Holly Springs to Smithfield
Thursday October 5, 2006, 52 miles (84 km) - Total so far: 320 miles (515 km)
Nimble Nate was up and ready to go this morning. We passed by the first rest stop and pulled in to a Bojangle's for breakfast. I was disappointed that I didn't see any one dancing (you know,"I met a man, Bojangle, and he'd dance for you"). We wound our way through the Campbell University campus (home of the Fightin' Camels). The road consisted of short rollers and was flanked by cotton and tobacco fields. I joined Dennis and Kristen in downtown Smithfield for lunch. I ate a big lunch salad; Nimble Nate left to go to an NC State game in Raleigh.
We set up camp in a big treeless field in the blazing sun at Johnston Community College. Dennis said, "Look out for fire ants," and, indeed, it was fire ant country. There were mounds interspersed throughout the area; we had to scout the area pretty hard to set up in a safe location. The port-a-john numbers were inadequate, and I could envision long lines in the morning. The showers were good and hot, though. I guess I've camped in worse conditions on CNC.
The shuttle stop schedule was pretty bogus. They would take you to an Outlet Mall (who wants to shop on tour?) or to downtown. I asked about BBQ, since Smithfield is known for its BBQ:
"Sure," they said, "we have great BBQ."
"Does your shuttle take us there?"
David called the local police department and asked for a good place to eat BBQ. They recommended the White Swan. Dennis, Kristin, David, and I split a cab to the little restaurant on the outskirts of town and had the best BBQ of the trip. They call this BBQ southern-style. We sat around and entertained each other with bear and snake stories, while people streamed in and out, getting to-go orders to take home for supper.
The taxi driver who carried us back to town told us how he was a recovering quadraplegic. He injured himself in a fall and suffered edema on his spinal cord in the C-spine. He'd been in recovery for four years and had regained much of his ability to function. It was inspiring to hear his story. When we got to town, we hung out in a coffee shop and told each other more bear and snake stories.