Thursday, October 11, 2012
Was This A Bike Trip Or A Food Trip???????
To say that the seven days crossing North Carolina was great is an understatement.
Hubs left Brevard, NC last Sunday and cycled 500 miles to Carolina Beach, NC with over 1,000 bicyclists. I don't have a lot of great pictures but I have some fabulous memories. While he pedaled I set out to explore every small town along the way. My goal was to find small mom and pop restaurants and bakeries and to see if there were children's shops along the way.
WE celebrated our 37th wedding anniversary on the day we left. We spent the night in Brevard, NC at at Bed and Breakfast called The Red House Inn. If you are ever up that way, stop in. It is a precious place (we stayed two nights in the cabin out back), and is operated by the nicest couple!
We saw some beautiful waterfalls while out exploring and spent some time in Waynesville!
His first ride was from Brevard to Lake Lure...talk about BEAUTIFUL!!!! We spent the night at my *home away from home*....Camp Lurecrest.
From Lake Lure he pedaled to Shelby, NC. Sweet town with a wonderful diner!!! If you are ever there, eat at The Shelby Cafe'! They have been in business since the 1920's and man can they cook! If you go, ask for Billie. She is the owner and a sweet, sweet lady!!
Oh, and this is how you dry shoes and clothes in a hotel if you pedal in rain so hard you can't see your hand in front of you:
Shelby to Matthews, NC was our next day. I have some family and friends that live close by that came to cheer hubs on!!! How encouraging is that????!!!!! Our family cooked our meal in Matthews....fish tacos that were oh so yummy!!!
Bright and early the next morning we headed to Rockingham, NC. Hmmmm.......my mom always said *If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.* I feel bad for Rockingham. Since the major Nascar Races are no longer held there, the town has lost a lot of its revenue. I sure hope they are able to revive what is left of Rockingham and that one day soon it will flourish again. If you know of a great cafe' or restaurant there I hope you'll visit them. All we could find was a chain barbecue restaurant that we eat in at home. So, barbecue it was....and it was good!
From Rockingham he rode to Lumberton. Lumberton was sooo friendly. Who knew???? The bikers had their warmest welcome in Lumberton and hubs and I fell in love with a crazy good restaurant there named *Candy Sues.* Best meatloaf and ribs we may have ever eaten and some to-die-for fried cheesecake with blueberry compote. *Slap Yo Momma* good! We met the owner, Candy Sue herself , and quickly realized why it's a popular place not just because they have good food! Lumberton was a pleasant surprise.
Our next stop was White Lake which was a beautiful lake with a white sandy bottom!!! It's a great place to take a family with children....especially if you like to camp. We spent our *down* time in a town five minutes away. Elizabethtown was one of the best little towns we visited. There are some quaint cafe's and a hamburger joint, Melvins, that was written up in Our State Magazine. There is also a bakery, *Burney's Sweets and More,* that has fabulous cream cheese croissants and doughnuts and just about any other homemade dessert you can think of. I can still smell those warm pastries fresh from the oven!!!
The last day of the trip was from White Lake to Carolina Beach, NC. It was the most beautiful day of the entire week. The day was sunny with highs near 80 degrees. Their 500 mile ride was complete!! We celebrated with a meal at Michael's Seafood! All the seafood at Michaels is steamed, broiled or grilled. I highly recommend this restaurant....especially if you've just pedaled 500 miles across NC on a bicycle!!
I am so proud of Hubs for his commitment to cycling across North Carolina. He has dieted and exercised and committed himself to a healthier lifestyle. However, I would be remiss if I shared all this and did not share what REALLY made a difference to us during this trip.
Hubs rode with a man he met on the trip named Buck....I call him Santa Claus.
Buck is from the mountains of West Virginia. He is all that is good in this world. The salt of the earth. He cares about those less fortunate and lives his life to make a difference. It's good to know a man like Buck. He restores your faith in mankind.
Then, there was a young man who rode the entire 500 miles......he is paralyzed from the waist down. He pedals and brakes with his hands. His strength, both physically and mentally, is nothing short of amazing, And how about the man in his 70's who is autistic? Yeah, how about him? His bicycle was pieced together with pieces of 2x4's. He had a tachometer off a car rigged up to keep up with his miles. He inspired everyone to be thankful....and pedal on. And what about the retired gentleman who has ridden in 50 rides this year alone.....thousands and thousands of miles!!! There were groups that were riding for cancer and a group of men from Lexington, NC riding for a children's home. There was a woman from High Point, NC who had JUST started riding and through tears made her way each day to the finish line. She never dreamed she would make it.
Better than the food or the bike ride.
Hubs can't wait to do it again next year.
Me either. Oink Oink.