Bike for the Cure – Day 5 – Holden Beach NC to outside Charleston SC
Monday June 6
We got up early and rode bikes over to Holden Island as planned, where we were promised bicycle friendliness and 20 miles of bike routes. We found it to be a typical intercoastal community with huge houses lining both sides of the Main Street. The sidewalk was where you were expected to ride and signs asked pedestrians to share the sidewalk with bicyclists. We started encountering walkers and joggers as time passed and they were all very friendly. We rode the side streets as well and struck up a conversation with a lady whose family owns a vacation home on the island. She told us that most of the homes were owned by people who came and stayed on weekends and for vacations. The houses that were a block off the Main Street, away from the ocean, were abutting a canal that connected to the Intercoastal Waterway, so each house had a boat docked behind it.
The bike route took us to a Coast Guard lookout, a butterfly garden, a Community Park, a walkway to the beach and of course ended at a coffee shop, where we struck up a conversation with a lady who, along with her husband, has done many a bicycle tour all around the world. She said her favorite was Crater Lake, OR. Oh, and she has ridden the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes in Idaho, Sherri’s neck of the woods!
Time to ride back across the bridge, break camp and head on down the road. We passed through Myrtle Beach, which appeared to be a cross between Honolulu with tall hotels on one side of the street and a carnival, complete with ferris wheels and roller coasters on the other side.
Next stop was to find the Waccamaw Neck Bikeway, part of the East Coast Greenway a 3,000 mile trail system being developed from Maine to Florida. We found it at Murrell’s Inlet. It winds through a wooded area just off the freeway. We rode it to its end at, guess what? A bakery! Pawley’s Island Bakery, owned by a firefighter turned baker and a former Seattle-ite, very friendly sort.
We drove from Pawley’s Island to Charleston. We saw kiosks along the highway with “Sweetgrass Baskets for Sale” signs. Informally this area is known as the Sweetgrass Basket Makers Highway, especially around Mount Pleasant. These baskets are an art/craft unique to the Low Country of South Carolina. They are an American art with African origins, passed down from generation to generation, mother to daughter, in the Gullah culture.
We have been doing more driving than riding unfortunately. We just haven’t felt safe on most of the highways. We try to find parallel roads or bike trails, but they are few and far between.
We found a campsite at the James Island County Park just outside of Charleston, and set up camp. We did not have time to see anything in Charleston. We searched the internet & pored over maps trying to find a safe route to Savannah. We’ll tell you if we found any tomorrow.
Mary Ann & Sherri