As we started our trip from Greenville yesterday we left with less weight in our saddlebags (panniers) and one extra person, Mr. Ellingson. It was truly a delight to pedal through familiar territory. Much of what seemed like mountains when I would train before the trip now seems nothing more than a small hill. It's amazing how perspective (and experience) changes things. We pedaled down highway 14 and followed it up until it ran into I-385, at which point we followed a parallel road. The scenery was much the same as what we've seen over the past week or so. We saw farms and small towns. We saw train tracks, and Dollar Generals. We felt the humidity, and the sunshine, but were cooled off by the wind as we pedaled down the highway... but, all with a different twist...It felt more like home.
It was so enjoyable to ride with Mr. Ellingson. He (like the others who have joined us) brought a different dynamic to the group. We all enjoyed times of conversation, coupled with times of pounding out the miles. After 30 miles of pedaling we met up with Mrs. Ellingson (yay support vehicles!!). She was loaded with water, peaches, and plenty of other snacks. It was awesome! After a brief 20 minute break we continued on our journey. 30 more miles later we landed in Newberry at next to a BP, where we took our lunch break. Now at this point all of us were feeling a little tired from our ride, but with good reason. We hit our best average to date 15.6 mph if memory serves me right. It was only 2:30 and we had hit 60 miles already!
After an hour lunch break the Ellingson left for Greenville and we 3 brothers left Newberry; dodging rain clouds as we pedaled. After a total of about 85 miles for the day my energy began to wain a little. I was getting tired. Thankfully we began to research where we were going to stay for the night right about then so I had a goal to work towards. 15 miles to Lexington and nothing for the next 30 miles as far as hotels go. Therefore, Lexington it is! We biked for another hour or so and stopped at our sleeping location for the night. The crazy thing is we hit it about 6:30! Had there been a destination within 15 or so miles we easily could have broken our previous record of 107 miles in a day. Crazy!
Now the original plan was to have the entire family come and join us at the hotel. However, it made more economical and chronological sense to come in the morning and save everyone the expense of an extra hotel room. So that is what we did. This morning we woke up, and going going down the road and met the rest of our family about three miles from where we stayed. After saying our good mornings and dropping even more of our gear and weight, we continued to head south east towards Orange County. 79 miles later we met up with our dad in a small town called Harleyville. The ride itself was SUPER humid, but otherwise really good. One crazy thing did happen though. As we entered into Harleyville a cop going in the opposite direction put on her lights and rolled down her window as we passed by. Knowing it was for us we slowed down and she yelled out of her window "Hey boys if you don't hurry up I'm going to have to go in and tell your dad." Haha I had no idea what to expect but it was not that. We booked it and she pulled around and followed us with her lights on into town. Apparently my dad had stayed at a restaurant called Champs, nearly all day talking with the locals which included the local law enforcement.
Here's a picture with the Champs owner (an awesome lady by the way), the cop, and us.
With satiated bellies we three and our dad set out for our second to last destination Summerville were I am currently typing from a hotel computer. Needless to say we have made it here without a hitch, and we finished the day with a total of 105 miles. Tomorrow, the plan is to bike from here to Folly Beach and hopefuly arrive somewhere near lunch time. Thus concluding one heck of a journey. It's so crazy that it's nearly here! Thank you guys once more for being awesome! I wish we could tell you all of the random/amazing blessings that we have seen. Little things like the fact that my dad got to tour with us and there were no mishaps or the fact that we have had so little rain this ENTIRE TRIP. It's just awesome to see the Lord provide time and time again :) Anyways, I'm going to go have some dinner.
Oh and one more thing there was an email that mistakenly was sent to us saying that all donations would be matched $2 for $1. That is NOT the case, and we apologize for the miscommunication. That being said we are nearly at the end of the "Race for the Cure". If you or anyone you know could donate even $5 that would be awesome! Thanks a ton guys!