Kenansville, NC to Statesville, NC – 254.0 miles
The day started off kind of slow due to a poor night’s sleep. There was an excessively loud refrigerator in the hotel room which sounded like a UFO was crash landing in the room every time the compressor cycled on. After a thorough check I didn’t find any implanted devices. Several cups of coffee took care of the grogginess and we were on the road by 10 am.
The weather was nice with temps in the low 80s, but looming dark clouds were in the distance. It was another day of mostly paved roads that wound through the country of North Carolina. We made our way through fields of soy beans, corn, and tobacco as we somehow threaded ourselves between the heavy rainstorms. The short rain we did hit was welcome. It did a great job breaking the humidity, cooling us off, and steaming the roads which also seemed to sigh in relief.
About 100 miles into the day, we came around a turn and stumbled onto a vehicle crash that had just occurred. A volunteer engine had arrived on scene and they were pulling extrication tools off the truck. A single vehicle lost control and rolled over several times, settling on its side against a tree. We decided to stop and see if we could lend a hand since they had limited resources. The volunteers welcomed the help and Naomi “spared” them a cut job by pulling out the sunroof…a big sorry to the Flat Branch VFD. The medic rolled on scene, we helped with the backboarding due to tight spaces and awkward footing, and then stepped away to continue on our journey.
The road led us through miles and miles of soy fields that started to become mind-numbing. At one point Naomi said she saw a turkey walking into the woods and a muskrat scurry across the road, but I’m still wondering if it was really a hallucination. Right about that time, I looked up and saw the world’s largest sprinkler. A farmer was trying to water his fields, but overshot his goal and managed to water the pavement instead. We took this as a chance to relive childhood memories with an adult twist and ran through the water spray no less than three times.
A few miles later we found our first dirt of the day and I was thankful to stretch my legs on the pegs. I avoided Naomi’s roost as she tore through the gravel forest roads. Our luck soon ran out as we rode directly into dark skies and a downpour of rain. What was once a welcomed cool-off now filled our boots with water. I cringed as I felt the wet spread from my arms, to my stomach, and settle in my pants…soaked. We pushed through as the skies cleared and we filled up the tanks, then wrung out our gloves and socks. I managed to mostly dry out during the next 60 miles to Statesville where we found a room and dinner just as the rain caught up to us again.
Today’s lesson: Finding a reason to not stay in a hotel is harder than expected.