This ride took place on Saturday, May 7.
I have found that it's good to have some "destination", a place to get to rather than to just ride. I guess I get a sense of accomplishment on day rides when I actually get there, although often there's no set agenda for wherever I'm going. Sometimes there's something at the destination, but often not.
I consulted visitnc.com on Friday night to see what was going on in various town in NC on Saturday. There were a lot of festivals and events going on, so I had to make a choice as to which one best suited my mood.
I focused on Edenton, a northeastern town on the Albemarle Sound. I had been there several times previously so I knew my way around and had a sense as to how far away it was. According to visitnc.com, there was a fun festival happening, and there was food advertised, so its location and the activity advertised interested me.
I got up at about 7am, did my stretches, and decided that I wanted to have breakfast on the road rather than home. So, by about 7:30 I was on the bike and headed to "Toot N Tell" restaurant on old Hwy 70 in Garner. I had eaten breakfast there once before and, with it being a "mom and pop" type restaurant, it met my needs. I left with a full tummy.
Breakfast was good. I was surprised at the place being so empty, but it was still early and it was Saturday, so that probably should have been expected. I had an omelette with home fries. Both were good. About 8:30 I was back on the bike, headed east back to Clayton and then northeast on Hwy 42.
I like riding Hwy 42, both east towards Wilson, and west towards Asheboro. When heading west, if I'm not in a hurry, I often take it west all the way to Asheboro. It's a longer ride than other routes, but it's interesting and there are some places where the ride is very interesting, with swooping curves and some changes in elevation. But I am digressing, so back to task.
I stayed on Hwy 42 to Conetoe, at the intersection of Hwy 42 and old US 64. Here, I turned right on 64 and stayed on it through the small towns and Williamston. Traffic was sparse, so I could pretty-much ride without worrying about cars and trucks getting in my way. I spotted some fields of plants with lavender blooms and stopped for a pic. I think maybe peanuts, but it could be potatoes. I'm no farmer, so I'm not sure what they were, except very pretty.
On the east side of Plymouth, I turned left on Mackeys Road rather than going back out on Hwy 64. It was an easy ride, with no traffic. It turned into NC 308 after a mile or two. At one place, I was riding down a tunnel of trees, mostly shaded, but with some specks of light filtering through. I love to find places like this; it makes the ride so much nicer, particularly on a hot day (which was not the case today). There's a word for these tunnels of trees, but it escapes me now.
A few miles further down the road, NC 32 turned left to cross the Albemarle Sound. The bridge over the sound is about 3.5 miles long, with most of it fairly close to the water, and one high-rise section to allow boat traffic pass by. I like riding long bridges, so I slowed down and took in the sights, smells, and ambiance of crossing the big body of water. It was pretty neat.
On the north side of the sound, NC 32 turned eastward to Edenton. Once in town, I rode down to the park right on the water and parked the bike in a shady spot under the trees. It had been a nice ride there.
Only one thing was wrong--there was no sight of a "fun festival"! Also, no food. Darn; one of the highlights of rides is the food I find along the way, and there was no food there!
So, I walked around a bit and discovered a lighthouse being set up on the west side of the park. It was still on dollies. It was the Roanoke River Lighthouse, which I had never heard of. It was fenced off with chain link fencing, so you couldn't get close to it. If you're interested in a history of the lighthouse, it's interesting and can be Googled very easily. I won't write it here.
Using my Droid, I found the Downtown Soda Shop, which sounded interesting. It was only 3 blocks away, and so I walked there and got a Reuben sandwich with chips. It was pretty good.
After lunch, it was time to be moving on, so I put on the Bumblebee and got back on the bike. I thought about going back to the Dismal Swamp Sate Park, but decided that it was further than I wanted to go. So, I used the GPS to head west by south.
I discovered after a while that the Albemarle Sound goes a long way, with very few crossings. So, I found that I was actually headed NORTH and slightly east. Not a big problem, but one that made the trip home much longer than I had planned. I eventually ended up in Suffolk, VA before I used the GPS to do the routing to get me home.
The ride home was uneventful. It did take me on a few new roads, which I always enjoy. I did ride by Merchant's Millpond State Park, so I stopped for a pic of the bike.
I arrived in my driveway at about 6:20pm, after 360 miles and 7 hours of riding.
Oh, I almost forgot, after some additional surgery on the helmet for the speakers, today's ride was much better. Ears were still sore, but not throbbing as they were before the work on the helmet. I believe all is well now with the helmet.
Until next ride....