Tuesday, June 9—St Augustine, FL to Myrtle Beach, SC
Today’s weather forecast was the most daunting of the trip so far. There seemed to be no reasonable route that would keep me from getting drenched. I stayed on I95 for the first couple of hours in an effort to get ahead of the developing storm. I would usually avoid the morning traffic surrounding a major city. But I’d never been to Jacksonville before, so I rode right through the middle of town. It’s a beautiful city, with the architecture of the Wells Fargo building most notable.
Big shout out to friends in Georgia! I would have enjoyed catching up with you. But I have to maintain a minimum number of daily miles to make it around this country in 33-34 days of riding. I wish you a blessed June!
I cruised though Charleston and found myself in Mt Pleasant when I realized it was already time for lunch. I stopped, checked Yelp, and went to Graze. It’s a small restaurant in a shopping mall, and doesn’t look like much from the outside. Inside it’s a cool setting full of southern charm. I sat in the bar area next to a lively group of four ladies. As I ordered my lunch I couldn’t help but overhear portions of their conversation. Let’s just say they seemed to have very interesting lives.
When my food arrived I took a couple of photos to share with you. (I ordered these dishes for the greens and mushrooms, obviously!) As I did, I noticed these women looking at me a smiling. They thought I was a food critic! I let them down gently, and told them about my ride around the country. They were a lot of fun. I said goodbye and left the restaurant. While I was getting ready to ride away they walked out, and I ran over to take a quick photo. But the lady on the left of the photo would have nothing to do with a photo in front of the restaurant. She wanted it taken in front of my Harley!
The weather started looking rather grim. Yet I seemed to be divinely guided, yet again, both in route and timing, in between two storm fronts.
I had nearly enough gas to make it to my destination for the night. But with the skies dark, I decided to fuel up at a Shell station in Georgetown. I met two gentlemen there, and gained some insight into the weather patterns in the area. They, too, were hurriedly getting some work done in advance of the anticipated downpour.
I made it to Myrtle Beach nearly dry, and drove 8 miles past my hotel. It seems as though I set the wrong hotel address in my GPS. As I turned back to the south, the skies ahead of me were filled with extremely dark clouds. I arrive da the hotel just before the rain started to fall steadily.
I had no idea that Myrtle Beach is such a tourist town. It’s like Disneyland/Branson/Las Vegas. At the end of a full day of riding, a theme restaurant is the last place I want to go eat. Lisa is to my ride what Houston was to the space program at Cape Canaveral…assisting from a long distance away. She has a road trip book and offers suggestions for good places to stop, eat, and stay. Tonight she had a recommendation for Sea Captain’s House, a seafood restaurant that is a classic, beachfront, and old school place. I lamented that I didn’t want to ride there in the rain, and she simply texted, “Take a cab.” My first Uber ride later and I was enjoying a nice dinner at the bar, visiting with a local couple and a man from Denver. The food and service was great, and he view of the ocean was excellent!
Route: I95N, 17N
Miles Today: 395
Time Today: 8:55
Total Trip Miles: 5,271
Weather: Overcast high 70s to low 90s, 85% humidity
Lunch: Graze, Mt. Pleasant, SC
Lodging: B/W+ Myrtle Beach Hotel
Dinner: Sea Captain’s House