Day 20: Troy to Charlotte, NC

Even though we got to sleep early, I didn’t sleep very well, and my legs were feeling sub-par all day.  Not being able to move around or stretch my legs out in my cocoon-like sleeping bag is something to which I have yet to adjust.  We packed up our camp and had hit the road by 9:15, and it was another beautiful, warm, sunny day.  While not very steep, North Carolina has some long and persisting hills, and I felt sluggish for the better part of the day.

After 15 miles, we came to a breakfast place called The Breakfast Nook, where I sampled fine Southern diner food: biscuits and gravy.  It was interesting, but probably not something I would order again.  The pecan waffle was very good, but I really miss real maple syrup.  French toast, pancakes and waffles are just not the same without it.

We stopped again to celebrate riding 1000 miles (a few miles too soon) at a restaurant called Louie’s Grille.  We had misremembered how many miles we had left that day by 10, so we really celebrated at mile 990.  When he heard what we were doing, the restaurant owner came over and sat with us to chat.  He showed us photos of Greece and told us how beautiful it is.  He also had plenty of questions for us, including how we were planning to get into Charlotte.  He adamantly argued that we should stay on route 49 the whole way instead of following the back roads that Garmin wanted us to take.  Once escaping the restaurant, we did follow his advice and stay on route 49, saving us perhaps a mile or two and probably a good twenty minutes.

Karen, me, Phil, Mike and Christine at Akahana

Mike was home to let us in when we arrived, and we went upstairs to shower.  His girlfriend, Christine, was at work until 6:30, at an art gallery a few minutes away, so we drove over there before it closed to take a look at some of her artwork.  From the gallery, we walked to a bike shop next door to look around before going to a pub called Growlers where we waited for Christine to get out of work.  There, we celebrated our 1000 mile mark again with good beer.

We were all getting hungry, so we decided on a sushi restaurant called Akahana that has buy-one-get-one-free rolls.  Karen, another couchsurfer who was staying with Mike and Christine, met up with us towards the end of our meal.  She drove up two days ago from Florida for a glass fusing class, and was staying in Charlotte one more night before driving home.  We all went back to Mike and Christine’s house, talked some more there, and then said good-night.

About Sarah

Sarah grew up in Cranston - just south of Providence, Rhode Island - and developed a love for travel, music, and outdoor sports at an early age. She had started bicycling long distances at age 12, as a participant of the MS150 bike tours to raise money for the MS Society. She didn't use her bike regularly until she built her own while studying in Montreal and found it an excellent way to get around the city. After graduating from McGill and moving back to Providence, Sarah started working at Brown University's office of Environmental Health & Safety as the Biological Safety Specialist. She was living 4 miles away at the time, and for the first few weeks was driving to work. She made the switch from driving to bicycling when she realized that she could get to work faster, avoid parking tickets, and integrate a few miles of training into her day. Bicycling was better for the environment and better for her own health and mood. She found that she had more energy and felt much happier once she started biking to work. When her car broke down several months later, she never bothered replacing it. After 4 years of working in Biosafety (and on her master's in Environmental Studies), Sarah left her job to pursue her passion. She has been working various jobs in the bicycle industry since June of 2011, including pedicab driver, bicycle tour guide, bike mechanic and traveling bicycle advocate. In between seasonal jobs, she has done a few long-distance bike tours, which is the main reason for this blog. Her dream is to eventually ride around the world and sail across the oceans.

Posted on 9 November 2011, in Bicycle Touring, Providence to New Orleans. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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