Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Columbia - Sumter (November 24)

Day 71

Anthony and I rode 60 odd miles while Rachel drove again. I thought Anthony would really suffer today after the travails of yesterday, but again I was only slowed down a little, and he wouldn't let me carry his rucksack due to male pride or something. Soon after leaving Blythewood we saw the appositely named Hard Scrabble Road just slightly off our route. However, we took a wrong turning and ended up in a maze of streets which weren't on our map, thought we could get through and ended up going round in circles, through golf courses, and riding an extra 6 miles. At length we found the original road and went back on ourselves, then forward to the correct road. It had indeed been a hard scrabble to find it. We snapped each other in front of this road sign and then a few minutes later did the same thing on Bud Keef Road. Today we had lunch inside a fast food joint, where we had a sub even tastier than the ones at Subway. Once again my tale produced incredulous reactions from the staff here. It really doesn't feel such a big deal to me, It was good to have someone else work out the route and I could relax a bit, although the riding can feel a bit weird as I'm so used to being alone.

The scenery was much the same as yesterday; we stuck to minor roads and passed an interesting mixture of what Anthony termed 'McMansions' (huge and showy) as well as tatty trailers. It was overcast with a few drops of rain, but luckily it didn't come down heavily until we had reached the motel at Sumter. It was an 'America's Best Value Inn', the name of which is a little off-putting. Rachel particularly felt it to be shoddy and had some issues with the man at reception. Compared to some of the dives I've stayed in it was pretty classy. I especially liked the width of the bed and the three pillows side by side (for three people?) We dined at chain restaurant Ruby Tuesday next door (ie 400 yards in this country) and I had a burger and 'all you can eat' portion from the salad bar. Salad over here includes ham, bacon bits, cheese, and many other fatty foods and dressings. Over dinner Rachel discussed the film script she has completed. The working title is 'Like a Virgin', it's a romantic comedy and it sounded fantastic – and the kind of thing that would go down well with movie execs.

Anthony was gagging to get back to the motel for a game of Scrabble. Seeing as we were both from Britain and more comfortable with the SOWPODS lexicon, this is what we used for challenges, of which there were plenty. We played with the American challenge system (losing your turn for invalid words) but the trouble is Anthony is a better bluffer than me and I challenged a couple of his correct words, while he caught me out on a couple of incorrect plays. He was soon 150 points in the lead, with SINGLET and other high-scoring words. I made a dent in the deficit with LORRIES on a triple word, but it wasn't enough and he was still 100+ points ahead at the end.

The next morning we had another free breakfast, although this time only cereal and donut type things were on offer. Rachel tried to explain to the man at reception about how it was not a good idea to say a women's room number out loud when there was a male stranger present, but he didn't seem to get her point.

1 comment:

Ericwipe287 said...

Haven't you tired by so much cycling?