Outer Banks and Eastern Shore VA trip - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-29-2009, 02:46 AM Thread Starter
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Outer Banks and Eastern Shore VA trip

I went on this trip back in May and my only excuse for just getting it posted is pure laziness. So here goes.... My college buddy Tate and I planned this trip for months and it was a blast. He rides a Honda Shadow Sabre. It is my first longish trip on a bike and first time motorcycle camping. I read lots of advice saying not to take so much crap but I did end up taking all kinds of things I didn't use and/or need. It was definitely a great learning experience. We are already planning a Blue Ridge Parkway camping trip for this fall. I guess I'll do it in multiple posts.....
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-29-2009, 03:14 AM Thread Starter
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Day 1 (sorry for the bad pics)

I had a terrible nights sleep in anticipation of a good vacation. We got up earlier than planned around 5:30 to RAIN! Lots of rain with no end in sight for the entire day. It was also fairly chilly. After seeing all the green on the weather radar I mentally chickened out. I only had about 27 miles on brand new Dunlop Roadsmarts so I really didn't want to ride in the rain. Tate was not deterred in the least by the wet forecast so we pressed on determined to make it to the ferry on time. I was making final packing preparations when I realized that I still had to find a spot for my shoes and my toiletries. There wasn't an inch of space to pack anything else so I had to undo some stuff and regroup. My sleeping bag was taking up a whole sidecase so put it in a giant ziplock bag and lashed it to the top of one sidecase, packed my shoes and toiletries in the sidecase and lashed my sleeping pad on top of the other side. This repacking left us with 0 extra time as we rolled out right on time at 7 AM. The rain wasn't harsh but it was there, and I got slightly damp but not too miserable. We stopped at Hardees for a quick breakfast. Several older gentlemen wished us well and gave us a "these boys are crazy" kind of smile. We got to the Swan Quarter Ferry with 5 minutes to spare. Upon boarding the ferry they told us we'd have to stay with the bikes the entire trip. One ferryman commented that "its not gonna be pretty" and another said bluntly that "its rough as sh!t out there." We took a few photos near the dock when it was fairly calm


but about half way though the 3 hour ride the seas got pissed and swelled to about 8-9 feet.
Being out on the deck the entire time we felt as though we were getting a very small taste of what its like to be a crab fisherman.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/andyhewitt3/3571143336/

As rough as it was our bikes were never in danger of tipping over except when I was sitting on the Versys and lost my footing and almost fell over onto Tate's Shadow. Near the halfway point of the ferry ride, a ferryman walked by to check on us and told us that "its gonna get a whole lot worse before it gets better." A short time later it did get worse and we were jostled around a bit. The rain had slackened up but now we were getting sprayed with a nice coat of salt water. Finally we saw Ocracoke Island in the distance and the ferry passed behind a sandbar that calmed the waves. We got off the ferry and rode straight to the camp ground a few miles from the village. We set up the tent in what was now spitting rain- just enough to be a nuisance.



We unloaded some of our stuff and went back to the village to find lunch. The first 2 places we tried were closed in between lunch and dinner and thats exactly what time it was. The third place was a pizza restaraunt with parking in the rear. We parked and went "inside" to get warm only to find that "inside" was basically a screened in porch. This would've been fine had we not been wet. It was also cool and very windy. The waiter handed us the menu and Tate noticed that we weren't even at the Ocracoke Pizza Company that we thought we were in. We were next door at the Creekside Cafe. Ocracoke Pizza Co. wasn't open either so we stayed and had a good lunch and some very good key lime pie. Back at camp, we relaxed in the tent to warm up and I dozed off for about an hour. We got up and made a snack run and then went to dinner at Howard's Pub. We pulled into camp after nightfall and noticed the rain clearing out and the cold air getting drier. Tate strung up a clothes line to dry some of our gear. We settled in for the night and dozed off to the sounds of wind and roaring ocean just over the dunes.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-29-2009, 03:26 AM Thread Starter
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Day 2

Day 2
We awoke to another day of dreary skies and heavy winds but no rain. We broke camp and folding the tent in 40+ mph wind was not an easy task but we finally beat it. Before we left the island we had breakfast at the Pony Island restaurant, which was fairly tasty. I had a crab omelet that was decent. Tate just couldn’t bring himself to eat crab for breakfast. After I had some I agreed with him. After Breakfast we headed to the Hatteras Island Ferry. We were shooting for the 11:00 ferry, but we were early and arrived just in time for the 10:30 ferry! We boarded and were told we had to stay with the bikes again. This wasn’t that big of a deal because this ferry ride was just a short cruise across the inlet. We arrived at Hatteras and visited the lighthouse but couldn’t climb up because it was too windy and it was closed to the public.


We pressed on through the desolate coastline where there wasn’t much more than sand dunes and power lines. We saw a few kite surfers on the sound side of the island enjoying the winds that were threatening to push us into oncoming traffic. It was very windy!! We would lean into the wind and out of nowhere it would totally switch directions requiring a quick correction to stay in our lane. It was the most exciting ride I've ever experienced on such a straight road! We were a bit nervous about the Oregon Inlet Bridge because the wind was so strong. Luckily the wind slacked off for a few minutes and we crossed the bridge without incdient. We cruised through Nags head and Kitty Hawk and had an awesome lunch at Saul's BBQ in Harbinger NC, just west of Kitty Hawk Harley Davidson. It was a family style all you can eat BBQ dinner and we ate ALL WE COULD eat.

After a very windy day of riding we made our way to North River Campground in Shawboro, NC. It was way out in the boonies, but was really nice and the owners were very friendly people. They even had WiFi available at the campsites which was funny because we had internet (I had my iPod touch), but no cell phone signal.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-29-2009, 03:36 AM Thread Starter
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Day 3

We woke up after a decent night's sleep a little earlier than planned around 5 am. Tate started breakfast, and soon realized it was a good thing that we woke up earlier that expected because it took forever to cook in the tiny Wal-Mart pan that he bought for this trip.



I started packing up as Tate finished up breakfast. We left right on time to get to the Currituck Ferry. It was a perfect sunny day so we were actually able to leave the bikes while on the ferry. I was up on the sundeck while Tate was speaking with a gentleman that was riding a goldwing. He thought the ferry was going to Corrola NC rather than Knott’s Island. When he told him the ferry was heading to Knotts Island and there was no ride back for an hour he didn’t seem too happy. The ferry was kinda short, and we wished the ride had been longer because the weather was so good. We departed the ferry and cruised through Knotts Island and enjoyed some twisty roads through the salt marshes. We crossed the state line in to VA and passed a NAPA store that was advertising Skis and Wakeboards in stock. Guess they are branching out from auto parts. We stopped to visit Tate's grandma in VA beach and then headed for the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. We stopped for lunch at the Bridge tunnel restaurant and had a huge flounder sandwich…more flounder that sandwich.
View from restaurant

After lunch we headed into the first tunnel and were a bit nervous about oncoming semi trucks in the tunnels, but it turned out to not be a big deal. After 19 Miles of bridge and 2 miles of tunnel we were on the Eastern Shore of VA. We passed a cross on the other side of the road placed there in memory of a fallen biker that was on Tate's Sabre forum and decided to stop by on the way back because his brother Joey was waiting on us at the beach house. We arrived at the house just as Joey was bringing in a basket load of blue crabs out of the bay. We cleaned and cooked the crab, and after eating them we headed to town for groceries and fishing bait. Peeler crabs are great bait but very expensive. We fished in the bay just off of Hungar’s creek around dusk. We caught 3 stripers and Joey caught an Oyster Toad. I googled this pic but thats what he looked like.


That was one ugly fish. I guess thats what saved him. We cleaned, cooked, and ate a belly full of fish and chilled out the rest of the night.

Will post the rest later.
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