To Charleston on Route 17 (Day 16)

With caving in and feeling that I should stay in a motel to be safe last night (in Myrtle Beach), I used the bathtub as a washing machine. I was shocked to see how dirty the water turned. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ What can you do? Lol.

I hung the clothes out to dry on my balcony and ended up having to throw them quickly into a dryer of a neighboring motel for 75 cents. My sweetshirt and jeans are really stubborn about air-drying.

I was itching to continue south and after stopping at a nice breakfast restaurant, I hit the road. Here was a pretty good section of the road with some shoulder. Other areas, at 60mph, had no shoulder at all. If you look closely at the picture, there is someone crazier than me who is actually bicycling on it. 20160921_123236

“VRROOOOOoooooooooooooom” went all the cars flying by. And the sound of all the semi’s tires passing will always haunt my dreams as they whine and whir loudly under the weight and friction!

I had asked a few bicyclists on a side road what the speed limit was for 17 before it merged into 60mph, and they said “55” and dropping down slower in towns. I politely asked if bicyclist are allowed, to which he replied, “any fool can take that road if they want.” Looking at my map, it was the only way,  without going waaaaaay around.

On the plus side, when I am dancing on these 1 and 1/2 foot shoulders, I am becoming even more of a the best moped driver the world has ever seen! The bits of old tire rubber, glass, roadkill, and other obstacles strewn all over the road continually hone my agility and professional race car driver focus.

I got closer and closer to Charleston and noticed another all to familiar bridge approaching. I stopped at the visitor center right before the bridge to get some insight. Two and a half miles in length and five hundred and seventy five feet high.20160921_142822.jpg  While at the visitor center I learned about another huge ship that would be worth seeing on my side of the bridge and off I sailed on my trusty moped to Patriots Point. A carrier. An aircraft carrier. 20160921_145025

A lot of this ship was similar in a way to the destroyer. Some areas stood out in letting you actually be in the laundry room instead of just observing through glass. My favorite part was the magnitude of this colossus. It was very exciting climbing down level after level of stairs and finally arriving in the very heart of this metal beast. The engine room was quite, with all types of knobs, gauges and pipes going everywhere. The thick metal walls surrounding me cast their own ambiance. Walking around on these metal grates above even more dark areas below me, I wondered what it would take for this thing to be awakened. And what an incredible and deafening noise would be produced as it came to life. 20160921_152205.jpg20160921_15205420160921_15202020160921_151943  I hoped to go lower and even farther underwater, but it was locked. The darkened areas and blocked off crew ladders carried their own fascinating secrets that I was unable to uncover.

Heading up, I decided to see how far I could climb.

All the other regular sized ships below me where tiny. I wish I could see a carrier in active service with all the crew aboard. That would be an experience. I would even hope to go through some really rough weather. An older gentleman I used to do yard work for had recounted to me the times he would be playing bridge with his crew-mates, launching off the carriers for early morning flights, and even the wild swaying of the huge ship as it went through a typhoon.

*I would not want to see the side of any fighting though. It is hard for me not to think of the families the other person has or the friend that they could be.

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It was time to cross the bridge, as it was getting late, and figure out where to close my eyes for the night. I drove across the bridge hugging the shoulder (as always), and got off the first exit. I stopped at a Starbucks to charge my phone quick and asked a girl around my age what a cheap or good place to sleep/hang a hammock would be. Her or her boyfriend couldn’t think of anywhere in Charleston that would be good or safe. She was working on a resume and looking for a job after being on probation. She mentioned to me one place she could go knowing the people wouldn’t mess with her, but couldn’t recommend it for me. I couldn’t find a hostel and reluctantly got a motel 6 just out of Charleston.

I hate doing this for a few different reasons: it’s expensive, doesn’t show me any special side of a town or area really (compared to a hostel, airbnb, or couchsurfing), and finally, it’s really expensive. Good thing it’s only been like 25 dollars in gas on the trip so far. 😛20160922_082523.jpg

Downtown Charleston was pretty neat with King street and the local flavor of business owners casting their own vision in food, fashion, or a cool place for a coffee. From all the time the aircraft carrier took up, I didn’t see as much of downtown Charleston as I had hoped though.

And it was time for bed. With my birthday tomorrow (the 22nd) and the famous Hilton Head within moped distance there were bright things on the horizon.

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