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The traffic on US158 was absolutely crushing today, and the hair-raising crossing of the three-mile Albemarle Sound Bridge, from the barrier islands, across to the mainland, is a story in itself.Sluffice to say, and perhaps you can imagine spending over an hour wedged in a two-foot wide slot, hoofing it along between the bridge railing and the grilles, wheels and boxes roaring past your elbow as both lanes of oncoming traffic go whizzing by at sixty-plus. Well, I said two prayers: one as I set foot on the bridge, and one at the far end. Toward evening now, just shy of a thirty mile day, and in the rain, the little tornados constantly slamming me from the oncoming barrage, my prayers are answered once again. But the sign on the door reads “No Vacancy;” bummer number two, but I knock anyway. After greeting me, she says, “You’re in luck, just had a cancellation.” Whoohee!The day is warm, the trees budding, the beautiful azaleas, their bright, multi-hued show in full swing.What an historic spot to begin a cross-country trek, and what a fine day to depart, a day to mark tribute, for today is seven months to the day that those brave Americans died for all of us.I don’t think I’ve ever seen the number roadkill that I’ve seen along this road. More showers today, but the wind is not as bothersome as yesterday, just the rain, which comes in waves off and on into early afternoon.I quit counting at 100, mostly raccoon and opossum. Saw an osprey catch a huge fish and haul it away today. The Oregon Channel Bridge is a treacherous place, the lanes barely wide enough for two eighteen-wheelers to pass, and it runs for some three miles. Arriving I find that DOT has one lane shut down, so there’s only one way traffic and I’ve got the closed down lane all to myself. Then it clears, making a steaming frying pan of the road. There seems to be no off-season here, but I find a clean and neat little mom-n-pop motel, very reasonable, and I check in for the evening. Saturday–April 13, 2002 Trail Day–3 Trail Mile–81.0 It’s the thirteenth, sure glad it isn’t Friday the 13th! I couldn’t figure our why it was taking so long to reach certain locations. So I’ve been running seven miles behind all day, bummer!I know that soon I’ll again get in the right mindset for this lunacy, but today I’m questioning my own sanity.
Just a few miles up the road there’s another very impressive light on Bodie Island.The tarmac is lifting and dancing before me, like a desert mirage, a literal frying pan.