I rode the RUSA Carthage Coffee Run 200k permanent in central North Carolina today. Between the towns of New Hill and Sanford (about 20 miles), the storm had wreaked havoc with trees and power lines. The shoulders and sides of roads were all littered with tree trunks, limbs, boughs, pine cones, and other detritus. Car lanes were mostly clear, but there was a well-defined line along the side where cars had pushed the branches and limbs off to the side, to the space where I usually ride. Nuisance.
An army of electric power company trucks were everywhere. In the pre-dawn darkness, their yellow blinkies and klieg lights looked like alien space ships. One truck paced me from behind, apparently looking for an address. It eventually pulled into a church parking lot. Being Sunday morning, I'm sure the power company got a call.
When I got to the perm checkpoint in the area, it was closed. The outdoor signs were dark, gas pumps were dark, only a few lights were on inside, and there was no sign of life.
On my return trip, I passed perhaps 30 trucks lined up in an empty parking lot, probably staged for their next assignments. I'm sure the scene was repeated throughout the county.
Despite an abundance of dog chases, and some sloppy mud on the American Tobacco Trail on my return trip (in the gravel section in Wake County), the ride was great.
Click on the thumbnail to see my feet as I laid down on my back at the turnaround checkpoint in Carthage. Then enjoy the usual boring checkpoint photos here: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjQyxtFh
Many thanks to route owner Branson for letting me ride on short notice.