Wednesday, October 18, 2017

April 7, 2017 - Outer Banks of NC

While we have talked about a group, small group, ride to the outer banks we hadn't expected such good riding weather this early in the year.  Tom Steves, Ray Hunting and I decided that now was the time, 55 degrees and clear but windy.  April can be a basket of different weather and change rapidly.  We decided to start off on a Friday since Ray was working and Tom and I were retired so me adjusted the schedule to the employed person.  We were starting from  a range of locations but it seemed that Smithfield NC was a reasonable meet up spot so we were meeting at The Biscuit Stop and would plan on lunch in Washington, NC.  Tom and I arrived at about the same time to a place none of us had been to before but it was a great surprise for us.  The message alert came in on Tom's phone and Ray was stuck at work and would meet us in Washington.  Tom and I enjoyed a couple of Ham biscuits that were not only excellent but huge!  With bellies full we were off to lunch and out meeting, not sure if Ray would make it.

The ride to Washington was clear and cool but the gusting wind had us looking for a more sheltered ride through the farm country.  It was pushing us all over the road.  We went by the Smithfield packing facility and through Turkey, NC where the Butterball Turkey feed plant is located.  Arriving around 12:00 in Washington.  We were looking for Bill's Hotdogs a local place very popular with people but were having trouble finding it. We ended up at Pam's Diner where all the food is homemade and that day very good.  Ray wandered in halfway through the meal with stories to tell.  Work, glad I am done with it!

We left for Nags Head via back roads coming up on Rt. 64 just before the bridges over the sound to the outer banks.  Wind was a constant problem and it was rapidly getting cooler.  Arriving at the Quality Inn with great off-season rates we decided to eat an early dinner so we could warm up and get a good nights sleep.  We had a great seafood dinner at the Black Pelican, not a cheap meal and enjoyed rehashing the ride down.  Both Ray and Tom are wonderful travel companions although you don't want to room with Ray if you don't have ear plugs!!

We were up early Saturday morning and after a quick cup of coffee we started down Rt. 12 heading toward Okracoke Island.  The day couldn't have been better and as the Hatteras Lighthouse came into view a stop was in order.
We were disappointed to find that climbing season, for the lighthouse, started in 2 weeks and everything was closed up.  

The ride to Okracoke was beautiful and Rt. 12 was clear and dry, not always the case!  We decided that rather than staying out overnight we would take whatever ferry back, 2 different ferries come and go from Okracoke, and make it home that evening.  We took a quick route home and it was a great 2 day ride with unexpectedly good weather.  

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