We are looking forward to arriving in Charleston, SC. Mt. Pleasant, SC actually. That’s where our friend Elden lives. And we’re shall we say concerned. We’ve been over the bridge that goes from Charleston to Mt. Pleasant last Fall when we were visiting for Sammie and Steve’s wedding in Hilton Head. It’s really high, and it’s really long. We try to remember if it has a good shoulder but who cares when they are driving in the car.
So with these fears circulating in our brains we add the new one. Another Winter storm is brewing. Although we have been riding in 70 degree weather it’s supposed to rain hard and the temperature is supposed to be 34 in the morning, with big North winds. Hopefully no ice.
Meanwhile our pleasant ride starts changing. The bike ride that we Googled to take us off of Route 17 turns to dirt. And this is real dirt. In Vermont, when we say dirt road we mean no asphalt. In South Carolina it means dirt. The kind that your tire slips into and you realize that this is a bad idea just before you fall over. So I get up, dust off and we head back to Rt 17. Heavy traffic, almost no shoulder and cars whizzing by for the last 10 miles before we get to our motel.
Once we’re at the motel we can plan for our other concerns, cold, wind, and bridges. But for now, it’s still warm outside. I call Elden to discuss the issues and he offers to pick us up in the morning. You know, arriving at Elden’s house has always been a milestone goal in my mind. To take a pick up ride would be like,I don’t know, taking a train? So I say thanks but no thanks, we keep talking, and I keep watching the Weather Channel. I mention to Elden that it’s kind of weird, on the Weather Channel there is all of this red and yellow stuff right where we are but we haven’t had any of that. A few minutes later, when Shelagh and I leave to walk across the street for dinner, I realize that I have forgotten an important principle. It’s difficult to know what the weather is outside when you are inside, the curtains are shut, and the TV is on. Go figure. We get kind of drenched trying to make it to dinner.
In the morning, we bundle up and decide to go for it. The first bridge turns out to be a drawbridge with a decent shoulder. No problem. We eat lunch in Charleston at a great pub where we figure a pint would be just the thing to help us deal with the long, high, (but beautiful) bridge. Finally I gather my courage. I don’t even feel the cold. We wind our way through the streets of Charleston and approach the bridge. The bridge just happens to have a pedestrian bridge built alongside it with a pedestrian lane and two bike lanes for bikes going in opposite directions. It couldn’t get any safer.
I’m sure there are some witty aphorisms that would fit in nicely here but I’m just going to suggest that sometimes thinking isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.