Day 2 (May 1st) finished up well.
I swung into a health food store on my way to Kitty Hawk for some snacks and struck up a conversation with the employees. They didn’t think my planned camping destination still existed, but recommended a hostel in Kitty Hawk. While I was chatting storms rolled in so I hung out inside to eat and grabbed a coffee. They hooked me some day old bakery items before I left! Breakfast!
I finished up my day on Thursday by riding to Kitty Hawk where I camped at a hostel. Had a hot shower, washed some clothes, and went to the a nearby food joint for some oysters.
Day 2 Summary
Miles: 41.3 pedaling or pushing bike, 10 riding in 4×4 on the beach
Acts of kindness: 2 – Free ride to the paved road, Free pastries at the food mart!
Day 3, May 2nd
I started the day with a helping of my free pastries and then headed towards the Wright brothers memorial and museum. The memorial was great. Cool statues and a huge monument. I couldn’t help join in with the statues (see below). After the memorial I rode near the beach and parked at a surf shop where I had a coffee and bagel. After catching some wifi time I restocked on food being I knew there weren’t many stops in the marshes where I was headed. Restocked and a happy stomach I headed out, making a quick stop at Jockey’s Ridge before I crossed over to Roanoke Island.
At Roanoke, I toured the museum for the lost colony and an underground railroad memorial. After having a look around I headed across the long bridge connecting the island to the mainland. Then began the ride through the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. I knew it was a haul to the next town (Engelhard) but I was going to give it a go. There were no food stops posted on the map and I was not expecting to find much for camping opportunities. Plus I wasn’t sure I wanted to camp in a wetland where there were possibly alligators… I didn’t know if there were actually gators but I didn’t care to find out either. It was pretty late in the day already (too much sight seeing earlier) so I knew I was going to have to keep moving to beat the sunset.
It was a haul indeed. I saw a few flat areas that might have sufficed for putting up camp for the night, but was going to see how far I could get before I went that route. At once I saw a nice clearing and thought about stopping, but as I came up to the entrance I saw a lone wolf (red wolf I believe) standing there looking at me. I decided to keep riding. As the sun was setting I was finally approaching a clearing and noticed the sky was starting to turn color. I don’t think I could have timed it better because right as I entered the clearing the sun was just passing below the horizon. What a sight it was. It was one of those moments where you feel perfectly content about life, despite tired legs, no camping spot still, and a bug breeding ground that was waiting to feast on you as soon as you stop.
Finally, I spotted lights from Engelhard. I passed through the town and couldn’t really see a good spot to throw down a tent. I was just about out of town and decided that behind the Dollar General would be sufficient. I hastily put up the tent, crawled inside and crashed.
A loooong bridge
The refuge begins. As you can see there are lots of great camping options.
Wait… say whaaat? One more reason not to camp around here.
Day 3 Summary
Top Speed: 33.7
Acts of kindness: 1 – As soon as I crossed the bridge from Roanoke I stopped at a pier to throw on my raincoat. When I stopped a guy on the pier offered my his rain coat, food, water, a place to stay. I politely declined all of them as I was already set.
Road Kill in my path: Raccoon, 2 possum, turtles, mouse, seagul, canadian goose, and others that I couldn’t make out (for you Jon… This might be the only time since I can tell this will be hard to keep track of)
Day 4, May 3rd
Making this a quick write up. I need to head out soon to my next destination. I have a host stay planned in Greenville, NC… about 20 miles to go. I didn’t resize the images below either. I’ve gotta spend some time setting up an easier work around. Maybe tomorrow!
I was up early and moving since I didn’t care to be discovered camping behind the Dollar General. Any breakfast option in town didn’t seem to be open so I polished off the rest of those pastries. I didn’t get my water filled up before I left so by the time I got about 20 miles down the rode I was happy to find a school and began looking around. A cleaning lady saw me and offered me to come in and get some water (THANK YOU!). Still no food options. A hot meal was sounding mighty good. This part of the state the towns are very small it seems… better take any chance to eat and fill up water where I can. Finally got something to eat and a coffee in Swan Quarter out of a vendor truck and then I was off to Bellhaven (~ 30 miles). I was given some good camping suggestions in Bellhaven, filled up on water and grabbed something to eat again (I’m always hungry these days). I stopped in Bath, got more directions and eventually made it to Goose Creek Park and set up camp. Another long haul.
Dolphins in the canal by Bath.
Bath… oldest town in NC. Good ice cream too. I’m told this used to be one of Blackbeard’s stomping grounds.
Well deserved brew at the end of the day. Very fitting too.
Day 4 Summary
Top speed: 34
Dogs: 3 – all small little yippers. They just run along side barking until they get tired.
Acts of kindness: 4 – Let into school to fill up waters, prevented from riding down a dead end from a fisherman, food and camping suggestions in Bellhaven from a guy who actually turned his jeep around to come talk to me, and a free bottle of water from a store clerk when I asked if there was a place I could fill up my water bottles.
Coffee and wi-fi this morning! Been hard to come across in the wetlands!