Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Luggage Cart??

Silver Lake Harbour- Ocracoke Village

Small child holding on to hat on ferry

Ferry to Ocracoke

Caoe Hatteras Lighthouse

Day 4 - Wednesday May 23rd 2018 - Buxton (Hatteras Island) to Ocracoke 33.9 miles (21.9 is on a Ferry - 12 on bike)

Edward Teach - "Blackbeard" of Ocracoke
David Moseley- "Greybeard " of Ocracoke 
Ahoy Matey! So, Ye want t' talk like a pirate aye... Today we'll be chasin Booty - arr!! na that kind of booty you scurvy dog - Shiver me timbers! we be lookin for buried Doubloons.

Today's ride from Buxton (Hatteras Island) to Ocracoke starts with a 22 mile ride on the Hatteras to Ocracoke Ferry. Once we are off the ferry, we'll be on the northern end of the island. It is one of the most remote islands in the Outer Banks, as it can only be reached by one of three public ferries (two of which are toll ferries), private boat, or private plane. Ocracoke was first described in detail by Giovanni da Verrazzano, an Italian navigator, in 1524. Verrazzano was unable to navigate the tortuous channels leading into Pamlico Sound and assumed that China lay beyond the Outer Banks. Well, I guess he failed World Geography. During his brief career of piracy in the Carolinas, one of Blackbeard’s favorite anchorages was on the south end of Ocracoke Island, in a channel that is now called “Teach’s Hole”. The point of land near Teach’s Hole is today known as the Springer’s Point Nature PreserveIn October of 1718, Blackbeard is said to have hosted the largest ever pirate gathering right here on this point of Ocracoke. Imagine Blackbeard and fellow captains Israel Hands, Charles Vane, Robert Deal, Jack Rackham and their pirate crews partying beneath the live oaks, swilling rum, butchering hogs, barbecuing on the beach and chasing booty (Doubloons that is). They still celebrate this big Pirate Party every year at the Annual Blackbeard’s Pirate Jamboree. This year ( October 25 – 28) they will celebrate the 300th anniversary We will have a short 12 mile ride to the southern end of the island - near that historic party site - where we will stay in the Village of Ocracoke at The Anchorage Inn and Marina.
David and Vicki relaxing in Ocracoke - Notice chain grease marks on Vicki's leg - a sign of a true "novice" touring cyclist. This picture was taken at the end of a long 85 mile ride from Nags Head to Ocracoke. I think I see a little grease on David's leg as well.
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Monday, May 21, 2018

Day 3 - Tuesday May 22nd 2018 - Nags Head to Buxton (Hatteras Island) 48.3 miles

Wilbur and Orville would be proud of us - after all, they owned a Bicycle Shop before they ever flew. Little known fact - We might not have airplanes today if Wilbur hadn't gotten his front teeth knocked out by a serial killer with a hockey stick. Don't believe it? Click here or Google it.
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 Day 3 is the longest of this trip - 48.3 miles. Back in the 80's we could do 48 miles before lunch. We'll be lucky to get there before dark this time. The ride from Nags Head to Hatteras Island is long, flat, hot, treeless and shade-less. The same ever-present on-shore winds that the Wright Brothers counted on to lift their glider will most likely be our nemesis for the day. At the 10 mile mark of today's ride, we will cross the Oregon Inlet via the 2.7 mile Herbert C. Bonner Bridge. Here is a street view of what we can expect.  Although North Carolina has recently enacted "Share the Road" laws, historically it is one of the least safe states for cycling. Oregon Inlet joins the Pamlico Sound with the Atlantic Ocean and separates Bodie Island from Pea Island. This is also where the Cape Hatteras National Seashore begins. That means no commercial stops (convenience stores, etc) until we reach Hatteras Island. In 1963, the Herbert C Bonner Bridge was opened to replace the Ferry that was used to get across Oregon Inlet. In October of 1990, during a passing storm, a dredge collided with the structure, causing severe damage to several of the spanning bridge portions, and closing the bridge for approximately 6 weeks. During this time, emergency ferry runs were set up by the NCDOT to transport essential food and supply deliveries to islanders. When the bridge finally did reopen weeks later, local legend has it that the first vehicle to cross over the newly repaired Bonner Bridge was a Budweiser beer truck, and is was greeted on the southern side of Oregon Inlet with cheers. Not without controversy, a replacement bridge is currently being built. See this video by the NCDOT. It will not be finished when we cross. The new replacement bridge is going to be REALLY HIGH! When we rode this stretch in the 80s, we were bedeviled by biting bugs - known locally as "sand gnats", "sand flys", "no see-ums”,“fuzzy bills” or “blind mosquitoes”. They'll land anywhere they can find a patch of skin and bite the crap out of you. We fought the bugs and on shore winds the entire day and had to stagger ourselves in a half-chevron fashion across the entire roadway in order find the "sweet spot" to draft off each other. If we make it to Hatteras Island, we plan to stay in Buxton (Hatteras Island) at the Cape Pines Motel.
This is the Hatteras Lighthouse in Buxton. It served as a Lookout Tower in WWII because of German U-Boats offshore. 15 years after this picture was taken, because of the rising sea encroaching, it had to be moved from its original location at the edge of the ocean to safer ground 2,900 feet (880 m) inland, and 1,500 feet (460 m) from the shoreline. The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is one of the tallest masonry structures ever moved (200 feet tall and weighing 5,000 tons).
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We ran into a pack of Wild Cougars that Jack "knew"

Wilbur or maybe Orville?

Wright Bros Memorial Bike Trail


Day 2 - Monday May 21st 2018 - Corolla NC to Nags Head 38 miles

Arriving in Kitty Hawk in 1985 (click to enlarge) 
Today we leave Corolla and travel south to Nags Head. Legend maintains that the town of Nags Head, North Carolina takes its name from wreckers or "Bankers" deploying false lights. The Nags Head urban legend states that in the 18th century, wreckers would hang lanterns from the necks of mules (colloquially called "nags" at the time) and walk the animals very slowly up and down the beach. The alleged intent was to fool mariners into believing that the slow-moving lights were ships drifting at rest or at anchor, prompting the ships to change course and subsequently run aground. In 1860, a writer for Harper’s New Monthly Magazine corroborates the story of the "Bankers" who gave Nags Head its name. Today will be the only day we have to deal with traffic congestion. After we pass through the town of Duck at around mile 14.5, we will start to experience increased traffic as we approach the Outer Banks largest city of Kitty Hawk at mile 20. Kitty Hawk has a year-round population of 3,200 residents. This number skyrockets in the summer months to 40,000 visitors or more. Kitty Hawk was unheard of until 1903, when the town became famous thanks to the Wright Brothers. Kitty Hawk is credited as the home of the Wright Brother's first flight, but it was simply telegraphed from the town via the Kitty Hawk Weather Station. The first flight actually took place in neighboring Kill Devil Hills, which was not a "town" at the time, but was officially incorporated about 50 years later. In Kitty Hawk, we will navigate west to Woods Road which leads to West Kitty Hawk Road which leads to Moore Shore Road which leads to Bay Drive which leads to 1st Street which leads to Colington Road. Whew!! Thank goodness for turn by turn navigation. At mile 29, we are at the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Nags Head. From there, we have another 9 miles to go to get to our destination. There we plan to stay at  the Comfort Inn - 8031 Old Oregon Inlet Rd
Fab Four at a Day 1 stop in the 80s - that mustache is embarrassing! Nobody wore a helmet - not sure why - maybe plastic hadn't been invented back then. Also, Vicki's hair was too big to fit in a helmet. 
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About this trip