Based in part on one of Matt’s suggestions, and also given the length of this trip, we decided to drive from Bath to Elizabeth City, NC. Hopefully this gave Beth more time to get work done. 

Before leaving, we met Carro and Corbin, the owners of the Bath Harbor and Marina Hotel, which is where you should stay if you are ever in Bath. Incorporated in 1705 and the reputed home of Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard the Pirate, it is a quaint little town of about a thousand or so inhabitants. Carro and Corbin are both incredibly nice people!

Carro and Corbin, the owners of the Bath Harbor and Marina Hotel

In Elizabeth City, we had both lunch and dinner at Hoppin’ Johnz Restaurant, a great place to eat. At dinner we met Stephanie and Ed, a really nice and friendly couple. Ed is a contractor for the USCG and is in Elizabeth City for a project there.

Stephanie and Ed, whom we met at Hoppin’ Johnz Restaurant in Elizabeth City, NC

Tomorrow we plan to bike about 60 miles, which will get us to a park in VA Beach close to the southern entrance of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, where Beth will pick us up for the drive home on US 13 up the Delmarva Peninsula.

There is no way we could have made this trip without Beth and we were delusional to think we could have done this unsupported.

We got an assist from Beth. She drove us around 25 or 30 miles out of Jacksonville and dropped us off. We rode to Bath, North Carolina, a distance of of approximately 58 miles.

We had a little trouble with Google bike map directions again. We really lucked out because the ferry ride we had to take was leaving in eight minutes when we arrived at the ferry terminal. if we had missed that ferry we would’ve had to wait over two hours for the next ferry.

Bath, North Carolina is a quaint little town the home of Blackbeard the pirate. I have a few pictures to share as part of the block. We plan to take off tomorrow and drive to Elizabeth city because of the rain forecast for most of the day.

Pics of the ferry

View from my room balcony

View from our dining spot

Historical markers from Bath, NC

This morning Beth dropped us off in a town called New Bern, NC, and this was supposed to save us about 30 miles of riding. But Google bike maps messed us up a few times today and the ride ended up being more than 60 miles total. The biggest challenge today was finding the Aurora Ferry to get across the Pimlico River. We finally made it there with about 7 or 8 minutes before the ferry departed. 

After crossing the Pimlico River, we thought it would be a very short ride to our hotel but Google maps struck again and it took us about another hour to get to our hotel. Oh well!

Here are today’s photos.

Our first rest stop after 22 miles today.

We’ve been seeing lots of private grave yards on our rides these past few days, like this one.

There is a mine on the other side of the trees in this picture and google bike maps kept trying to send us there, but there was just no way to get there.

The view from the Aurora Ferry across the Pimlico River.

Tim sitting on the second deck of the Aurora Ferry.

Tim and Beth at the Quarter Deck, where we had dinner tonight.

We decided to take a rest day and take advantage of Beth being with us. We drove from Little River, South Carolina to Wilmington, North Carolina and spend Saturday afternoon walking around the waterfront.

Wilmington, North Carolina was a major shipping point from North Carolina from colonial times to current day. It was a good idea to take a rest day after seven days of biking.

Our ride from Wilmington to Jacksonville was pretty easy even though it was 68 miles. We were on back roads with almost no traffic, so Brian and I were able to ride side-by-side for several hours. It was nice to be able to talk and ride for a change. We have also decided To take advantage of Beth and reduce our mileage on Monday and Tuesday from 85 mile days to 50 or 60 mile days. Only three days left. I’m looking forward to being finished and getting home to Marcia.

Lunch break on a country road

After driving to Wilmington, NC on Saturday, to avoid a 76-mile ride against a head wind, we explored the downtown area, including their River Walk, on foot. Tim and I went to the Basilica of St. Mary for their 5:30 PM mass, in a congregation that was more heterogeneous than that of St Mary, GA where we went the previous Saturday evening. It was the celebration of the Feast of the Assumption, as you can see from the church bulletin I have included below. Apparently mass must last more than an hour south of the Mason Dixon line, but that was fine.

Church Bulletin from Basilica of St. Mary, Wilmington, NC

We went to the Copper Penny restaurant in downtown Wilmington for dinner and had a very nice meal. It’s owned by two guys from the Philadelphia area and it had Phillies and Eagles pennants on the wall, so we felt at home there, and I bought one of their beer glasses since I know Nancy would want me to 😊.

Today’s ride was about 68 miles and it was mostly on empty roads. Tim and I rode next to each other for a lot of the ride. He told me about his book “Shadow Divers” which describes the discovery of a WWII U-boat that sunk in early 1945, and the trials the divers had in figuring out what the boat really was and how it was sunk. I told Tim about my book “Against the Ice” and how hard it was for the two Danish explorers to travel in and map out NE Greenland in 1909. It helped make the ride feel shorter. 

We got to Jacksonville, NC and our hotel by 3 PM, met up with Beth, watched some of the Phillies game with her while having a beer, and then took showers, naps, and walked to dinner at a local restaurant. 

Here are two pictures I took at our 2nd and 3rd stop today. 

Photo of Tim at our 2nd stop today. Note the empty road, which was fairly common today.

Photo of our bikes at our 3rd and last stop today.

Today’s ride covered almost 65 miles. The vast majority was through South Myrtle Beach Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach. We followed Google bike map directions which put us on bike paths or Ocean Drive
for much of our ride. Myrtle Beach is an interesting place. With the high-rises along the beach it reminded me of Atlantic City and with the honky-tonk areas it reminded me of Wildwood.

After seven days of riding we need a rest day. Tomorrow we’re going to drive to Wilmington, North Carolina instead of riding. Thank God Beth is here. No pics from me today.

This turned out to be a pretty easy day, which was exactly what we needed to recover from yesterday. We spent some time on the bikes before we left and fortunately had no mechanical issues. At the end of our ride it started raining for the first time on the trip. We got wet but not soaked. For some reason the town of Georgetown reminded me of the movie The Notebook. It’s a picturesque little town. I’d love to come back someday.

Our first rest stop of the day

Typical views from the many bridges we crossed

View from my room

This was supposed to be our hardest day and it turned out to be. We had three flats between us, which slowed us down, making a long day even longer. Fortunately we had a tail wind and the weather was sunny and warm but not too hot. A highlight of the day was biking through Charleston and over the bridge on a nice protected bike path Into Mount Pleasant. After a shower we went to Sullivans Island for dinner.

Post office guess where

View of Charleston harbor

Brian on the bridge between Charleston and Mt. Pleasant

Our ride today was 63+ miles and we faithfully followed google bike maps, which took us off of US 17 and onto bike paths or bike lanes or beautiful neighborhoods for most of the time.  We were also on Ocean Blvd through Myrtle Beach, which is a copy cat version of A1A in Florida on the Space Coast. 

We made it to our hotel around 3 pm, so it took us almost 7 hours, but it was worth it for the added safety. 

Here are a few photos I took when we got to North Myrtle Beach.

The beach and the Atlantic Ocean at North Myrtle Beach near the end of our ride today.

Looking north on the beach at North Myrtle Beach.

Today’s ride was a bit over 54 miles with a pretty good tailwind most of the ride. After yesterday I think we both needed a shorter journey today. US 17 was more friendly today and when it was busy, sidewalks helped a lot, both leaving Mount Pleasant and entering Georgetown. We experienced a little rain at the end of our ride, but it wasn’t too bad. 

Dinner was at the River Room Restaurant on the marina in Georgetown and it was really good. 

Here are today photos!

The flag was blowing in the right direction this morning when we made our first stop at the Sewee Visitor and Environmental Education Center.

A dock to swim off of located on the South Santee River.

Wearing my new Sullivan’s sweater at dinner tonight.

Outside of the River Room Restaurant in Georgetown, SC.