August 10, 2016 – Partly sunny, 90 degrees
Miles Today: 68
Miles to Date: 14,218
States to Date: 39
A perfect day of bicycle touring. Cotton candy clouds provided dramatic skies all day. A light breeze diminished the high temperature and steamy humidity. The first twenty-five miles out of Raleigh had good shoulders and even a few bike paths. Beyond that, there was so little traffic the lack of shoulder hardly mattered.
North Carolina has the most beautiful specimen trees I’ve seen. They don’t rival the majesty of California’s Redwoods or Washington’s rain forests, but in many places the woods have been thinned so one or two or three specimens can fill out in grand, symmetrical glory. They are stunning. I particularly liked this one that shelters a small cemetery marked by a flag. It’s all there: ancestors, nature, god, and country.
The Battle of Averasboro (March 15 & 16, 1865) took place all along Highway 82. There are dozens of markers as well as several notable structures, a visitor center and cemetery strung along the highway. In classic Confederate spin, the fact that the Rebels pulled their front back three times and eventually retreated is considered a ‘victory’ in slowing the Union advance long enough to decipher Sherman’s intended route of destruction. History may be written by the victors, but the losers come up with more creative interpretations.