"You rode 1300 miles for BBQ?!?" (2010)
I must begin this report by explaining my lust for Bessinger's BBQ. I have fond childhood memories of my Dad making BBQ Chicken on the grill. Just before being pulled, he would coat them with a yellowish sauce, sear em then serve them. I figured that was what everybody ate for BBQ sauce. This South Carolina "Low Country" Mustard Based BBQ sauce is not very common elsewhere and was an item acquired while living in Savannah, GA. For years, Bessinger's or Maurice's BBQ sauce has been my ultimate favorite.
This weekend, I decided it was time to pay the ONLY Bessinger's BBQ a visit. (Yes I know there is another one but it was built after a family strife and split...this one is the original Piggy Park)
I left work Friday headed for the Unwharrie National Forest south of Asheboro, NC. I slabbed over to Afton Mtn then rode 6 down to 29 and went south listening to Bluegrass and Blues through my droid phone.
I rolled down to the Pisgah Covered Bridge in the N.F. to find a couple having their picture taken with the bridge in the background. I was going to mention something about poor lighting etc but figured they could have their fun. Kept my darn mouth shut!
I didn't know where to camp. I had seen the $5 a night sites on the NF site but had only a rough idea where they were. I rode around for about an hour scouting out spots to string up but it was mostly farm fields and private land (not that it would stop me...just makes it covert)
I rolled up on this huge logging operation and rode down a logging road for a ways. Snapped this shot of the sunset sorta and decided to pitch my hammock. Not a few minutes later I hear dogs barking and a truck door slam. I'm outta here :pynd
I made half a packet of rice, had some of my remaining water, brushed my teeth and went to sleep around 9. I lay in the hammock and enjoyed the lack of people and the sounds of the woods. Ahhhhhh just how I like it. zzzzzzz
I awoke at 4:30AM Saturday and immediately got the hammock and gear packed. I made some coffee and oatmeal and was on the road by 5:00AM. Rolling in the dark, the fog was heavy and speeds were kept relatively low. I passed through a number of small towns on my roundabout way down to Charleston, relying on the GPS's "AVOID HIGHWAYS" feature.
Next stop: UFO Welcome Center, Bowman, SC. I found this gem on Roadsideamerica.com (great site btw :thumb )
After riding around the Plantation grounds, I decided to forgo the walking tour fee and taking off my gear nonsense and get some GRUB!
After buying some sauce for pops, I was off to my favorite SC destination (next to bbq), The Angel Oak on St. John's Island. Truly a must see tree.
So as if I wasn't hot enough sweating in my stich, enduring traffic through the heart of the city was the next on my agenda :augie I did get some nice shots.
It started pouring rain. I turned into the first right hand parking lot and it was a Hardly Davidson dealer. Folks had their bikes parked under the awning and were inside watching me through the windows. I smugly roll up, remove my mesh gloves in favor of my BMW Atlantis II's , zip up my vents, and peace out. NO STEALERSHIPS FOR ME!!!:brow
Passed through Jacksonville in the rain so no shots of the military base or many hotels, or Marines out on the town.
Not much for camping up this way with the swamps and bugs so I worked back toward the pines.
Cue Leadbelly Song "In the Pines"
Black girl, black Girl, dont lie to me
Tell me where did you sleep last night?
In the pines, In the pines, Where the sun never shine
I shivered the whole night through.
My Husband was a Railroad man
Killed a mile and a half from here
His head, was found, In a drivers wheel
And his body hasn't never been found.
Black girl, black girl, where will you go
Im going where the cold wind blows
You called me weak, and you called me the most
You called rita, bring me back home.
I was in the hammock by 7:45. I sweat and lay there enjoying the bug-free atmosphere as mosquitos and hornets (yeah mean f'ers) buzzed and slammed into the bug net. Locals would drive up the dead end Great Lake Rd, most not noticing my bike parked on the roadside with the Camo cover. On their return, they'd usually spot it and do a double take just as they were passing, spying the hammock in the tree. I swayed peacefully asleep to the sound of Owls, birds, crickets and rodents messin' around in the pines...I slept well and did not shiver one bit that night.
I awoke at 4:00AM, packed up my gear and was riding by 4:30AM. I made my way back down the miles of gravel road in the dark and fog a little slower than when I came in. My morning goal was to make the 7AM Cedar Island to Ocracoke Ferry by 6AM to get in line before it embarks. It was dark most of the ride. The only excitement came when I knocked my phone mount and the phone popped out of its holder and dangled by the charging chord:eek1 :uhoh I quickly pulled over and put that puppy in their tightly. Don't want to drop that sucker on the highway.
I made the speedlimit through all the towns, noting the few cars on the roads were police officers at this time of the morning. A suspicious speeding motorcyclist is all the excuse they needed to write a citation. I kept my cool and made sure to gas up before I got to OBX (correctly guessing gas would be $.30/gal more expensive there). The road to Cedar Island is a fast straight causeway with water on all sides. The predawn sky was a light blue with tinges of orange beginning to form. There were no cars ahead of behind me so I lit the wick. A big smile from cheekpad to cheekpad as I hurdled at triple digit toward my ferry, 77F, humid, the naturally putrid scent of decaying swamp matter so foreign to my mountain valley senses...this is what riding is about. :ricky
I set to make a cup of coffee. As soon as I had the stove out and water boiling, the car moved and the lady waved me on. Aw shucks! Threw out the hot water, put the stove away, geared up and paid my $10 to cross to OBX.
All loaded and about to disembark. The crew chats amongst themselves. I have to wonder if they feel "stuck" with a job like this. Training to be Mariners and travelling only to be set with a back and forth ferry gig. Maybe they love it. I never asked.
My favorite shot of the trip...or month for that matter!
Bought a cup of coffee inside the passengers area only to realize coffee was out. I found their stash and brewed another pot. I then took another "on the house" for my efforts. Screw em.
On to Ocracoke. Unfortunately, I accidentally deleted all my Ocracoke shots on the camera internal memory:doh But I checked out the lighthouse and saw some of the sights in town. I had a ferry to catch so had to make it quick. Most cars just made a B-line to the Hatteras Ferry. I stopped and waiting for the next one.
Hungry Rats of the Sky. I kept looking for the Johnathan Livingston Seagull with whom I associate most.
On through Kill Devil Hills, I stopped and picked up the NC12 OBX sticker for my side case and put it on alongside the SC Palmetto and Moon sticker. I'm a sticker whore but it reminds me where I've been, the empty space, where I'll go :norton
I stopped at Jockey's Ridge Sand Dunes
But didn't get out on the dunes. Stich and all...so here is a pic
Just imagine thats me...or not
I love that new 800, bet it rocks on the dirt. I'm still sticking with my 50k mi VStrom though :augie
Thanks for coming along! :wave Till next weekend ...keep on riding.