Archive for December, 2013

I escaped for one night midweek to Myrtle Beach.  The winter wind whipped in the cold.  Even after bicycling up and down the Grand Strand, it was becoming difficult to find a positive thing to say about the whole place.   Almost all the restaurants are a quarter mile from the beach on US 17,  six to eight lanes of American Beauty.  Luckily, you can bicycle on minor roads, only having to go on US17 for short stretches.

US 17, Myrtle Beach

US 17, Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach does have dozens of nineteen fifties and sixties motels.   They are an endangered species.   At least ten that I passed were in the process of being torn down.   Others resembled single person occupancy hotels for poor people on the oceanfront, a hundred and fifty dollars a week in the winter.

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This place is in the process of being torn down.

This place is in the process of being torn down.

Still, many of these motels are lovely to look at, and we can only hope that Myrtle Beach can discover that they are really something worth saving.

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Laurinburg-Maxton airport and South of the Border

If you drive south about two hours south of Chapel Hill, these two fascinating places are twenty three miles apart.    It makes for a pleasant daylong roundtrip by bicycle, if you park at the Laurinburg-Maxton airport.

Lots of people visit South of the Border, although very few by bicycle.   Almost no one visits the airliner junkyard at Laurinburg-Maxton airport.  This is unfortunate, because these planes are fascinating to look at.    They fly them in on their final journey,  and then spend several years gradually taking them apart.   Until recently there was no fence at all at the southwest corner, and you could bike right up to an enormous dead 747.    There is a waist-high fence now, so I chose to be lawful and photograph from outside the fence.

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Much of the bike ride was across Robeson County.   A large percentage of the inhabitants are American Indians of the Lumbee tribe.   Many people live in mobile homes strewn across the flat agricultural landscape.   Older farms appear abandoned.  At one point, I was seriously chased by four dogs.

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Rowland, North Carolina is only three miles from South of the Border and South Carolina.     Pink Restaurant had the traditional Southern after  church lunch, all you can eat $ 8.50.   It was similiar to the one I had three weeks earlier at Hite’s in Leesville, South Carolina.   Fried chicken, turnips, green beans.   Good, but not as exquisite as Hite’s.

Pink Restaurant, Rowland NC

Pink Restaurant, Rowland NC

What can I say about South of the Border?  Apparently it was started in 1949 not just as a place to buy fireworks, but a place to buy beer for the inhabitants of the dry Robeson County.

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