Day 23 Swansboro, NC - Two Far 2019 - Coasting Along to the Maritimes - CycleBlaze

May 17, 2019

Day 23 Swansboro, NC

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It was another nice day to ride.  We had a brisk tailwind most of the day.  We left the Island Inn in Surf City after a comfortable two day stay.  It isn't plush or fancy, but we highly recommend it for clean, comfortable rooms with the most accommodating owners you could want.  They let us park our bike in the garage at their home and let us do laundry, not something they offer to guests, out of the goodness of their hearts.

We rode up to the north end of Topsail Island and crossed the Intracoastal Waterway back to the mainland.  Kerry wrote yesterday about the Osprey military aircraft which were tested here and now pilots come here to learn to fly them.  We saw a number in the sky while we were here.

The Osprey can fly like both an airplane and a helicopter. (I know we have readers with a lot of knowledge of military aircraft, so I'm sorry for the poor description.)
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We stopped and talked to some touring cyclists this morning.  They left Maine and are headed to Charleston.  They have 21 days for their trip, so are averaging over 70 miles a day.  It's so nice that we get to tour with no time constraints!

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The Intracoastal Waterway at north Topsail Island
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Crossing the bridge back to the mainland
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Back on the mainland, we once again got to ride on US 17.  This was a good section with a wide, clean shoulder.  It was a comfortable ride.  It was less comfortable when we turned on NC 24 to head to Swansboro.  NC 24 is the road most people use to enter Camp Lejeune.  The traffic is heavy and very fast.  It seemed faster to me than other traffic we've experienced on this trip.  We also had a couple of those jerks who have to stomp the gas pedal and swerve around you just because they had to wait for ten seconds to pass.  But Kerry coolly kept us safe and we didn't have any close calls.

We stopped at the Lejeune Memorial Gardens across the street from the Coastal Carolina State Veterans Cemetery.  It is at  Montford Point, the site of the first training camp for black Marines.  It was deactivated in 1948, when the military was desegragated. 

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There is also a Vietnam Memorial with the American casualties etched on clear plates walls surrounding a central pavilion with fountains.

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We decided to stop for a late lunch before we got the our hotel.  There was a Jersey Mike's in town, so we pulled in.  Neither of us had ever eaten at a Jersey Mike's before, but had heard they were good.  We heard right!  Our sub was delicious.  Everyone in the place was friendly and welcoming.  We'll be looking for another Jersey Mike's as we travel. - Jeanna

Jersey Mike's Swansboro owners Beth and Pat (in blue) and their sandwich chefs. Thanks for a great lunch!
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Ever since we left Shallotte, NC, my days  have been deja-vu's that weren't.  In 2016 we took our first long distantce trip ever, accompanied by Alain and Viktoriya.  I clearly remember staying in Shallotte, our hotel, the restaurant we had dinner in, etc.  From there, my mind went blank.  From Shallotte to Surf City,  I remembered nothing about our previous  ride until we came to the Southport ferry terminal.  I had no recollection of ever being in Southport at all.  Once off the ferry, I remembered visiting the NC Aquarium and seeing Fort Fisher, but then Jeanna and I had a conversation about whether or not we had ever been on Topsail Island.  Turns out, that in 2016, we rode right through Surf City  and crossed back to the mainland at Sneads Ferry, just as we did today.  Jeanna did remember the motel we stayed in at Sneads Ferry when she saw it, and after she pointed it out, it did jog my memory.  Once we got on US-17 and started riding past Camp Lejeune, I did have a nagging  thought of having been there, but I  couldn't remember any specifics (I don't remember riding through Jacksonville at all). 

Usually,  I'm very good at remembering places we've been and things we've seen, so this really bothered me.  Thankfully, by looking at our previous route, I know that our routes have now diverged, and it is all new territory from here on (at least until we get to Maine).  My mind can now be at ease!   - Kerry

Today's ride: 51 miles (82 km)
Total: 809 miles (1,302 km)

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Keith A. SpanglerIt is funny how we forget isn't it. But, it only takes a few reminders to jump start things. I think that is the positive about blogging (sharing). Even if no one else cares (reads), it is there for you to get "jump started." Be safe my friends
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