ALL 50 - Ray’s Journal Entry for: Day 49 - Thursday, June12, 2003

Columbia, South Carolina to Raleigh, North Carolina

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I have revised and updated my itinerary this morning.  This has also allowed me to have my daughter, Amanda, join me on a portion of the trip.  Between school and teaching, she has been busy. She has also been a great help with this adventure.

Darlington Raceway

Heavy Rain on the way to Myrtle Beach, So. Carolina

Beach Blvd., Myrtle Beach, So. Carolina

Myrtle Beach, So. Carolina

Carolina Opry, Myrtle Beach, So. Carolina

No. Carolina State Line (State #34)

USS No. Carolina, Wilmington, No. Carolina

Raleigh, No. Carolina

State Capitol Bldg., Raleigh, No. Carolina

Heading into Florence, North Carolina, I see a sign for Darlington raceway and decide to go see it.  Unfortunately they is activity on the track and I cannot get a picture on the track.

Heading from Darlington to Myrtle Beach, I miss a turn.  I have learned one thing, between truck boxes blocking signs and vegetation blocking sign and the only one in the car, it's a challenge!

I stop and ask directions in Effingham.  Next light left, next light right, follow the signs to the beach. It is a beautiful back country road through the tobacco fields.  I can see a wall of water ahead.  The pavement is dry, in a moment its as if someone was pouring a pail of water over the windows!  In a few miles the rain is over and the same scenario starts again.

As I get closer to Myrtle beach the rain stops and the sun is hazy through the clouds and overcast. It is 89 degree and muggy.  There is lots of activity in Myrtle Beach. I am told this is the busy time of year. Lots of people on the street and the going is slow.

Leaving town, I see a sign for the Carolina Opry.  I make a U-turn to get a picture.  I find it ironic that in two weeks, fourteen days, I will be at the Grand Old Opry!

Heading north, I enter North Carolina, State #34.  I will say one thing, it appears there are as many golf shops as there are swim wear shops in this area. Unfortunately, I have time for neither, damn my luck!

Entering Wilmington, I stop and get a picture of the USS North Carolina. and the head west on I-40. A sign, entering the Interstate, "Barstow, CA 2344 miles"

It looks dark ahead and I turn the radio on. There are sever thunderstorms forecast until 7 PM.  Stopping at a rest are about 30 miles from Raleigh it is lightly raining. By the time I return to the car it is pouring and I can hear thunder. I sit in the parking lot until it subsides. Getting back on the interstate, it starts to rain heavily again. I slow to 40 mph and am getting passed at break speed.

Entering Raleigh, the rain has presently stopped and I circle the Capitol on the one way street.  The traffic is surprisingly heavy and fast for 6:15 PM and making it difficult to find a place to get a picture. Also the vegetation is heavy, obscuring a lot of the view.  It is starting to rain and I head for the Outer Loop. I have made arrangements to get the car serviced in the morning.

The Holiday Inn where I am staying has a number of young men and women that have been going through physicals and testing.  Some of them ship off for boot camp tomorrow, I thank them for serving.

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