August 15, 2016 – Sunny, 95 degrees
Miles Today: 51
Miles to Date: 14,541
States to Date: 40
Monday morning! First day of school! Traffic galore heading east into Charleston! But I am pedaling the other direction, turning the fourth corner of my odd-shaped box around the United States.
I took at big left turn in Belfast ME to head west, another at Seattle to go south, a third in San Diego to return east. After recalibrating my route upon completing rehab in Boston, I cycled south. Today I turned west again to commence what I call the ‘inner loop’: Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky, Missouri and Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas, with a few ‘revisits’ to states I’ve already touched along the way.
Wait a minute; that leaves me one state short. True. I have yet to cycle in Florida. I hope to complete Arkansas in November and peddle back through Dixie to the Florida Panhandle in December when the weather should be fine. My odd shape box has a fifth corner, when I stop going west and turn south and east once last time.
In the short term, today was a good day to go against the flow. No shoulders anywhere. For the most part, drivers were patient with me. A few times vehicles lined behind me so I pulled onto the grass to let folks by. Big trucks are never a problem; they are professional drivers. It’s the pick-up drivers and clueless min-vans that give me angina.
When I could savor the scenery, I appreciated Ashley River Road’s canopy of trees and stately plantations. The land began to rise, the forest turned to tall pine, and the scent of pinesap filled the air whenever a logging truck passed by.
Walterboro is a lovely, if sleepy, burg. All of its commerce has been sucked dry by I-95, four miles to the west, where I stayed under a Red Roof for the night.