Day 36 Fayetteville, NC to White Lake 56 miles 926 feet
It has only been 3 weeks since the autumnal equinox, but it’s obvious to anyone trying to venture out in the early morning, that the sun is rising much later. We opted to delay our starting time till 8:30AM to avoid riding when the sun is so low in the sky that it might impede a drivers ability to see cyclists. When I rolled out this morning I was very pleased to see the warm glow of the sun for the first time in a week. After a brief jaunt through town we were rapidly on the Cape Fear River Trail which we would ride for nearly 5 miles. The trail is fully paved and mostly 12 foot wide except for short sections of wooden bridges. One such bridge was covered and suspended nearly 50 feet above the terrain.
The trail wound through a dense forest composed primarily of old growth deciduous trees. As I was rolling through the forest I received a group text that one of our riders had discovered a “body” at mile 6.5 of our ride. I, like most others, assumed that the rider meant to say that they discovered a “potty”, and Apple auto corrected it to “body”. When I arrived at the spot there were 3 police vehicles on the scene, helping an elderly inebriated man to his feet. It appears that he had just selected an off the beaten path location to sleep off last nights drinking.
Once off the trail we rode through the historic section of downtown Fayetteville and began our journey southeast along mostly deserted country roads. On one such road I noticed a sign for the Moore’s Creek Bridge Battlefield Memorial. During the Revolutionary War, many of the local Scot’s sided with the British Crown and fought the North Carolina Provincial Congress’ militia on February 27, 1776. The British were defeated and the battle was a turning point for the Revolution in North Carolina. Less than 5 months later, America would declare its independence from England.
Once again we would ride through farmland and forests. Many farms were laying fallow and I suspect that they were about to be plowed under as evidenced by the abundant aroma of fresh manure in the air. The 2 principal crops still in the field were soybeans and cotton.
Just before we reached Ammon, I noticed a crop I usually associate with the deserts of California and Arizona, a farm of solar panels stretching out for miles on both sides of the road.
The countryside contained the typical collection of sharecroppers shacks and horses.
I arrived into the town of White Lake, located on the shores of the 1,200 acre natural lake, just in time for lunch. The spring fed lake is fairly clear and has a natural white sand bottom and beaches. White Lake is a seasonal tourist destination and looked like a ghost town today. It reminded me of all the small lake or beach towns I visited nearly 60 years ago. The hotel/resort that we are staying at is currently undergoing extensive renovation and upgrading. The vast majority of the town looks like it was last renovated in the 1950’s. As would be expected from a 50’s beach town, they have a carousel, miniature golf, an arcade, and even a DQ, all unfortunately closed.
Along the route today I noticed a couple of signs that you just don’t see up north or back in California. The first advertised a “Turkey Shoot.”
I wondered if this was a social event, a chance for folks to secure their Thanksgiving Dinner, or perhaps a lazy farmer wishing to rid his fields of wild turkeys and resorting to the Tom Sawyer approach to chores.
The second sign was even tougher to decipher.
In LA and NYC, many women consider it high fashion to show a bit of lingerie peaking out through their outfits. Likewise, Rappers and Hip Hop artists always seem to have sagging pants, even if on the Red Carpet.
After lunch I decided to exercise some different muscles and kayaked 4 miles out and back across the lake.
Dinner was at the resort’s restaurant, The Landing, nothing special but the staff was nice and the food was passable.
Eleven states down, 4 more to go.
Feet Climbed 74,783
States Visited Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina
For more details on my route, see my Strava Link