Outerbanks, Charleston SC, the Smokies!!

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Laros, May 26, 2010.

  1. Laros

    Laros Been here awhile

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    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:

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    See the two guys standing in the middle of the next picture? They are NOT looking for a lost dog...

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    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?
    #1
  2. Laros

    Laros Been here awhile

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    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.


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    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.
    #2
  3. Shakeyhands

    Shakeyhands Goober

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    Sounds like a great trip!! Wish i had been... oh wait....... :stupid
    #3
  4. Dyno

    Dyno Conquistador

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    Notice how the Europeans never let the Asian bike park next to them?:rolleyes
    #4
  5. Laros

    Laros Been here awhile

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    The first night in Niagara Falls we had supper at Ruby Tuesdays and drew out our route on a napkin.

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    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???



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    #5
  6. Laros

    Laros Been here awhile

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    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.

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    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


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    Tomorrow we hit the ocean!!
    :clap :clap
    #6
  7. Laros

    Laros Been here awhile

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    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"?
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    Well, the gps is telling us to take it, so, let's go!

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    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.

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    We found a campground off the beaten track...way off. We called it Sunnivale (after the Trailer Park Boys' campgound).




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    #7
  8. Shakeyhands

    Shakeyhands Goober

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    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.....
    #8
  9. Dyno

    Dyno Conquistador

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    Yeah, whatever. Another 10,000 years and the falls will be in Detroit anyway.:D
    #9
  10. Serbchaser

    Serbchaser Chasin' the Serb

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    "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..."

    :huh :huh

    In.
    #10
  11. CousinLarry

    CousinLarry Ridin Dirty

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    Nice, waiting for some more Outer Banks pics - my home away from home :)
    #11
  12. Laros

    Laros Been here awhile

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    Toward Kitty Hawk; sand and ocean on both sides of the road.

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    In some places work crews had to keep pushing the sand back off the road.

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    #12
  13. Laros

    Laros Been here awhile

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    We stayed in Sunnivale; anyone seen Bubbles?

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    Actually, the site we were shown was fine, right next to some Bayou from which we expected a giant crocodile at any moment.

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    The park owners also grew grabs - they had hundreds of tanks with crabs in them - and would feed them every few hours.

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    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
    #13
  14. ggrjr

    ggrjr Been here awhile

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    If you want sea food try Barefoot Bernie's Tropical Grill & Bar
    #14
  15. Laros

    Laros Been here awhile

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    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.



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    There are two tunnels that take you from the bridge to under the ocean, presumably to allow big ships to go over top.


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    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.

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    We found the most amazing place for breakfast in Ocracoke - patio tables in an old English garden.
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    Even had a pretty littler lizard come to say hello.



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    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.
    #15
  16. Laros

    Laros Been here awhile

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    The long ferry was interesting. Bikes go to the front of the line - love it! First on and first off.

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    My I phone can send out your gps location to any email address. This was useful so that our loved ones at home could know where we were every night. I could not help sending one from the ferry after we were about an hour from shore - no land in sight in any direction.


    Harleys, Harleys everywhere we went:

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    Once on shore again we had to stop for gas. Look who shows up:

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    There were some bad looking dudes in this area, but this guy was happy to oblige us with a picture. I told this guy I thought his rims were awesome, "ya, 24 inches, man" Wow, I said. He says: "we jus gettin' stawted".
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    After this Dyno's gps, set to the smallest roads possible, takes us to a military base. Road blocked, mean looking military guy with a machine gun standing there. We stopped at the side of the road, checking maps to see how to get around this base. We'd have to go back hours the way we came. Shit. Shakey tells me to go ask the Military guy if we can go through. I ride up, explain that we have to get to the other side of the base, and it is a long way around - can't we please go through? Yep, he says, show me your i.d. and I can let you go. Beautiful, I show him my passport and said the other two guys are with me as well, and pull up a little. The other two guys don't know what is going on, (they really did not think we'd be allowed through), so I waved at them to come. Just then a car was also pulling up, thought I was waving him through. The military guy did not like that!! Jumped in front of the car, reaching for his gun. Oops, sorry buddy!!


    I had seen Pedestrian crossing, or even Moose crossing signs before, but never a Tank Crossing sign!

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    #16
  17. Laros

    Laros Been here awhile

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    We stayed at a KOA in Myrtle Beach that night.

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    There were signs everywhere welcoming bikers for bike week. We hardly saw any bikes, but thought it was nice for everyone to be welcoming us.

    At dinner that night we asked our waiter what was going on. He told us that all the bikers were going to the various bike weeks everywhere, except in Myrtle Beach. Bike week in Myrtle Beach was being boycotted because the police were enforcing the helmet laws. Sounded kind of lame to me.

    The next day we headed for Charleston, SC.


    Charleston is a beautiful old City that has been preserved. No high rise buildings here.

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    Battery Park -

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    Shakey put Charelston on the route because he wanted to see the Spanish Moss. It is pretty cool:
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    On the road again. We were headed back north for the mountains. In a way this was kind of sad because it represented the most southerly part of our trip, and we were now headed back toward home:

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    #17
  18. Laros

    Laros Been here awhile

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    We hit the Interstates to try to get to Greenville for the night.
    We might have been cruising a "little" over the speed limit for many hours. We stopped for gas before Greenville and said we should start looking for a place to stop - we were tired and it was getting late. As we are discussing this we see a sign for a family campground 1 mile away. We quickly assessed the situation: we can get beer at the gas station we were at, they had canned food, and we could hop back on the interstate first thing in the morning. Done.

    The campground was fine.
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    It was called the Magnolia campground - there was one magnolia tree which looked like it was planted when the park owner realized he needed a marketing image to get people to his campground. So he planted a magnolia tree and that was his marketing campaign. There really wasn't much else to use:

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    Just after we had set up, a guy wonders over. Nice guy. Talks just like Larry the Cable Guy. He goes on and on. I was debating offering him a beer: I could tell he wanted one, but also that the other guys had heard enough of his stories, and a beer would make him stay longer. He did give us a few laughs, and shared a LOT of information.

    He was living in a trailer with his wife and 2 kids because he lost his job and could no longer afford his mortgage. The whole mortgage fiasco had hurt him bad. His payments were now $1,500 a month, and he can't sell his house because the market is so bad, so he rents it out for $700. He homeschools his one kid, his wife works in a "travel job" and his other kid goes to a local school. You could understand why it was good for him to have someone else to talk to.

    But then he went into a what seemed like a Larry the Cable Guy skit. We asked him where we should get some breakfast in the morning. He mentioned one chain restaraunt close by, but he said "y'all don wanna go thar - that place'll make ya go poo. When you go to a ______ anywhere, man, y'all better be lookin' for the facilities before y'all order yer food. If ya don, and you get on yer bike, man, y'all gonna make a mess of your bike!"

    After Bubba left, we had a few laughs and said good night.

    In the morning we were up at 7, and ate some canned fruit we had bought at the gas station the night before. Bubba blasts by in his pick up truck, shouting something about us sleeping in. In 1/2 an hour he is back, hops out of his truck and says "Now, I knows y'all don like grits, so I wen' and picked up some eggs and I got some sausages in the trailer. I'll fry y'all up a good breakfast." We said no thanks, we have to hit the road. He looks real disappointed and says "now, y'all gotta eat, don't ya?". I told him thanks, but we already had some canned fruit. "Oh, man, ya don eat breakfast outta can- that's fer dinner!". We again said thanks, but we had to go.

    We all felt bad about that later. The poor guy has so little money, but went out to buy us what he thought we would want for breakfast and offered to make it for us. Southern folk really are very friendly - we would discover that more often in the next few days. We acted like up tight city folk.
    #18
  19. Shakeyhands

    Shakeyhands Goober

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    NOW you tell us.........
    #19
  20. ggrjr

    ggrjr Been here awhile

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    Should of wrote as you went.:D
    #20