Day 238 Concord NC to Columbia, SC 127 miles
"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion."
Happy Winter, and the survival of the Mayan calendar. Today we rode into Columbia and the lush landscaping made me believe we're in for some nice weather. The natural landscape also looks more arid. Since autumn is over, I can safely say we were truly blessed that season with little rain, not too much cold, and no ice. And we won't even mention snow. Oops.
We arrived at the Capitol to find it locked, no surprise. Rather than wait around until Wednesday, we skirted the place and took pictures. Without a tour guide, we lacked vital information about SC. Then we met Marie and Julie.
When we arrived at the bike, Marie and Julie were taking photos of it. These two were classic southern girls, beautiful and pleasant, and those wonderful accents. Southern people must have more time on their hands, as they often throw in a syllable. Store? Stowah. Road? Rowed. But the language is lyrical and warm as sunshine on your face.
We struck up a conversation and Marie is docent at a museum, and an expert on history. Well, let's talk! She explained the Civil War (the nickel tour, believe me), gave us a brief history of Columbia and South Carolina, and finally Julie told us where to go for barbecue. Maurice's, oh yeah. I asked for directions twice and if you know us, you know why. We rode straight there and enjoyed South Carolina barbecue. NC BBQ is vinegar based, and SC uses mustard. QG ordered ribs and I enjoyed pulled pork with okra, hush puppies and cole slaw. When in Rome, right?
And a tip of the visor to Maurice's cole slaw. I'm a cole slaw snob, and it delivered. It tasted fresh and tangy, with a hint of vinegar. A hint... that's important. Great stuff.
Satisfied, we rode a few miles to a (PP!) Quality Inn and set down for the night. I took off, hunting for some (PP!) Diet Pepsi (my addiction) and there, less than a block away (background sound of music) another Maurice's! Actually, we're probably rolling tomorrow, so no more Mo's.
And now, knitting more than quilting but don't tell anyone, Quilter Girl!
The sun was shining and the sky was blue. I love it. South Carolina wasn't far from Charlotte and we found a Welcome Center at a rest area. There were the friendliest women there, even though they were working the Saturday before Christmas. We came out of there laden with brochures, maps and coupon books.
We talked to the Lees in the parking lot; they were on their way to Augusta, GA for Christmas with family. They recommended stops in Myrtle Beach, Charleston and Augusta. Sounds good to us!
Maurice's was wonderful. I think I will be looking for a recipe for the South Carolina style BBQ sauce. I am a believer. It has a great tangy sweetness that I really love. We are eating well now.
Tomorrow we'll violate the code and ride to Myrtle Beach. We'll Church Surch on Christmas Eve and live with the guilt.
Speaking of guilt, no blog on Christmas. You'll have to suffer without it, and we'll live with even more guilt. See ya tomorrow!