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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

October 4-5, 2011

Kill Devil Hills, NC to Ocracoke Island, NC
80 miles and a day off!

Okay, so why were we late posting the last blog? We learned at our "route rap" that our Tuesday (10-4) ride from Kill Devil Hills to Ocracoke Island had to be totally rerouted. Hurricane Irene had washed out some of the roads and bridges that we would be traveling. We had hoped they would be fixed and open so we could ride the entire length of the Outer Banks. No such luck! Tracy, our esteemed leader, had hustled around and came up with an all new plan. This included getting up at 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday and heading out at 6:00 a.m. Some riders riding...some were in vans. Our goal was to travel 80 miles and be at a ferry at noon. This was going to be too big a push for 2/3rds of the group. So 8 pedaled 35 miles to a SAG stop and 8 were taken in vans. Then the roles changed and 8 rode bikes to the ferry and 8 rode in the van. Nine of the fastest and strongest rode all the way to the ferry from the motel. (I was not one of them)! Everyone made it and enjoyed a 2.5 hours ferry ride to Ocracoke Island. (Picture above at the ferry loading area).

The logistics of all of this was huge. The ferry had no food available so Carol and Robin had to hustle up a meal for all of us. They served chicken, pasta, coleslaw etc. from the back of the truck while we were on the ferry. It was a terrific meal. The whole day was beautiful...both riding bike and the ferry.

The bike ride took us through some very remote areas of the deep south. I took some great pictures (I really wish I could share all of them with you). I stopped some cotton that was growing along the side of the road - and had some great quiet time riding by myself most of the time. One picture shows a plain wooden cross that was standing in the middle of a field. I stopped for several minutes and reflected how very blessed I've been in my life. We have four terrific kids, four wonderful grandchildren, Carol is great, my health is great (for an old timer) and we have so many wonderful friends. So a short thank you looking at that tilted cross felt good!

I visited and vacationed on the Outer Banks before. But this is our first visit to Ocracoke Island. We're enjoying our second day of no riding. After a leisurely southern breakfast Carol and a couple of the gals hit the shops...and Mike (from CT) did a ten mile kayak paddle...(another one of my favorite outdoor activities).

Ocracoke Island is part of the Cape Hatteras Seashore. Except for the village the entire island is owned by the US Park Service. The whole island is just 16 miles long and only a few blocks wide. It was "discovered" in the mid 1700's and has a lighthouse that was originally build in 1823. There's a British cemetery and a Ft. Ocracoke memorial from the Civil War days.

Tomorrow we have to catch a different ferry at 6:50 a.m. for a 2 hours 15 minute ride to Cedar Island and then jump on our bikes for an 86 mile ride to Jacksonville, NC. It will be a long day! The weather forecast is good! The last several days have been terrific. Making up for the rain and heavy traffic we had early on!

More tomorrow!

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