Sunday, June 14, 2009

Where in North America is Uncle Rod? 1.0

June 14, 2009
Roanoke Island, NC
58,891 (501 miles)

The plan for tonight was to camp at Pettigrew State Park. About 50 miles before I got to the park, it started getting dark, faster than the sunset would cause. I was riding due east into some pretty heavy storm clouds. I saw an exit sign that listed “camping” as one of the amenities, and got off the exit, only to get back on when I saw the sign that said how far it was from the exit. So I road another half hour as the storm clouds gathered, before I stopped to don water resistant apparel. I had just finished storm proofing my luggage, and putting on my raingear, when a man alerted me that there was a Motel about half a mile up the road. I fell to the temptation to avoid the storm and stop short of my goal, AND to sleep in a bed. So I inquired at the office as to the price for a room. I thought the price was too much, so I got back onto my bike and continued toward my predetermined State Park campsite.
Surprisingly, I found the State Park in the dark, in the middle of nowhere, but alas, it was closed. Not a light for miles, but my headlight assured me that there was a gate across the entrance, secured with a padlock. I continued on, disappointed that I’d turned down a campsite before dark. Little did I know that there just wouldn’t be any other place to sleep until I reached Outer Banks’ resort prices. So chilled to the bone, exhausted, and frustrated, I find myself paying twice the price of the moderately priced Motel that I deemed too expensive.
The day began with me packing my bike and then riding to church. After church, I rode to Charlotte to drop in on Carla’s graduation/22 birthday party. I left from Charlotte in route to the State Park that, like everything else, apparently, closes just before you need it.
The storm clouds I’d seen earlier were apparently coming in from the ocean and I was on the inland reaches of it. After dark, and all the way across the sounds and intracoastal waterways, it was apparent that it had stormed, but always just ahead of me. The raingear I’d donned served well to keep the damp, salt air from freezing me, but it was not needed for rain. For that I am grateful.