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Old 09-23-2013, 03:08 PM   #1
Vinbowie OP
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North Carolina Tour, There's a Dragon There


Here I am the day before. Loading up the KLR with all my stuff.
I have been planning for a couple months. It turned out to be
1700 miles in 6 days. I had a really great time.
It started on Eastern shore of Maryland down the peninsula to
the bay bridge tunnel.

The day was a little overcast but I think it kept the temperature down.


A nice little stop off out in the middle. Restaurant, fishing pier.
Nice place to take a break. After that I rode all the way to the
Outer Banks with a couple that I met. We stopped for a break or two
but not too many pictures.


This is Alain and Edith from Montreal. Met them at the beginning of the
Bay Bridge Tunnel. Huge adventure riders. They were in
Europe last year. Maybe they will start reporting here so we
can follow them.
We are at a hotel in Buxton NC on the Outer Banks. We split a room for the night. I would have never thought of it but it was a great idea. It was very warm and sticky and camping would have been miserable. My wife said "You did what?".
For some that are very observant this photo was taken in the morning
but I will end day one here.
Much more to come...
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Old 09-24-2013, 03:44 PM   #2
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We had breakfast at this place.

Good coffee and an "Ugly" apple filled Danish/ fritter,
really good.
Then we went up the Hatteras Lighthouse.



View of the point from the light.

These were the quarters for the light tenders.
According to the ranger being a tender was a highly sought after
position.



It was interesting to learn that the tenders had to carry buckets of oil up everday to keep the flame going all night or during a storm. The light did not turn, a mirror rotated around the light which was driven by weights on ropes that had to be all pulled all the way up.

Next the ferry ride to Ocracoke island.






Ocracoke light. I had planned to camp on Ocracoke but didn't make it.
There is a nice town there but there was not enough time to enjoy it.


The next Ferry was less crowded.




Harleys from Texas.


Me


The ferry from Ocracoke to Cedar island is 2 1/2 hours. Nice smooth water.
It was like a cruise. Alaine and Edith, the 2 Harley guys, a father and son
on vacation from the Netherlands and myself sat inside having coffee and talking. I can say as a matter of fact that it was the best cruise I've ever been on.

Back on the mainland we road together for a couple more hours.
When they turned of to go to a friends house I suddenly felt quite alone.
I rode to within about 50 of Raleigh and stayed at a hotel again. Couldn't make it to the state forest where I was going to camp.
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Old 09-24-2013, 03:59 PM   #3
JaxObsessed
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Love Hatteras. Thanks for the images..
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Old 09-25-2013, 01:02 PM   #4
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Next morning, headed west again, had breakfast at a Waffle House,
met a couple in the parking lot that were looking at my KLR. They had a dragon sticker on the back of there minivan. They told me some things
about Deals Gap. That they were there a short time ago.
No pictures until this one as I go right through Charlotte NC.




This is where the Carolina Panthers play.


Some time later, finally in the mountains, it started to pour down rain so I took a break under a bridge. Put on rain gear but my boots were already filled with water.


Finally made it to Deals Gap, The Tail of the Dragon. It was late already so I pitched my tent, heated up a can of soup with my soda can alcohol stove, took in the sights a bit.


Ahh the tree of shame. I don't see any KLR parts.








Fairly quiet on a Wednesday evening. The motel of 14 rooms was full. Only 4 tents in the camping area. There is a fire pit in the middle with some gathered around it. Looked nice but there was one guy kind of dominating the conversation so I just relaxed by my tent drinking some hot tea.
Tomorrow, I ride the Dragon.
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Old 09-25-2013, 01:49 PM   #5
Goldburg
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Outer Banks' Worst Kept Secret

Orange Blosom Bakery rocks an Apple Ugly.
Mmmmmmm.

Good report!
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Old 09-27-2013, 06:50 PM   #6
Vinbowie OP
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The night was nice and the weather was good for sleeping.
Early in the morning it was still nice. Got everything packed up
then went down to the gift shop. Had to buy some stickers and
a t-shirt for my wife. When I came out it was pouring rain.


It was really coming down so no one was going riding right now except
for some Harley guys rollin' in in t-shirts getting soaked. There were quite a few motorcycles gathering. I met 2 guys with KLRs while I was walking around between downpours. Had breakfast in the restaurant where I met a guy from Calgary riding his sportbike around the USA.
I couldn't wait any more, so I put on my rain gear and rode the Dragon.
This is a "Killboy" photo. There is definitely no time for taking your own pictures while riding the Tail of the Dragon.



Did some picture taking at the end.


It wasn't actually raining but I wasn't taking off my rain gear.




Then back on the Dragon in the other direction and I had to get myself with the sign.












That's it.


As I was leaving there was of course plenty of other great roads.


Got on the Blue Ridge Parkway and headed north. Next stop was
Mt. Mitchell. The highest peak east of the Mississippi at 6600 ft.


I've been looking forward to this one for a long time but unfortunately
this weather is typical here on Mt Mitchell. This is the 2 or 3 hundred yard path to the top.


I decided to camp at there campground in hopes that the weather would clear by morning. I got set up and managed to heat up my dinner then it started to rain and the the wind blew very hard all night long. With my riding ear plugs in to quiet it down a bit I did actually get some sleep.
This shot shows the wind tring to blow my tent off the mountain.


Tomorrow, the view from Mt. Mitchell.
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Old 09-28-2013, 05:05 AM   #7
35xj
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good trip, love the outer banks, headed that way in a few weeks. Checking out Asheville?
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Old 09-28-2013, 06:45 PM   #8
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Nice report

Thanks for sharing! I need to go there someday.
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Old 09-28-2013, 07:04 PM   #9
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The wind never let up. The rain did though and when I finally emerged from my tent this was the view from my campsite.


The view lasted about 10 minutes before the clouds covered again.
Got packed up, with some difficulty, in the wind. The tent was dirty and wet. Breakfast was dried fruit, peanuts and beef jerky. Fortunately, though a little wet, I was not cold. It was an amazing feeling standing in the parking lot watching the wind blowing up from below with the fog in it and blowing over the parking lot.
Got moving down the mountain and in no time I was below the clouds.
Then into the sunshine. The weather was only bad on top of the mountain.
On the BRP... nice.


I believe the one in the middle is Mt. Mitchell.


On up the Parkway for 200 miles.




I loved riding the BRP. No stop signs or traffic lights the whole way.
Nice places to take a break.


Lots of overlooks along the way.



Nice riding.






I like this shot


Galax is my father in-laws home town. His family name is Stoneman.
The Stonemans were, bluegrass players.


I went through Floyd Va. where all summer musicians play on the streets
on Friday night.
I'd like to be there for that one day.
Near there I saw this Texas steer.


We don't see these very often.

As I was leaving a man on a lawn mower waved at me, pointed to the steer, then pointed to himself while nodding his head and smiling. I gave him a thumbs up and was on my way.
Side note here...I'm not a country boy but I'd have to put some tennis balls on the points of those horns.
I'm just sayin'.
Moving on. I did not go this way.

No reason.

This is the last shot in this report. Side of interstate 64.


Stayed the night at Indian Acres Campground in Thornburg Va. Where my wife and sister in-law were. Left there and went up route 301 to home because I-95 was backed up. 301 is a much nicer ride.
Thanks for looking.
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Old 09-28-2013, 07:26 PM   #10
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Wish the weather had been better for you but the view you woke up too was the great equalizer IMO.
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Old 09-28-2013, 07:46 PM   #11
Kampfire
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Great write up and always like the photos thrown in for dreaming.
Have to get back there someday soon.
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Old 09-29-2013, 07:45 AM   #12
mark2wheeler
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hey

Well done.I did a similar trip 30 years ago.I went in the other direction though.Good for you that the sun came out for the parkway.
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Old 09-29-2013, 11:31 AM   #13
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Great pics! Can't wait to get back there again and ride the BRP north like you did.
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Old 10-01-2013, 04:41 AM   #14
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sounds like a wonderful trip vinbowie! I hope to tame that dragon some day soon! That Klr looks good too!!!
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:26 PM   #15
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Congratulations on your trip. Enjoyed the RR.
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