 119 miles was not as exhausting as many other days I’ve done. (Loveland Pass holds the record on that). Still, I’m not looking to repeat this century+ again any time soon.
I arrived in Florence just after seven. The miles washed off me in the shower and I was ready for a beer and a great night of front porch talk with a dozen or so locals who would rather live in this former railroad hub with a tight sense of community than any other place on earth.