Jacksonville to Beaufort, NC

Me, Eric and Dallas before leaving Jacksonville

Dallas and I departed from Eric’s house and went straight to a diner, where we ate sandwiches and salad, just a mile away.  After eating, we rode a few more miles to the organic market to buy snacks for the next few days of riding.  It was afternoon when we finally left Jacksonville.

It rained on and off for most of the day, and we kept trying to hide from it under awnings or inside supermarkets or gas stations when possible.  About 20 miles into our ride, we crossed a bridge over to Emerald Isle and were able to ride one block over from the main road, avoiding much of the traffic that had been ruining the enjoyment of cycling since leaving Jacksonville.  We had forgotten about Memorial Day weekend until we got to Jacksonville and realized that traffic was probably going to be insane.

On Emerald Isle, our course took us parallel to a beach for several miles, and we stopped for about an hour to swim and ride the waves.  During this time, the sun came out and stayed bright until we got back on our bikes.  Then we were fighting headwinds for the rest of the ride and the sky was threatening us with showers.

Drying off in the sun after swimming on Emerald Isle

Less than 10 miles from Beaufort, we stopped for dinner at a sushi restaurant – probably not the best time to stop, but we were hungry.  The sun was gone by the time we had finished eating, and we had to ride the rest of the way to Beaufort in the dark.  Fortunately, I had been able to contact Jacqui, a couchsurfer who agreed to host us for the evening, so we didn’t have to worry about finding a place to camp in the dark.  Getting over the bridge from Morehead City to Beaufort was scary, since there was only a narrow shoulder, the rail preventing us from falling off the bridge into the water was low, and the winds were so strong it was impossible to hold a steady course on our bikes.  We got off and walked over most of the bridge.

Jacqui was an incredibly welcoming hostess.  She had warned me over the phone that there would probably not be a couch, but there would be floor space for us, which was more than enough for Dallas and me.  When we arrived, there were a few people sitting on the front porch and more people inside.  The guy outside introduced himself as Preston and told us that he used to do a lot of bicycle touring himself.  He was now in the process of fixing up a sailboat.  The couple inside, Sarah and Irish, had been hitchhiking around the US for the past 2 and 4 years, respectively, and decided to settle down for a while in Beaufort after they met Jacqui and her husband, Crunch.  Everyone at the house was very cool, and I wish I could have spent more time with all of them.  Other people came and went over the course of the night, and Dallas and I did end up getting to sleep on a couch.

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 26 May 2012, in Bicycle Touring, New Orleans to Newport. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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