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Sep 18

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A day in black and white

Yesterday I saw sunlight for about 30 seconds.  It was truly a black and white day.  But like any lover of black and white photography knows, the combination of black, white, gray tonalities, and geometry can create a beautiful picture.  Sometimes, things are better in black and white, rather than color.  I can not vouch for that, regarding yesterday, but I must say that it was one of my favorite days.

Aurora Ferry

So lets get the black tonalities out of the way.  If there is something I do not like, it is riding in the rain.  Even less than that, cross-winds, but the worst is the combination of the two.  For a while, I had that yesterday.  It was towards the end of the day, and in some places it was quite harrowing.
Rain started coming down while crossing the Pamlico River.  By the time I got on the road, it was a steady drizzle.  Yet, I was making reasonable progress.  The small back roads were in good shape, and while I was traveling at a fifty mile/hour pace, things felt good.  It all changed when I got onto a 4-lane road.  The wind started blowing from the sides.  On a couple of occasions I almost got blown onto a neighboring lane.  But the scariest time came on another river crossing, where the visibility was minimal, and even at 27 mph the BeMWu entered into this regular fishtailing pattern.  It almost felt like a choreographed dance.  With such low visibility, steady rain, side winds, and a several mile long bridge, I felt a car or truck would end the dance for me.  My hazard lights flashing, I kept repeating “Nice and Easy”, over and over again, interspersed with ‘Our Father’ prayers.  With 120 miles to go at that point, I was thinking I would be riding for another 6 hours.
Thankfully, it all subsided after an hour or so.  Still, the 5 hour ride that I scheduled for yesterday ended up taking about 13.  Ugh!
But now for the gracious lines, the whites and grays.  I must say that the roads and sights of yesterday were what I had been looking for all of this trip.  Just after leaving the urban, commercial expanse of Myrtle Beach, the roads began to undulate and twist.  The hills rolled in front of me, and with the air dry at that point, I was having a great time.  White magnolias lined the road, the air was cool, and the BeMWu hummed along.  Even my lower back was feeling great.
I left South Carolina behind, rolling into North Carolina.  Another state on the list.  By the way, I really like the South Carolina crest.  It is a palm with a crescent moon next to it.  What makes it so cool for me is that I have a hard time thinking that people would make the same choice these days, but now, there is no rolling back.
Shortly after rolling into North Carolina I started seeing signs for Bolivia.  Now this one caught my attention.  Typically we see a lot of towns named after European cities, sometimes with ‘New’ preceding the name, but Bolivia?  I so wanted to get a photo of the sign, but as fate would have it, and confirmed by some of the rules of the road, with no shoulders on the minor byways, it was never safe to stop to snap a shot.  Finally, without any warning, a turning lane with the sign showed up.  Bad thing, it came out of nowhere, and I could not stop in time.  Yet, not to be deterred on this mission, I waited for the next cross-over and rode back an additional 4 miles just to snap that shot.  [Donors who are donating by the mile, this will be an additional 4 pennies courtesy of Bolivia].
So what is the story with Bolivia, North Caroline?  To start out, according to the Wikipedia, it is the county seat for Brunswick.  It has 148 inhabitants, and the name came from the fact that many boxes were being shipped from the area to Bolivia, and people liked the name.  Missing in the explanation is why so many boxes were being to Bolivia to begin with.  Any guesses?
I really enjoy agricultural landscapes, and yesterday was rich on this.  Cotton fields were all over the place, along with sorghum.  Not to be missed were the required side road landmarks.  Every road has to have a mattress abandoned on the side, and North Carolina made sure that the one I spotted yesterday was blue.
In one of the small towns I saw another two wheeler who called to mind someone I know.  Just like a few days ago I saw a biker that seemed like the spittin’ image of our realtor Mike, yesterday it was a BOS [brother on scooter].  Coming down the street, in a small town, and turning right in front of me, with a bright smile, and a thick gray mustache was a black man on a scooter that could, by all accounts, be our beloved Uncle Henry.  This was a great highlight of my day.
Throughout the North Carolina roads and small towns I saw the signs of the recent storms that have battered this area of the country. Twisted gas station overhangs, fallen trees and branches, and the infamous blue tarp roofs that Houston, and the Gulf Coast have become all too familiar with.
The awareness focus of my trip continues to develop.  The ‘Not For Sale’ sign on the side of my bike continues to spark conversations, as does the patch on my safety vest, or my orange bandana.
Hope grows, and today, while a slow down a bit in Virginia, having put 3,000 miles bend me, I still dream that freedom for the captives will come.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.jaderiderjourneys.com/2endslavery/2011/09/18/a-day-in-black-and-white/

3 comments

  1. Ade

    I, too, have always loved the SC flag.
    Someone just said the word fungus and I had to add ‘among us.’
    Pensando en ti

  2. Sandra

    Don’t let the bed bugs bite…and don’t bring the blanket with you either!

  3. Diane Davis

    You’re in my prayers Carlos. Especially for better weather to make this a safer trip.–Diane

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