The day started with the sunrise off the ocean and it only got better from there. We were prepared to face hard pounding winds again, but were met with light dancing winds instead. As a result we cycled a relatively easy 70 miles from Grandy, NC and crossed the border into Suffolk, VA. 4 states down, 7 to go!
While I loathe lazy shortcuts (see Day 14 blog), I enthusiastically embrace strategic ones. Today we were a strategic team. At every break, we studied the atlas, Google maps, and the Adventure Cycling Association (ACA) maps to identify the most efficient, safe, and wind-friendly route possible. Consequently, we never went off track (i.e., we didn’t get lost once), we enjoyed farm country backroads, we eliminated about 15 miles from ACA’s recommended route, and still progressed 70 miles. Yay team!
James, the Pile Driving Pastor
We met James on his day off cutting his grass in South Mills, NC. James is a pile driver who hauls materials to help build roads and bridges. While he was initially stuck upon hearing the question, he concluded that he loves that he lost 40 pounds on the job, that he works a job that most young kids don’t want, that he gets paid well, and that he is making a difference in the infrastructure. James is also a pastor at the community church and what he loves about that job is… everything. He loves loving people and helping them love each other. And he loves making a difference. As we stood there talking, about 10 people waved to James from their cars as they passed. He’s been in the same town for 59 years and clearly James is making a difference in the community.
Cornelius, the Highway Division Manager and Youth Mentor
We met Cornelius and his coworkers on a break near Sunbury, NC. They work for the Highway Division ensuring the roads are clean and look great. And as we witnessed from our ride, they are clearly doing their job well. I asked him what he loves about his job and he paused, a bit discombobulated – no one had ever asked him that question! After some thought, he realized that he loves contributing to the community with his work and working with people on his team. When I asked him what makes him stand out, he said he treats everyone like he’d like to be treated. In addition to his job with the county, Cornelius loves mentoring young people in his local rifling club.
Day 22 miles: 70.30
Total miles: 1,483.40
Today’s route: Grandy, NC to Coinjock to Barco to Hastings Corner to South Mills to Morgans Corner to Sunbury, NC to Suffolk, VA
Day 22 road kill count: 31 (but we saved another wonderful turtle in the Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge)
Total road kill count: 339
Total turtles saved: 3 (here’s a picture of me and the little turtle guy)
Day 22 interviews: 2
Total interviews: 53
Best picture of the day: the sunrise silhouetted with me and Noonie taken by Jeff on the coast of Kitty Hawk before we launched this morning