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On To Ocracoke Island

Hank – The ducks in the campground pond got all excited  as I walked up this morning because they thought I was going to feed them. They were very disappointed when all I did was take their picture. Kathy and I, on the other hand, had a light breakfast, packed up, and resumed our journey.

Our ride went pretty quick and smooth.  We stopped in Avon for a snack and a cup of tea. While there I heard some great music  being played. I asked about it and was told it was a Pandora playlist called Coffeehouse Covers. It consists of artists doing covers of hit songs but in a different style  than the original. It’s pretty mellow and very enjoyable.

Our original plan was to spend the night at the Frisco Campground near Frisco. But when we got to the Hatteras Lighthouse Kathy thought maybe we should catch the ferry to Ocracoke Island and camp there instead.

While at the lighthouse we met Diane Jackson and her daughter Veronica.  They saw our bikes and Washington name plates yesterday when we were at the Pea Island visitor center. They couldn’t believe we’d rode our bikes from Washington. Diane asked if we would take one of her rocks to Spokane. Apparently there’s a Facebook page where people post pictures of rocks they’ve written on and where they are located. The idea is for the finder to move the rock and see how far it will travel. Diane hopes to get one to the Phillipines. We happily accepted to take a rock home.

Going to Ocracoke looked doable so we went for it. Clouds had been moving in all afternoon and we were due for a spot of rain but we should be fine. But there’s going to be some nasty weather tonight. Thunderstorms and high winds will be interrupting our sleep.

We caught the 3:00 ferry in Hatteras, which put us on the north end of Ocracoke Island at 4:00. From there we had a little over nine miles to the campground. I noticed a line of vehicles waiting when we got off the ferry. I thought they were waiting to load into the ferry we just got off. Nope. More on that in a bit.

We got on Highway 12–again–and made for the campground. There were signs warning of sand on the roadway. We’d seen those before and paid no attention to them. After a mile or so a long line of cars came our way. They were being led by a pilot truck. I didn’t think much of it. Then we saw the bulldozer and big front loader. When Hurricane Michael hit it covered the road with sand. The crews we’re justing finishing the last bit of moving the sand to the east side of the road. Then, coming from behind, came the pilot truck leading all those cars that were waiting back at the ferry.

Oh.

They just went around us. We arrived at the Ocracoke Campground right at sunset. The place is huge. The ranger said there were seven sites in use tonight. We could choose whichever one we wanted. We found one on the leeward side of a bathroom, which also had a lot of bushes. Hopefully, it’ll be enough to protect us from the 25+mph winds that will hit tonight. We started to pitch the tent and that meant the Greer Restaurant was now open. Mosquitos descended on us to enjoy the all-you-can-eat buffet. We moved fast so we could shut down the feeding frenzy.

Whatever mileage Kathy lists for today you can add two miles for me. When we left camp we realized I left a cell phone and backup battery plugged into the campsite outlet to charge. My bad. I went back to get them.

Kathy – We learned this morning that our campsite last night was under four feet of water a month ago when Hurricane Michael came through. We had the place to ourselves, if you don’t include the ducks in the pond right next to us. That explains why the place looked somewhat unkept. The owners are now working on cleaning up all the debris and repairing damage to the campsite.

We only planned on riding 29 miles to the next campground on the Outer Banks before catching the two ferries tomorrow. With the weather changing and some pretty severe storms coming in we decided to keep moving while we can. So our ride was 49 miles with a gradual incline most of the day. We had a mix of sun, clouds and a slight misty rain. The headwinds were out to greet us again today, lucky us! We had a nice shoulder to ride on and at times there was so little traffic that we had the entire road to ourselves. Overall the ride went well. We enjoyed another day of beautiful views. 🏖

A couple of notes…

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