Memories of America #5 - It's a long road westwards.

This is the look of someone who's been in the saddle for seven hours or so and still has another hour to their destination.

After visiting the Wright Brothers National Monument, I spent my first night of the trip under canvas on the Outer Banks and pondered my next move.  I was now approximately as far south as the start of the Trans-Am Trail in Tellico Plains, Tennessee, so it was time to leave the Atlantic behind and head west across the length of North Carolina.  Trouble was, looking at the map didn't reveal a sensible route which avoided freeways and big cities, and looking at the guidebook didn't reveal anything that desperately appealed before the Blue Ridge mountains right at the western end of the state.

The simple solution - go fast until you get to somewhere that makes you want to slow down.  

I set the GPS for Asheville, 450 miles away, and got rolling.  I took this picture at four or five in the afternoon, pulled over on a sliproad of the I-40.  I'd stopped a few other times along the way for fuel, food, a prolonged search for a cash machine, and getting pulled over by a cop because he thought I'd been filtering along the shoulder (I hadn't, I'd just pulled out of a fuel station where his view was obstructed by a truck - happily he accepted this explanation).  This stop - probably only fifty miles short of Asheville - was simply because I couldn't go another mile without getting off the bike and getting my helmet off my head.

Ten minutes walking around, some crisps and a drink, and a chat to Sarah on the phone, and I was ready to go again.  America's a big old place, and that means sometimes you've got to make the miles.