(picture: The Great Dismal Swamp, Virginia, North Carolina border)
Date: 1 May 2011
Woke up in: City of Suffolk County, Virginia
Fell asleep in: Bells Island, North Carolina
Miles ridden today: 72.5
Total miles ridden so far: 599.5
Weather: Sunny. Warmish. A bit windy.
Today we cycled across the state line into North Carolina, leaving Virginia behind us. Ten miles in to our journey today, we found that the road we needed to take had been closed off because a big power line had fallen down. There was no way the numerous police and fire officers were going to be letting anyone through, so we ended up taking an alternate route. Which would have been fine, had it not involved three miles worth of dogs barking / attempting to run at our bicycles. The road has henceforth been remained Dog Alley.
Today was also the day when we got to cycle alongside, and through a bit of, the Great Dismal Swamp National wildlife refuge. We really enjoyed cycling along its black waters, listening to its many unidentifiable (for us) and unseen inhabitants making an impressive chorus of noise. I can see why earlier generations called it dismal though – we had the benefit of having a road to cycle through the place on!
We lunched by the Dismal Swamp canal in South Mills, where the big excitement of the day was watching the bridge get lifted so a boat could go through. I also gave out a ‘nice person on the day’ award (I don’t tell the recipients – wouldn’t want them to get big headed) to the South Mills man who produced some oil for our bike chains.
Today was our longest ride of the trip so far, by a good six miles, but its 72.5 miles weren’t nearly as hard as doing 40 hilly ones, even though it was quite windy. Home for the night is the Bells Island campground, which I suspect hasn’t been renovated since I’ve been alive. There are flush toilets but the outdoor, cold water shower was pretty hard work… brrr… Beautiful setting though!