Friday, June 30, 2017

Capital Gazette -

Alex Mann of "Capital Gazette" "Veterans and Their Pets"(SM) "Tour De PACLANTIC"
Alex Mann of Capital Gazette

June 26, Monday, Daisy and I met with Joshua McKerrow (Photographer) and Alex Mann (Journalist) of the Capital Gazette while in Lothian, Maryland, just outside of Washington D.C.  Thank you , Alex Mann, and Joshua McKerrow for hearing and sharing our mission for

Please help us (Harold and Daisy) reach our goal by donating securely online at DONATE HERE .  100% of ALL proceeds go directly to assisting military veterans and their pets.

The following link is the result of our meeting... Click here for the story

Thursday, June 29, 2017

June 20, 2017, Tuesday. Williamsburg, Virginia

June 18, Sunday.  I neglected to mention in my last post that I had arrived at Fireflies On Bennett's Creek the afternoon before (June 17), right around 4:40pm.  I was thinking of moving on further down the road, but my friend Katie said that afternoon showers were frequent this time of year and this day was looking like one of those days, not to mention that I had stopped multiple times to shelter from passing torrential thunder showers.  Additionally, I was a bit thirsty and considered riding a bit more to pick up a beer before seeking a camp.  I am glad that I chose to stay and seek permission from Fireflies On Bennett's Creek instead of the more frequent, ask for forgiveness.

I waited for the patrons to thin out -I don't want to interrupt business- and entered the store.  A lady had asked how I may be helped and as I handed a card to her, I asked if I may make camp in the corner of the property.  She consulted with another lady and the answer was, and quickly I might add, yes.  They both showed me where I may pitch my tent, offered me the use of the boat dock, and sent me packin' with two bottles of pumpkin spice brew.  Thank you Fireflies On Bennett's Creek for your kindness and hospitality.

After making dinner and drinking the pumpkin spice beer, I accessed the web and logged into, a community of bicycle tour enthusiasts that, when not on tour, open up their homes to those cyclists on tour.  I learned about from a fella while at the Smallest Church in America back in South Carolina.  Y'all might remember him, Jan, aka "The Flying Dutchman" (I may have inadvertently referred to him as the "Lost Dutchman")  Here is a link to my post documenting my meeting with "The Flying Dutchman".   I prefer to rough it while crossing the country and have made it a point to stick to that, for the most part. However, I enjoy the freedom of meeting someone online and asking for permission to leave camp and Daisy while touring and photographing historic locations more thoroughly than just riding through town.  Williamsburg, VA seemed to be one of those locations that I could use some free time without my load to visit and shoot photos.

I found a location that stated that I was 47km away (not miles, kilometers.  I decided, for this tour, I would track kilometers traveled.  It seems that the majority of the world uses this measurement, and I have some very special folks following me that use it too.  I have all of my devices set to kilometers...or so I had thought.).  I reached out, asking for a few nights stating my intentions and was welcomed and invited for the following evening.

Back to this post (June 18, Sunday), I did a little breakfast fishing prior to packing up camp at Fireflies On Bennett's Creek.  I think I may have caught the same fish twice, so I kept the little guy and cooked it up for my girl dog.  Daisy enjoyed the fresh protein.

I started this days ride thinking that 47 kilometers to my destination would allow me plenty of time to piddle around and take my time with videos and photos.  This days route was a recommendation from my new friend Katie.  I am most thankful for the direction she offered and suggested.

Along Highway 258, just north of the town Benns Church, I found a Historical Marker and pulled in to investigate.  In the parking lot of St. Luke's Church Museum, I found some information markers about the site (these may be found in my photo album that I will include somewhere in this post).  The parking lot was empty, tours are either by appointment or at a time other than when I was there.  Either way, I didn't have the cash to spend on a tour.  I took photos of the house and hit the road to look for a back road into the grounds to locate this circa 1600's Church for all paths to it were blocked and locked.  There is, apparently, a conflict about the exact date for which the structure was built, either 1632 or 1682.  Y'all will have to Google it and decide for yourself. Here is a link to Historic St. Luke's Church, a video I made to help put it in perspective.  Notice that it is set back far from the road. It is peaceful, quiet, and impressive!

I found a round about and out-of-the-way path to this historic building, and I am glad that I risked my neck on gravel paths and dirt trails leading up to it.  I managed to get quite a few photos and videos that you will find in the single photo album that is linked to below.

The next notable attraction was the town of Smithfield, Virginia.  Here is a video clip of Daisy enjoying the sights and smells of Smithfield, Virginia.  I stopped in at a convenience store to use the hot water spigot on a coffee machine to make myself a cup of ramen noodles.  I figure I'll need the carbohydrates later on and the salt would replenish what I have been sweating out.

I wandered around Smithfield for an extended period of time, in part because I had made a wrong turn.  From an overpass, looking down at the road below, I had realized then that that was the road I needed to be on.  This added a few miles to the day for there was no on ramp to get to my route below.  Photos of Smithfield will be found in the one photo album, "Williamsburg, Virginia; our arrival.", somewhere below.

At some point along the way, I thought to call my host and ask for an address.  After plugging that address into my phone, I realized that I still had over 25 miles (not kilometers...miles) to go to arrive to his house!!!  WTH?!?  I had already traveled a considerable amount of miles.  I still haven't figured out how I had in my head 47km to travel to my destination (perhaps it was due to a route other than the one that I had planned on taking).  For those of you just tuning in, here is a little back ground on biking with a very large load and dog in tow.  25 to 30 miles per day is good mileage on a day to day basis, that is, if I wish to continue on the next day for an extended period of time.  By the days end, I will have traveled over 50 miles, the most I've traveled on any single day this tour thus far.

Back to the tour, I left Smithfield and rode on, taking Route 10.  I had to cool down along the way and took the opportunity to do a Facebook check-in.  I believe it was here that I also called my host and informed him of my predicament, that I may not make it as planned, and at this point I was pretty beat up.  Side and head winds were becoming stiff and steady, and even though today's route took me in many different directions, it struck me as improbable that I would have little or no tail wind.

I continued on along Route 10 and spotted a Dollar General at the intersection of Route 10 and 676.  I bought a half gallon of milk, and two cans of condensed milk, of which I consumed the entire half gallon of milk to help prevent cramping and to replace electrolytes the old fashioned way.  It was here that an intoxicated motorist proceeded to lecture me about scooting over to the right of the lane so traffic could attempt to squeeze between me and oncoming traffic in the immediate opposing lane. (There was no shoulder of any kind on this stretch or road).  I took his suggestion under advisement, held my tongue, and continued hugging the center line at times that it was obvious that it was unsafe for following cars to pass me.

From the Dollar General, I took the route 676, to the 628, and then the 617.  This is when I came across Bacon's Castle.  See the photo album guys.  This place is ridiculously cool and even more so, historic.  It was at this time that I noticed that a storm was brewing up, and grew ominous in the short time that I had been visiting the castle.  We arrived just at closing time, just in time to see the caretaker high tailing it home.  Daisy had a moment to graze a little and stretch her legs before it was time to hit the road again.  Check out these photos and the videos at My Channel on YouTube .  You won't be disappointed.  Please subscribe to my channel on YouTube to receive updates on new videos as they are uploaded, and give them a "thumbs-up" if you enjoy them.

The head winds were stiff leaving out the drive of Bacon's Castle onto Route 617 but I caught a second wind hoping to put the wind at my back at the next turn just a short distance ahead which put me back on Route 10.  Although I now had a wind in my favor, I found some hills, some of them quite steep.  They were not so much hills as they were steep declines leading down to waterways such as creeks, and corresponding steep ascents leading out of.  I have some great videos of me riding down blind runaway descents.  It was quite stupid on my part, to go into any decent, no matter how steep, with just one hand to steer and attend the front brake.  You can hear the wind drown out my voice as I filmed some of these scenes.

At one point, for one reason or another, I caught myself in the wrong gear for which to pedal out of a creek depression.  In order for me to shift down to my lowest gear, a granny gear, I must free my right shoe cleat from the pedal, shift to the lowest gear with left hand while kicking the chain over to the smallest front chain ring.  Now, I find myself stuck with no momentum and rapidly decelerating, well into blind corner and very much on a steep ascent in the wrong gear.  I disengaged my cleats from both pedals, dismounted my bike just as it came to a stop and before rolling backwards, and pushed it as close as possible to the side of the road.  Absolutely no shoulder existed, and looking back, no more than 40 yards of visibility existed down the road behind me.  Drivers coming around this blind turn would have very little time to pull their head out as they approach from my rear, and in fact, two cars were near misses.  I reached down with my right hand, the left on the brake and left foot as a wheel chock to prevent my rig from rolling backwards, and manually placed the chain on the smallest chain-ring.  Getting started once again was a neat trick and thankfully I did it without turning around and using the downhill momentum to get me rolling.  I powered up the remaining incline at a snail pace, in fact, a person could walk up at a faster pace than I rode up.

A lot of torque is being applied to the rear sprocket and wheel assembly on ascents such as this, and great care must be taken while standing on the cranks to create a steady continuous thrust.  Merely standing on the cranks on the down strokes will create intermittent thrust and subsequently bounce the trailer, rocking it back and forth.  Daisy, sitting high over the trailer axle in her crate, will feel this pronounced rocking motion and stand up, making the trailer bounce even more compounding the effect.  I had to get short with her to get her to lay down to reduce this sometimes inevitable bounce. This rocking motion will create rapid wear and weaken an already worn trailer hitch. (This will make sense in a later post, for as I type this on June 29th, I am still waiting on a new hitch to arrive.)

At this point in the day, I am amazed that I haven't started cramping up yet, and seriously consider making camp at the Chippokes Plantation State Park.  I still had ten miles or more to arrive at my destination and at my current rate, daylight would become an issue.  After remembering my disappointing stay at Chesapeake Campground, and the fact that my cash reserve has severely dwindled since that stay, I chose to push on.

I arrived at the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry at such a time that it seemed that they were waiting for me.  (Here is a video of my approach to the Ferry)  They closed the gates behind me and I propped my bike up against the railing and secured it.  I had a short breather while crossing the James River and shot some video and photos along the way.  Check out my YouTube video at Jamestown-Scotland Ferry and the others videos while you are there.

When the ferry hit dock at the other side of the river, I shot some photos of a young bird (huge bird) nesting on a huge pier pillar while the automobiles disembarked from the ferry.  I followed the line of cars heading towards Williamsburg, Virginia, when I noticed a "Welcome" sign.  I continued my break for I am still quite exhausted, and take the opportunity to shoot selfies with Daisy in my other arm.  Cars that were heading the opposite way to board the now empty ferry stopped, rolled down their windows to comment on our special moment and photo shoot.  Daisy, as you can see in the photo album, became distracted and nearly jumped from my arm while shooting pix.

I still had 45 minutes to travel, and after calling my host (Nick O'Connel President of Animal Rescue Flights A.R.F.) to inform him of my whereabouts and ask for shortest route in to his house.  He advised me to take the scenic route, a parkway, that would only add 10 minutes or so.  Immediately, that translates to 20 minutes or more of additional travel and I quickly set the recommendation aside and rode straight into Willimsburg on the 31 and the 5.

There were a few more hills and were dreadful after such a long day.  I suspect that I gained a third wind to arrive by nightfall.

I arrived and met with Nick O'Connel.  He promptly offered to allow me to put my entire rig inside a utility portion of his home. The trailer would not fit.  I parked my rig in the side yard, removed Daisy and we introduced her to Maggie and Enzo, Nick's beautiful rescued dogs.  After Daisy was comfortable in this new environment, Nick held the flashlight while I disconnected trailer and brought the bike, panniers, and duffel bags inside.  It was at this time that I noticed my rim rubbing against the brake shoes.  It was out of true and substantial drag kept the wheel from spinning freely.  OMG!  I have been riding for who knows how long with an untrue rim.  My heart sank. Here is the video of my wheel.  It was my intention with this video, to share how I struggled on this particular day.  Cross country riding is hard on equipment.  Spoke repairs and truing rims is part of the struggle. Just ask anyone who has taken on such a task.  Ask them also what they carry in their inventory for on the road repairs.  I carry a pound or glue, a pound of patches, and a pound of spokes.  ;-)  A spoke wrench comes in handy too!!

I want to say that I received a call, very quickly, from my sponsor, Intelligent Design Cycles.  They stated emphatically that normally they would replace the wheel free of charge within the one year warranty period, and offered to do so now.   They have never received word of any problems in the past with their "Stout" line of wheels, not one broken spoke.  Since I had already spent the money on the repairs, they offered to send me the money for the rim/wheel repairs in addition to the offer of a new "Stout Wheel".  I made it clear that I appreciate their sponsorship, and that I had been abusing this "Stout Wheel" from the start.  I have not met anyone towing a load even remotely close to the one I place on this "Stout Wheel" by Intelligent Design Cycles. The videos I have shared here on this blog of some of the runaway downhill descents clearly show irresponsibility and abuse on my part.  The one thing I can say, "After 1,500km of travel, nearly1,000 miles, this Stout Wheel is amazing and has far exceeded all expectations I held for it!!"  I have crossed the country before, and unless I become a greasy spot on the road side, I will do so again....on this "Stout Wheel"!  Thank you for your support Intelligent Design Cycles!

Nick and I sat down after he offered me a very cold beer in a very frosty mug.  What a delight that was.  We had a wonderful chat and shared touring experiences, my actual experiences, and from Nick, what he has experienced through hosting tour riders crossing the country or the state or both, for Nick is not a cyclist.

By complete chance, I asked Nick if he knew my friend and East Coast Tour rider, Jan aka "The Flying Dutchan".  What do you know..."The Flying Dutchman" stayed a night or two with my new friend and dog rescuer Nick O'Connel!!  What a coincidence!!  Here is a link to my post documenting my meeting with "The Flying Dutchman"  We sat down for a dinner that he held off for my arrival and we had a delicious ravioli with vodka sauce, side of asparagus, and generous portions of red wine.  We had such a great time chatting and sharing touring experiences and dog rescue missions, it was after 1a.m. that we finally retired for the night.

June 19, 2017, Monday.  Nick offered to let me take his spare vehicle to the bike store, where I decided to pay for spoke replacement, and have the rim trued.  The spoke that broke, most certainly due to overloading, and excessive and abusive down hill speeds, was on the drive side, or the side with the cassette which requires the removal of the cassette for replacement.  While I was at the bike store, I replaced spokes that I had used up for earlier repairs.  See my Vanceboro post where I replaced two trailer spokes and inadvertently damaged one of my trailer wheels.

I returned to the house and and spent some time on the computer writing, posting to social media, and reaching out to local media, both paper and TV.

If you have not yet noticed, I have not posted mileage for the past two days.  This is because the wonderfully expensive cycle computer, my brand new Catyeye Padrone, has failed completely.  I have since purchased a replacement computer, I only have to locate the new computer in my belongings and install it.

June 20, 2017, Tuesday.  Today I woke up early and assembled the photo albums, links, and wrote the previous blog.  I finished it around 2pm if memory serves me correctly.

I put my bike back together, removed my very expensive and non functioning Cateye Padrone cycling computer and installed my new WalMart Bell Brand computer.  I am very pleased with this arrangement.  I can't imagine where I will have to ship this non-functioning computer to, to have it warrantied or how long it will take to get returned, and not to mention if they will even warranty it. I am having little luck in finding ANY bike store that will exchange it.

My tour and subsequent photos of Williamsburg will be on the next post!  Subscribe to my blog via email and receive it in your email when it is completed!

Here is my photo album for this time period.
PHOTO ALBUM: Williamsburg, VA, our arrival.

If you ejoy this blog, show your support by giving it a "Thumbs-Up", if there is one, a share on your favorite social media, and or a comment.  Thanks guys, enjoy!!!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

June 17, 2017, Saturday. Norfolk, Virginia

June 13, Tuesday, I called local news media outlets, went grocery shopping, then finished my previous blog post.  At the grocery store I bought another gallon of milk and a whole fryer chicken.  10 kilometers traveled this day riding into town and back.

June 14, Wednesday, I left my campsite at Chesapeake Campground with the knowledge that we were going to meet with a photographer for WTKR News 3 at the Waterside District in Norfolk, Virginia.

Along the way I had stopped to admire a bridge (South Norfolk Jordan Bridge) off in the distance and take a couple of shots with my camera.  Finished with my brief stop I had pulled up Google Maps to verify that the out-of-the-way route I was on was, in fact, still the least out-of-the-way route to be taken.  (It is evident that there is no such thing as easy directions here in Norfolk, and often while on the route to any given destination, one finds themselves going in the opposite direction.)  It was then that I realized that that bridge would need to be crossed.  Double labors where in my immediate future but I convinced myself that the vistas from the apex of the bridge would be worth the work getting to the top.  Indeed it was.  

Regarding shared photo albums, now and in the future...I will more than likely bunch all the photos together in my photo album according to the days ride, and not necessarily one particular location.  For instance, if I name an album by the city, it may include the ride into it, the ride out of it, or both, and not just scenes from the city for which the album is named.  I digress...

I met with Darryl Townsend of WTKR News 3 and shared our story with him and and answered questions at Waterside Marina in downtown Norfolk Virginia.  As soon as the story comes out, I will try to remember to locate the link and share it with y'all.  There will be some great Daisy shots in this one, I hope, for Darryl had Daisy do some unique things on film!

Following the interview, I traveled around downtown just a little, to prepare myself for a later visit and a more thorough picture taking session at that time.  As the day was winding down, I thought it best to make the 12km ride to the house of a very special person I met and whom subsequently invited me to her house for a brief visit.  My new friend Katie Perkins arrived to her home just seconds before Daisy and I pulled into her driveway.  Talk about perfect timing!

I apologize to you all and most of all to Katie Perkins for not mentioning her sooner.  I have given much thought about how I wanted to introduce her, give thanks, and layout exactly how significant her contributions were to our mission.  I've come to the conclusion that I could sit and think about it for a good long while and attempt to make it perfect, but my lack of writing skill will certainly prevent that from happening.

Katie is a most remarkable person and fellow cross country cyclist.  Although she has not completed a cross country, she made the attempt a few years back.  She left San Diego CA, visited the Imperial Sand Dunes (aka Glamis) (many films have shot on location here instead of the Sahara desert since it is much closer to home.  It is as beautiful as it is dangerous terrain) along the way.  When she arrived in the Phoenix area, in a city that was my last place of residence before I became homeless, the city of Mesa, AZ, she was struck by a Penske Rental van by a hit and run driver.  Katie was hospitalized for two weeks.

After meeting with and talking with Katie, I have since learned that the hit and run driver, although he indeed struck her and did in fact leave the scene, in fact left her for dead, and in fact neglected to call for emergency services, he was found not guilty for hit-and-run and all of the other aforementioned sins/crimes.  Katie hopes to, I am left with no doubt that she will, pick back up where she left off and continue her cross country. 

Last year Katie qualified for the Boston Marathon, not an easy feat.  She has been a wealth of information with regard to trail and giving guidance on sights to see while here in Virginia.  She's an avid hiker, kyaker, and all around outdoors man.

She showed me her house, the room that she offered to let me stay in, and pushed me in the bathroom.  Hint hint, nudge, nudge, take a shower.  lol

Her friend Richard, shown in one of the photos, arrived to her house as Katie kept an eye on the TV for the news story on Channel 3 news.  We gave up on seeing the story and I was treated to an amazing dinner at Uno's.  It was an amazing dinner, a most memorable occasion to hear these two talk of their 50k runs, their acheivements, and their interest in mine and Daisy's adventures.

I declined the room she offered and opted to stay in our tent in the backyard; the room was so done up I didn't want to mess it up.  

Katie Perkins, thank you for having us.  Thank you for granting me the freedom, allowing me to leave Daisy and camp, so that I may tour Nauticus, USS Wisconsin, Downtown Norfolk, and Portsmouth.  Thank you for your valuable guidance and warnings of various routes through Virginia.  Thank you for allowing me to upload files on your WiFi, and Daisy thanks you for the bath!  (I am writing this on Tuesday June 20, 2017 rather than visiting Jamestown, Virginia, mostly because I mismanaged my last dollar.   I couldn't be happier.  Our meeting was by far more meaningful to me.  My friends and I can Google Jamestown and check it out online.  ;-) )

To all of my friends, I would like to ask you to consider opening your home to Katie Perkins when she picks up her cross country tour.  She enjoys the solitude of the experience, but your assistance to a person on bike tour has certain joys, for the rider and yourself.  Don't pass up the opportunity to meet this wonderful person if you have the chance.

38 kilometers traveled today. 

June 15, Thursday, I awoke, saw jelly fish, went to thrift store and hopped on the light rail (light train/tram) to visit Nauticus, USS Wisconsin, Norfolk, and Portsmouth.  The all day pubic transit pass, $4 an change, allowed me to board the ferry to Portsmouth and back.  At the thrift store, I finally found a replacement walking shoe as well as a book on Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  $4.22 cents.  Can't beat that at all.  Now I have a pair of shoes for which to climb aboard the USS Wisconsin.  Again, this day was courtesy of Katie!  ;-)

I think that the photo albums will speak for themselves.

13 kilometers were traveled via actual bike travel today.

June 16, Friday, I uploaded photos, shopped online for shoes/cleats, trailer wheels, fished, and mostly spun my wheels trying to prioritize my needs...thinking of all that I needed to do first rather than just "doing".  I did manage to irritate a certain news desk, "Yes Harold, this is like the third time you've called."   Ooops, my bad.  (I'm gonna blame this one on Nathan Konz of Carroll Broadcasting Company (1380 AM KCIM radio)  lol

June 17, Saturday I rolled up camp, damp, for during the night the rain was steady, all night.  I got a late start for rains poured down just as I had my ride packed.  When I left Katie's house, the clouds were barely holding back their rains.  I stopped at two businesses, both of which looked at me funny when I asked to shelter for a moment from the passing storm.  I found my first shelter of the day at a weekly motel just down the road from today/s origin.  When a break in the storms appeared, about 45 minutes later, I made a run for it and found shelter, twice in fact, at two different automated/self serve car washes.  These places don't get used much when it's raining.  One of the photos I posted was of a Car and Dog Wash.  Yes, a dog wash.  Check out the photos!  Which reminds me, Katie helped me wash Daisy.  Daisy got her first bath of this tour at Katie's house!  Ride On!

****My brand new Cateye Padrone cycling computer finally failed entirely.  No more guessing as to what the LCD display reads for it is entirely blank.   Distance traveled this day I'll have to input my origin and destination in Google maps and arrive at an estimated figure.  This will not include all the wandering around that I do while on a days ride. 

(I am writing this on June 20th, and I have to get this one posted and start working on the next.  I'm getting behind and it's driving me nuts.  I want to dedicate this post to Katie Perkins (Ride On!), and the boat pix to Jax, a special young fella whom is already making a difference in his community and for "Veterans and Their Pets", military veterans, and their pets.  Thank you Jax!!!!)

Check out my photo albums.  I will include June 17, Saturday's - travel day-  on the next post!  Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

June 12, Monday. Chesapeake, Virginia

June 10, Saturday.  I arrived to Elizabeth City late in the previous afternoon (here is my photo album for Hertford, North Carolina.  I may have forgotten to upload it in my last post), a total of 50 kilometers traveled this day.  Seeking a safe camp, I decided to call the local VFW and try my luck.  It seemed quite a distance to the VFW from where I was at the time, but having permission has its own peace of mind and I was dedicated to catching a second wind to arrive there if I was granted permission to stay.  

I rang VFW Post 6060 and spoke to a lady that I had assumed was tending the bar and phone, asking for either the Post Commander or the Quarter Master.  She politely informed me that neither was in and offered to take a message.  I gave her a brief description of my mission, what I was seeking (a place to make camp for the night, behind  the VFW building and out of sight), and my contact info.  After she wrote my information down, she asked me to hold.  The person that picked up introduced himself as "Bill".  Again I stated my mission, what I was seeking, and received a firm "No".  This is a response I am familiar with, though in recent history I have been very fortunate to find welcoming and hospitable folks at various VFW's and American Legions along the first part of this tour.

Along the way I spotted some park benches at a church next to Jeffry's Florist and stopped to hydrate and scan my maps for a likely location to "stealth camp".  As the sun was dipping down, I rolled my ride to the treeline where we would stay the night.

From this tree line, I packed up and policed the area to assure that the spot remained as I found it after preparing Daisy's breakfast.   Since deciding that today was a touring day (not making forward mileage progress) I put WalMart on the agenda.  WalMart in relation to where I had camped was a long way away, in fact I actually had to back track quite a few miles, and then that would put me even further from Elizabeth City.

The route I chose to get back to WalMart, turned into a gravel road after three quarters of a mile.  I let Daisy out of her crate to let her jog beside me for the first time this tour, to save me the energy needed to drag a weighted down trailer through this loose gravel, and because she enjoys getting out, something she is not always able to do due to the heavily traveled roads I have been riding on.  After Wal-Mart, I rode towards Elizabeth City, North Carolina for a tour of this beautiful area.  Along the way, I found a bike route that abruptly came to an unannounced end.  What I mean to say, is that there was no "Dead End" sign indicating that a dead end was to come.  I turned around, and about 200 meters back, I met a fella on a motorized wheel chair with an umbrella.  I stopped him and warned of the dead end just ahead.  We talked for a few minutes and before parting ways, wished each other well.  After back tracking and getting back onto Church Rd into Elizabeth City, I found my recent friend was ahead of me.  (I will include a video of this later, in a separate post, for the video shows me passing my first vehicle on this tour.  My new friend in his 4x4 wheel chair.)  He had cut across the lawn to get back on the road, something that I was unwilling to do with my trailer behind me. It is a bitch to back up, even if only for a few yards.

I toured Elizabeth City (here is ...My Photo Album of Elizabeth City, North Carolina) for the rest of the morning when I came across the Elizabeth City Water Front when out of the blue, a fella introduced himself as Chris Day of 'The Daily Advance" asked me for an interview.  This is a first for me...on this tour and the last.  We sat and chatted for a good long while, and before parting, told me about Muddy Waters Coffee shop and gave me the change needed to purchase myself a coffee.  My Facebook friends saw the result of my visit to Muddy Waters.  Thank you Chris Day of "The Daily Advance" for the coffee and the interview, for sharing our story with you readers!  Here is my photo album... Arriving In Virginia .)

I sat at the Water front after another tour of the town.  As the sun was going down, around 7:45, I left to seek a camp.  As I was passing the afforementioned, not so hospitable, VFW, I ran across a Catholic Church with a huge lawn.  I took pictures of the VFW's back lawn from the church property, then proceeded to the very back of the property out of view from early church arrivals.  Here I made a simple dinner of packaged rice and noodles with a can of tuna.

At the end of this day, I traveled over 38 kilometers.

June 11, Sunday, I rolled up my bed roll for we slept under an open sky.  I haven't used the screen tent or its rain fly for quite a while.  I have been opting for quick camps and fighting bugs with DEET.  We left the Catholic Church, next to the VFW Post 660 and arrived at the Citgo,  north along Highway 17.  Here is where I learned of Chesapeake Campground.

This day would mark my arrival in Virginia, leaving the wonderful state of North Carolina behind us.  Surprisingly, there was no "Welcome to Virginia" sign.  Here is my photo album... Arriving in Virginia .I did find, three miles into Virginia, a welcome to Chesapeake County, Virginia sign (should be included in photo album attached).  I also found a bit more roadside shoulder for which to ride on, separated from the highway by continuous rumble strips (a form of vehicular Braille to wake up drunk drivers or those unaware of where the road ends).  

This day would also bring me to the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail, a wonderful and beautiful trail dedicated to bicycles, hikers, walkers, and runners.  I should have some videos uploaded soon to share with y'all!  Along this trail, I stopped to make lunch, a bag of ramen with a half cup of par boiled rice.  I made two glasses of milk from my powdered milk supply to keep the cramps at bay.  I also threw a hook in the canal, hoping to catch anything that would jump on it.

In the late afternoon, I arrived to Chesapeake Campground ($21 per night to pitch a tent).  I arrived to my campsite then thought  Before setting camp, I rode to and from the Food Lion Grocery store down the road.  I brought back a dozen eggs, a gallon of milk, a 5.25 pound chicken, and a couple cans of beer.

I arrived  at camp and quickly carved up the chicken, see photos, and boiled the whole thing in one of my larger pots.  I ran to the showers and scrubbed off at least a weeks worth of grime, DEET, sweat, salt, and sunblock off.  I went back to camp with my washed laundry, two riding outfits and 3 pair of socks and hung them to dry.  I set up my tent screen, and Daisy and I started working on that chicken.

This day, I traveled 69 kilometers.

June 12, Monday was a down day...all day.  I woke, or should I say Daisy woke me, and prepared an awesome Daisy meal with chicken stock, milk, an egg and dog food.   She loved it!  I had lots of milk, eggs, and oatmeal in my coffee. Raw.  Here is my photo album... First Days in Virginia .

I researched local media outlets, made calls and followed them up with emails.  I went to the camp office to pay for another night, to utilize WiFi that is only available at the office and not at the camp sites, and to work on my blog post.  I was able to upload most of my photos since my last post, but the videos have yet to upload for the WiFi is slow.

For lunch I dug out a package of lentils, split peas, alphabet noodles, rice, barley and other grains.  I seasoned this, added some chicken and had a huge lunch.  (see photos). 

I made a pot of beans for later and with the leftover chicken and chicken stock made a rich chicken and rice soup.  Between Daisy and I, none of this chicken went to waste!

2 kilometers traveled this day.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

June 9, 2017, Friday. Elizabeth City, NC

June 7, Wednesday, after having arrived in Edenton yesterday late afternoon, I realized that my phone was on its last leg.  The mini USB phone power port was no longer holding the cable and therefore no longer charging my phone.  Leading up to this day, the entire trip thus far, this issue has been present.  There would be no more fiddling with this connector.

Martin, the Post Commander (pictured above), was kind enough to spend the day with me as we went to two local cell phone and service retailers.  While we waited for the transaction to complete, we went to Dairy Queen for a treat!
In the evening I had a phone interview with .  The story, I'm told, will publish this weekend.  Yay for !!!

June 8, Thursday, I made a solo bicycle outing to tour the town of Edenton while leaving Daisy and camp back at the American Legion.  Thank you American Legion Post 40 for your kindness and hospitality!

I spent a few hours on the tour and was in awe of how well preserved the neighborhoods were.  I shot over 200 photos on my new phone!  I later organized the photos into albums, uploaded them, posted and cross posted as well!  What a dramatic difference this phone has made!  I didn't realize until now  just how slow and overworked my old phone had been.  Here is the result of my Historic Edenton, North Carolina day trip.  , Just click the link... Edenton, North Carolina Photo Album

June 9, Friday, (50 kilometers traveled) I finished and posted the previous blog post, wrapped up camp, and got a very late start on the road.  I would make a long stop in Hertford, NC and have my first milk shake in a historic main street pharmacy.  It was similar to stepping back in time to days long past.  I considered calling an end to the days ride but the park had ominous ordinances posted all around as though the town has struggled with deviants.  I rubbed my tummy, full of ice cream, a huge milk shake, and a grilled ham and cheese sandwich, and made tracks for Elizabeth City.

Before departing for Elizabeth City, I managed to capture a little bit of Hertford, North Carolina for y'all.  Here's the link to that album.  Enjoy!! Hertford, North Carolina Photo Album

I hope you all enjoy this blog!  Until the next post, "Ride on!"

Friday, June 9, 2017

June 6, 2017, Tuesday. Edenton North Carolina

May 31, Wednesday, I finished my last post at 1:30pm and packed up to leave the VFW Post 2514.  My goal for the day was to reach Vanceboro, North Carolina.  I lingered in New Bern shooting tons of pix of the town when the sky started to cloud up.  This indicated to me that great volumes of rain was imminent.  I had a place picked out as a possible place to shelter upon my arrival to New Bern, Glenburnie Park, and getting there proved challenging.   Each time I thought that the light rain would become a down pour, I pulled into a business overhang to shelter my belongings.  Had I not stopped so many times, I would have had time to arrive at my destination at the park and set up my tent.

As it would happen, I pulled into a gas station just one mile from the park when the sky let loose.  I stayed there or three hours waiting for a lull in the rain to make a bee line for the park.  The total mileage for the day was 24 kilometers.

June 1, Thursday, I rolled up my bed roll for we stayed under a pavillion at the park.  On my way out I contacted both the radio station, and and the TV news station located on Glenburnie Dr.  Immediately the radio station said that they were interested in sharing our story.

Upon my arrival at the radio station, I was told to bring Daisy inside.  Before you know it, a small crowd had gathered in the front lobby and welcome hands and humans greeted the four legged visitor.  We took a tour of the entire station while Blando set up for our interview.

The link to the Facebook Live interview is  Check it out and let me know what you think of it.  

June 2, Friday, Down Day, Met with Nate Belt and Allen Fairbanks of at the College of Knowledge at the VFW Post 11119 in Vanceboro, NC.  The resulting story can be found at .

Following the interview, I replaced two spokes on my right side trailer wheel, then trued the rim as best as I was able given the tools that I had on hand.  I had some inner tube self sealing silicone/goo leftover so I put some in both tires.  On the left tire, after letting the air out, removing the stem, inserting silicone/goo, I replaced the valve stem and proceeded to pump up the tire.  At 80psi, I noticed that the inner tire bead had come off at the 5 and 7 O'clock position, pulling and therefore distorting the rim at both of those locations.  Talk about a sick feeling coming over me.  A needless adjustment had turned into another problem.  So much for the saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"  I was able to pound out the distortions to hold the tire bead in place, but this rim will never again be trued properly.  I have it now where it will get me by, hopefully for the next few hundred miles.  I have included photos on my Facebook Group page.  I will assemble a Photo Album and place a link in a following post for your convenience.

June 3, Saturday Vanceboro, NC, to "Little" Washington, NC. 40km traveled.  I will attach a link to a photo album of my tour through town at a later time.  I called the local American Legion for a place to stay as well as rode to their location, dropped off a business card and asked for a return call.  Rather than wait for a call, I looked for a place to throw down a bedroll and found a park near by.  Last minute addition:  try this link to my photo album of Washington, NC.  Washington North Carolina Photo Album

June 4, Sunday, "Little" Washington, NC, to Williamston, NC, to boat ramp then Moratoc Park. 45km traveled.  A link to my Williamston, NC. Photo Album: Williamston North Carolina Photo Album

June 5, Monday, Down Day at Moratoc Park, met with WNCT Tamara Scott of WNCT 9 on your side.  Repaired Trailer hitch, bailing wire to bike frame.  The news broadcast link is

June 6, Tuesday, Williamston, NC, to Edenton, NC, American Legion Edenton Post 40. 59km traveled.  On the way to Edenton, I visited Windsor, NC.  Here is a link to that photo album...  Windsor North Carolina Photo Album
I would not visit Edenton, NC until later, but since I have access to the links on my laptop, here it is... Edenton, North Carolina Photo Album

I apologize for my late post y'all.  I will endeavor to be more timely!  Enjoy