A week quickly passed after our return from the west coast and we got in a number of bike rides in anticipation of joining the Cycle North Carolina (CNC) Spring Ride in Edenton, North Carolina. In the meantime, we also began to attend to repair work at the house, taking care of those items noted in the home inspection our buyers had ordered. Given all of the money we’ve poured into the place in the last ten years (new: windows, garage door and opener, tankless water heater, Upstairs A/C Unit, Gas Line for Fire Logs, Installation of Sprinkler System, New Front Entry Door, Paint House, French Drain and Sump Pump in the crawl space, and New Dryer Vent and Cover) what was requested was reasonable, the only significant one being the Installation of a foundation pier in the crawlspace (why wasn’t this discovered when we bought the house?).
The two prior times we’d participated in the Spring Ride in Oriental and Little Washington, we’d driven to those towns on Thursday, arriving early in the afternoon to secure our campsites. CNC changed it up this year and allowed camping at 10am on Thursday, so along with our group (Maurice and Jamie, Jason and Karie and Paul and Kim) we reserved rooms at the Holiday Inn Express in Raleigh for Wednesday night, giving us the option to drive just two hours the next morning to get our campsites.
We set out in the middle of the afternoon on Wednesday for the two-hour drive to Raleigh, hoping to miss rush hour traffic, not always a given. Hitting some traffic on the way we still made OK time and after checking in connected with our those that had also arrived to see about heading out for a beer or two.
At Kim and Paul’s suggestion (they were about 30 minutes out, we made our way to the Raleigh Beer Garden, a popular setting in a student friendly neighborhood not far from the campus of NC State. We arrived first and grabbed a table upstairs; this is a very large establishment, with two floors of indoor seating and a spacious outdoor garden setting.
Claiming to have the world’s largest beer selection, we dove right in with a Pilsner Urquell and an Amor Artis Sospreso Coffee Blond Ale to accompany the Smoked Salmon Appetizer and sliders we ordered (BBQ Chicken and Cheeseburger) as the rest of the group arrived. The Salmon was the best of the three dishes, and we finished off the meal with a Stone Enjoy By IPA. It was a great way to start a long weekend with these fine folks.
Up early the next morning we all had breakfast at the Holiday Inn and then drove straight to Edenton, arriving around 10:30am. As hoped for, we had arrived before the other campers and so pretty much had our choice of campsites. We selected enough spaces for our larger group, right next to the water and a lovely place to camp under mild weather conditions, a choice we would come to regret when a violent storm blew in the next day.
With camp set up, we walked a couple of blocks to Edenton’s downtown and stopped in at the Governor’s Pub, as any group of cyclists has folks that can eat like they are riding in the Tour de France. Although crowded when we arrived, we were able to snag a couple of high-top tables and order a round of beers.
Joanna and I split the Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Cheddar and Swiss with Bacon and Tomato on Sourdough which proved to be enough for the two of us, particularly as we planned to eat dinner out later in the day.
We spent the afternoon in camp catching up with our campmates, a somewhat bittersweet experience as in addition to our leaving North Carolina soon, so would Karie and Jason as they would be moving to their new home in Wisconsin the very next week. As planned later, four of us walked back into town for dinner at Waterman’s Grill and though it was crowded, were promised a table in a relatively short period of time.
This went out the window when a few minutes later, two more of our group showed up and though we were glad to add them to the mix, it now added about 30 minutes to the wait time. Fortunately, the house white wine by the glass at the bar was reasonably priced and so time passed pleasantly for me until we were eventually seated. Joanna and I split a bowl of clam chowder that was thicker than we prefer, also hiding the fact that clams may have once swam through the murk but had long since departed.
Better was a special that night, Shrimp Pasta, a serving of penne topped with grilled shrimp and a tomato-based sauce accompanied by fresh steamed broccoli. With plans to put in forty miles the next day and the lateness of the evening following dinner, we all retired not long after returning to camp, glad to be sleeping under the stars, the gentle sounds of waves lapping against the wooden pilings nearby lulling us to sleep.
CNC Spring Ride: https://ncsports.org/event/cyclenc_coastal_ride/
Raleigh Beer Garden: https://www.theraleighbeergarden.com/
Governor’s Pub: https://www.facebook.com/guvspub/
Waterman’s Grill: https://www.watermansgrill.com/