October 16: New Bern to Sneads Ferry 67.2 miles
Sun shining, zero wind and the forecast for high 60s, low 70s -- what a perfect day for a ride!!! Leaving by way of the drawbridge over the river and out into the countryside for about fourteen miles the route continued where it left off yesterday. Flat and more flat! Now that should sound like an easy day, but in terms of sitting on a bike seat -- not!! When there is no change in the terrain, there is not need to move around on the seat, which, without being graphic, can put undo pressure on the same spot hour after hour. The "end" result is butt pain!!
Pollocksville was the first "town" -- gas stations, cafes, and trailers. This end of the world is not economically well off, but seem to be happy. Even the dogs bark a friendly woof. Leaving this metropolis (pop. 269) the route heads south toward Maysville, the largest town in the area. A Hardees is spotted almost immediately after crossing the city limits, a sight not seen for several weeks. Lunch break!!
The destination after "snacks" was Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base sitting on the New River and the Atlantic Ocean. The map lead us for over fifteen miles through the middle of the base. However, the only sight of any life on the base were the signs that announced that there was military arms firing day and night crisscrossing the road. Not a comforting thought when sitting on a bike traveling at a maximum speed of about 15 mph!!
The other "unnerving" experience is the tank crossings. The pavement is painted every so many miles like a railroad crossing marker letting the traveler know that at any time a tank may immerge from the woods. Now a bike weights in at about ten pounds. Add to that the weight of the rider (exact weight being kept extremely confidential at this time), the meeting of a tank and a bike might not be a win situation for the biker!
All said, the camp was one big stretch of flat terrain with no scenic vistas or objects to entertain the rider. The mind slowly sank into a state of daydreaming with one eye peeled for those tanks!!
Exiting the base and onto the barrier islands we headed to Sneads Ferry for the night.
Camp Lejeune Entrance