Outerbanks, Charleston SC, the Smokies!!
Shakey Hands, Dyno and I agreed several months ago to go for a week long ride this Spring. Dyno and I had done a 4,000 km trip to James Bay last June, so we knew that we and our bikes were compatable, and we met Shakey at a Fall Colours ride last fall and he mentioned he was ready for a week long ride. After 6,000 emails we finally agreed on a route that would take us from the Toronto area, down past Baltimore to the coast, down the Outerbanks to Myrtle Beach and on to Charleston, SC. From there we would head north again through the Smokey Mountains and back home.
Here are a few teaser pics to get this RR started:
See the two guys standing in the middle of the next picture? They are NOT looking for a lost dog...
There is a bike down over the edge, about 30 feet straight down, and one of the guys standing there is "all shook up". More on that later...
Our first plan was to go to Newfoundland, but quickly discovered that was not a one week trip from the Toronto area. We really needed two weeks, so we had to file those plans for later. Our next plan was to hit Maine, Nova Scotia and PEI. We learned that May can/will be very wet and cold on the east coast of Canada. Even the Nova Scotia tourism brochures mentioned that "spring comes reluctantly to Nova Scotia". One of Shakey's friends commented that we would have to be retarded to ride Nova Scotia in May. For a while we were referring to our ride as the reTARD ride. So, south it was going to be.
This RR will be short on words and long on pics, okay?
We all met Friday night at a house in Niagara Falls. This would allow us to get an early start at the border Saturday morning. We had a route generally prepared for us by Shakey Hands, but we did not have destinations selected for each night, nor the exact roads/highlights we would hit every day. As it turned out, we sort of picked a destination each night for the next day. It worked out really well (even if we did have an awful lot of miles to cover the last two days to get home!)
The obligatory Duty Free stop. Shakey is a smoker, so you know we had to stop here before crossing the border.
You can see our rides in this shot. Dyno is on a V Strom, Shakey on a 990 Adventure and I am on a 1200GS. Very capable and compatable bikes for a long distance ride. None of the bikes caused us any grief what so ever all week long (and we tested them!), except one small incident where Dyno's bike got some bad gas. Come to think of it, some of the riders had bad gas as well.
Sounds like a great trip!! Wish i had been... oh wait....... :stupid
Notice how the Europeans never let the Asian bike park next to them?:rolleyes
The first night in Niagara Falls we had supper at Ruby Tuesdays and drew out our route on a napkin.
Shakey was joking around with the waiter, telling him we wanted a romantic table for the 3 of us... the waiter sent a girl over to ask us if we wanted candles, and if this table was "private" enough for us. The staff all figured we were queer; we didn't straighten them out. Dyno just asked for some crayons.
WHAT have I got myself into???
The next morning we got up early and headed south, across the border into the U. S. of A. We took 219 and basically super slabbed it all the way to Annapolis, kind of skirted between Washington DC and Baltmore. We stayed in a KOA there.
Shakey had some friends in Baltimore, so we met them for dinner at a Japenese restaraunt. We invited them back to our campsite, but they gave us the same look that the waiters at Ruby Tuesdays gave us the night before.
It WAS a nice campground; not sure what the problem was...:dunno
Tomorrow we hit the ocean!!
We decided to get up early and push for Kitty Hawk, NC. It was going to be a lot of miles... we just pushed until we hit Kitty Hawk.
Dyno did find us some interesting roads along the way. Can you see the name on the street sign? Does it say "Dead End Road"?
Well, the gps is telling us to take it, so, let's go!
We made it to Kitty Hawk, NC., where, of course, the Wright Brothers first flew a plane.
This was a monument to that occasion and all the flight benchmarks that have been made since.
We found a campground off the beaten track...way off. We called it Sunnivale (after the Trailer Park Boys' campgound).
Notice how the Canadian falls are so mucher prettier to look at? Thank goodness we avoided that Trooper as well, of course knowing exactly where he was sitting was very helpful.....
"There is a bike down over the edge, about 30 feet straight down, and one of the guys standing there is "all shook up". More on that later..."
Nice, waiting for some more Outer Banks pics - my home away from home :)
Toward Kitty Hawk; sand and ocean on both sides of the road.
In some places work crews had to keep pushing the sand back off the road.
We stayed in Sunnivale; anyone seen Bubbles?
Actually, the site we were shown was fine, right next to some Bayou from which we expected a giant crocodile at any moment.
The park owners also grew grabs - they had hundreds of tanks with crabs in them - and would feed them every few hours.
We saw a "Blue Crab Shack" across the road from the campsite, so we walked there to get some dinner. The place looked pretty sketchy from the outside, and the music was blaring inside. It turned out they didn't serve food, unless you consider a barley sandwich food. There were a lot of haggered looking people in there, and clearly this was a just a watering hole for the locals. We asked where we could get some seafood, and the one guy tried to rent us a seadoo. Whatever...
There was a pick-up truck parked outside for everyone inside. Not one of the people inside should have been driving home. :huh
If you want sea food try Barefoot Bernie's Tropical Grill & Bar
The next day we needed to take a 2 and 1/2 hour ferry which only left every three hours. Thankfully, Dyno had looked up the schedule from home; if not we could have gotten to the dock and been waiting for up to 3 hours. We agreed to aim for the 10 am ferry, which meant we had to be on the road by 6 am. There was another short ferry to get to the big ferry, which we figured we had to hit by 8:30.
U S 1 is incredible! The longest bridge I have ever seen! We guessed it was about 10 miles - I will have to look that up.
There are two tunnels that take you from the bridge to under the ocean, presumably to allow big ships to go over top.
Then a short ride to the big ferry.
We got to the dock by 9 am - awesome! Time for some breakfast before boarding the ferry.
We found the most amazing place for breakfast in Ocracoke - patio tables in an old English garden.
Even had a pretty littler lizard come to say hello.
Okay, well fed we had a little time before we had to baord the ferry. Over to the beach, where we had seen signs showing a symbol for a jeep riding on the beach. We had dual sports, so we could do it, right?
Well the sand road to toward the beach was fun. But we did have our bikes fully loaded, and we had a ferry to catch. The sand got softer and deeper and Dyno and I decided we had better not chance getting stuck. Shakeyhands didn't see the memo. He was pushing and cursing and revving his bike before he noticed Dyno and I were a long way back on the "road."
Maybe beach riding is not a good idea at the moment.
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