The Outer Banks, Day One

Wheel full 70px This morning’s ride put me back across the Currituck Sound at Powell’s Point, which is well-nigh unrecognizeable to me as the building of the second US 158 bridge span changed everything since I was last across here.

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Wheel full 70px There used to be a marina and gas station here that I recall stopping at several times on frequent trips to the area when I lived in Southside Virginia in the 1980s.  Other than that, though, things along 158 seemed familiar and still retained an almost indescribable laid-back kind of atmosphere.  I really enjoyed this part of the ride.

Wheel full 70px Once across the sound, I was back on the Outer Banks- OBX to more than a few.

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Wheel full 70px It seems like in years past I always found myself hurrying through the string of towns before you enter the National Seashore area, which begins south of Nags Head and extends, except for a couple of villages, for about 75 miles/120 km of a narrow strip of dunes traversed by NC 12’s two lanes of blacktop.

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Wheel full 70px As a result I had never stopped at the Weight Brothers National Memorial despite passing right by it driving through the village of Kill Devil Hills many, many times.

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Wheel full 70px Today I finally did that, and enjoyed circling on my bicycle the tall monument erected on a great sand dune to honor the nation’s pioneering aviators.

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Wheel full 70px Then it was

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and on into the National Seashore.

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Wheel full 70px I reached Oregon Inlet NPS Campground a half an hour south of Nags Head, and I’ll sleep there tonight with the surf pounding the sandy shore just a short distance away.

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On My Ride I’m Goin’ to Carolina

Wheel full 70px After I crossed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel today I was riding in Virginia Beach, where I drilled at Fort Story for several years in the 80s as a member of the Army Reserve.

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Wheel full 70px Heading south from there, I crossed into the 11th out of the 14 states I will be in on my trip.

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Wheel full 70px Tomorrow I will head back over the Currituck Sound, which I crossed today with one other vehicle from Knotts Island on the ferry.

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Wheel full 70px I’ll be on the Outer Banks on my way to Ocracoke, which is one of my favorite places in the whole world.  I hope to have a rest day there.

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Yet Another Benefit of the Space Program

Wheel full 70px A retired military ID card…

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Wheel full 70px Don’t leave home without it.

Wheel full 70px I’m spending the night in a Navy Lodging Facility on the Wallops Island NASA base.  This area of the Eastern Shore  of Virginia has pretty slim pickings as far as campgrounds and motels are concerned. I was resigned to riding for a while in the dark to make it to a motel south of here that Google Maps made sound pretty awful and then I thought, “I wonder if Wallops Island has a BOQ?”   So here I am.

Wheel full 70px Oh, and

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Wheel full 70px Four states left to go.  I can do this!

Postcards from the Shore

Wheel full 70px Yesterday’s ride presented a lot of contrasts.  There was a quick ride through the last of New Jersey as I hurried to the Cape May-Lewes Ferry first thing in the morning.

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Wheel full 70px Big ocean vistas out on Delaware Bay.

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Wheel full 70px A stretch of rural countryside at the Delaware end of the ferry crossing.

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Wheel full 70px Then came the resort communities of the Delaware and Maryland shores.

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Wheel full 70px These were interspersed with peaceful natural stretches where development seemed very far away.

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Wheel full 70px There was even a big modern bridge that looked like it was opened yesterday. The bridge was probably, at about 70 feet/21 meters above the water, the highest point in elevation by far that I climbed yesterday.

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Wheel full 70px All in all a very nice day for a ride.  I’m starting today from Ocean City, Maryland.  If I was riding on Interstate 95, I’d be south of Washington, D.C.

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A Gorgeous Sunny Day

Wheel full 70px And here I am, just where I’d planned to make it to yesterday.

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Wheel full 70px I’m headed off on a short side trip to get my shoes fixed.

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Wheel full 70px The glue kinda sorta worked- it never sealed up tight, but it stopped further progress of the front flap separating from the shoe.

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Wheel full 70px The right shoe has more or less stayed where it was.  I’ll be glad when they’re back to spec.

Wheel full 70px Then it’s on to New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Beantown, where I’ll catch a ferry to the tip of Cape Cod.  Stay tuned.

Another great Nova Scotia bike shop

Wheel full 70px I took the Surly into Manser’s Bike Shop [linkie] in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia yesterday for a check up and some adjustments.

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Wheel full 70px Jordan, the shop’s mechanic, went over the bike from front to rear, tightening a loose quick release on the front wheel, custom bending a fender bracket that was causing occasional rubbing, properly torquing the headset, and making some needed adjustments to the front and rear derailleurs.  The bike has never shifted as smoothly as after him doing this.

Wheel full 70px All told, he probably spent an hour working on the bike, all the while chatting with me about my trip, Surly bikes, Brooks saddles, and other stuff.  The shop was busy, too.  He handled a couple of customers and dealt with several phone calls while I was there.  I was, if you haven’t figured it out already, really impressed.

Wheel full 70px I won’t tell you what he charged me; I’ll just note that I must have gotten the long-distance bike rider discount rate.  A Five-Star experience!

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Wheel full 70px Yarmouth is a nifty little city, with a great historic downtown.  I had some non-trip related business here that took a bunch of time out of the remainder of my day, but I’d come back here as a tourist and hang out for a few days in a heartbeat.