Easy ride down from the Midlands of South Carolina yesterday. Highway 378 East is a fairly straight route down through forests, few cotton fields and swamps before you arrive on the coast. Arrived at Myrtle Beach around noon without my golf clubs or a collared shirt for that matter.
I checked into a motel a little distance off the beach and strip. Large highways funnel into a beach front row of 70s motels and newer high rise hotels. Ripley’s Believe It or Not, souvenir shops, amusement rides and restaurants line the corridor. The beach and boardwalk are beautiful. Wide white sand beach and a few swimsuits and fishing rods dotted the picture.
I dipped my hand in the Atlantic to make it official. Carmel and South Padre Island were the other two spots I had preformed the same ritual. I had realized while I was riding that I had been on the road for a month now. In a very indirect but meaningful route, I have now gone coast to coast to coast. East will now turn to South as a meander down the Atlantic. I really can not believe a month has passed. It has been an amazing and very inspiring trip thus far. I am very appreciative of the number of people reading and sending me messages. Staying connected to home is important to me. It has also amazed me the number of different countries that are checking on the blog. Ten countries last week alone. Very humbling.
South Carolinians are the first to tell you how friendly they are. They really want to get involved in conversations and ask a lot of questions. As a generalization I have found that west coast conversations get the job at hand done. Here in the south, conversations start with an introduction and a few questions and can end twenty minutes later. It is a very nice way to travel.
South Carolina is also different in other ways. No helmet laws again. The states between here and Texas all require helmets. Road signs encourage helmet use but I have yet to see a rider with one on. Churches are stacked side by side and some license plate have the slogan “In God We Trust”. Various denominations of Methodist and Baptist are the most frequent. As a throw back to childhood, smoking is permitted in restaurants. Forget about smoking and non-smoking sections. It is a free for all.