Day 27: Dunn to Elizabethtown

Yesterday in Dunn, I walked to Kim’s Barbecue House for dinner. It started thunderstorm soon after I ordered so I was glad to be inside. I had the BBQ pork with corn and coleslaw. I also had a strawberry ice cream for dessert, but the waitress didn’t charge me, saying that it’s free for all the guests. Not sure if that’s the truth or I’m special.

The rain stopped a few minutes after I finished my dinner. When I got back to the Beacon Rescue Mission I fell asleep at 6:30 PM again, just like the day before. I must have been very tired.

The Beacon Rescue Mission

This morning, I woke up around 5:30 and went to Sherry’s Bakery at 6:30. I had another cheap breakfast for around $7. I gave the cashier a $5 tip because I think their profit margin must be very slim to offer food for that cheap.

When I came back to the mission, I gathered my things. James came to bid farewell. I really appreciated his openness and kindness, but he refused for his picture to be taken. I had to respect his wishes.

I left the mission before 8 AM and followed the route on Komoot to Fayetteville, which is more direct than East Coast Greenway’s route. James also confirmed that the Komoot route will be less traffic, but will have no shoulders. It’ll be only 26 miles to Fayetteville though, so I decided to use Komoot this time.

The road indeed had less traffic and flat for the most part. The temperature was just right for a morning ride. I passed by some huge fields of plantation, not sure what they were, and I was grateful to have the smooth tarmac underneath my wheels. This made for the ideal riding day.

A morning selfie

Beautiful day to ride a bike

I made good time and at Eastover I ate an expensive ice cream bar at a gas station convenience store. It was worth it just to taste some caramel and chocolate.

I rode all the way to Fayetteville in a few hours. Most of the restaurants weren’t even open since it wasn't 11 AM yet. I went up and down the historic downtown and found a panini shop called Pan. I had to wait until 11 to order lunch. The Dogwood panini was delicious! I had to buy a bottle of water because the cashier told me the faucet water is unsafe to drink according to the health officials.

Historic downtown in Fayetteville

I decided to continue my ride to Elizabethtown since it’s not even noon yet. It’ll be about 40 miles of riding. I believe in myself that I can do it, but the temperature will be in the low 80s. Since I’ve been take more rest days recently I decided to go for it. Also tomorrow will thunderstorm in the afternoon and it’s better to reach my Warmshowers host’s place before the rain.

It was a beautiful ride again, but for a while I was getting bored. It seemed like the same scenery with the trees, the fields, the smooth and flat road. But I’ll take this than the busy traffic, hills, and rain. I need to be more grateful and enjoy moment.

Look at the clouds!

I was about 4 miles away from Elizabethtown when I saw Jones Lake State Park on my right. I decided to stop there since my water was almost gone. After refilling my water bottles at the water fountain, I decided to relax on a bench next to the lake and ate the rest of my trail mix that I had bought in King of Prussia. I can’t believe it took me that long to finish them! Perhaps I should buy smaller bags.

Jones Lake State Park

I thought about changing to my swim trunks so I can go into the lake, that way it’ll cool me down and I can get cleaned. But when I walked closer to the lake, I saw the water had a reddish color. I changed my mind. I also saw some shower stalls, but no water came out of any of them. There goes my idea.

After this rest stop I got on the road again. I heard a snapping sound while riding and immediately thought it sounded like a spoke had broken, but I continued riding into Elizabethtown.

I wanted to buy more Clif Bars, but the Fresh Foods grocery store didn’t have any. Then I wanted to eat at the No 1 Chinese restaurant, but it had no seats. I ended up having a McCrispy sandwich, fries, and a strawberry smoothie at McDonald’s.

Inside McDonald’s, I tried to find a place where I can camp or maybe a church where I can spend the night. I learned Greene’s Pond campground was full and didn’t allow cyclists when I called ahead in Fayetteville, and I didn’t know which church to call. I decided to buy some allergy pills at CVS across the street and then go to Walmart to see if they have any Clif Bars.

When I came out of CVS, I realized that I should check the spokes on my wheels. As it turned out, it was a spoke on the back wheel that’s broken. I didn’t know if I should ride my bike anymore so texted my Warmshowers host Lee, whom I will be staying tomorrow night in Riegelwood, for any advice. He said he can pick me up tomorrow and go to a bike shop in Wilmington on Monday since the shop is closed on Sundays. I’m saved this time.

The broken spoke

When I was carefully riding my bike to Walmart, I saw a park and a baseball field. I thought maybe I can stealth camp there, but the pavilion and the field were close to the road so I decided against it.

Walmart didn’t have a big selection of energy bars, or I had to buy an 18 pack of Clif Bars. I ended up getting nothing. Just as I was checking on my phone to see if there are any hotels in town, two guys named Tommy and Bryan started a chat with me about my bike. I told them about my current issue of finding a place to stay the night. They told me that I should camp in the woods, not at the park. I just don’t feel safe about that, either.

I decided to call the hotels in town and the cheapest is Knights Inn for $111. That’s way over my budget, but I had no other options and I’m in need of a shower. After cycling to the hotel and checked in, I cycled 70.68 miles, a new record for me on this trip! The previous was 52 miles when I rode to Dinwiddie.

I took a much needed shower and watched some YouTube videos to relax. Tomorrow, I’ll wait for Lee to pick me up. I’m very grateful for his kindness. Throughout this trip, there have been so many nice people who helped me. I’m truly very lucky.


  1. Your blogs are nice to read since they remind me of life on the road. I'm living vicariously through you. I like hearing about the people you meet, the small gratitudes you appreciate and the description of the food.

    1. Thank you, Joan. I hope to keep it up! And thank you so much for your donation!


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