In the visitor’s center on Pea Island. We got here by walking across a 2.5 mile long bridge over the Oregon Inlet. The view was spectacular, but bridges terrify me.
Correction from yesterday: The first bridge that terrified me yesterday was crossing the intracoastal waterway. The 3 mile long bridge, which was more boring and tiring than terrifying, was over Currrituck Sound. So many bridges. So many waterways. So many opportunities for terror. In fact, as we sit here, the park rangers are talking about bridges in Mississippi and Louisiana that are 50-60 miles long. Note to self: do not bike in Mississippi or Louisiana.
We started the day, as promised, at the Wright Brothers Memorial National Park. We saw their cabin
and the official plaque
and replicas of their first planes:
and the monument (from a distance, it’s on a hill, not going there)
and where they took off for their first 4 flights:
Some people enjoyed running the flight route, but we decided not to. If I had tried, I’m sure this kid would have beat me.
Then we went to Duck Donuts, which is a ridiculously popular (translation: crowded) place. We got to watch them fry the donuts
and glaze the donuts while we waited.
Here are our donuts:
One of them even has bacon on it! And here’s the correct placement of donuts on a bicycle – we planned to eat one at every butt break. So far we’re on schedule.
At around mile 13 I got a flat. My rear tire again. I tried to fix it myself, and I proud to say my patch held.
Unfortunately, the tube got a huge snake bite puncture when we pumped it back up [this happens when the tube gets caught between the rim and the tire and usually results in two holes in the tube]. So we tried patching that, but the patch failed. Now I have a brand new tube in my (new since DC) rear tire. I will try re-patching the old tube later, when we are not sitting in the parking lot of a Comfort Inn.
So in-between the flat tire and the bridge, we rode along the beaches, and the water, and miles of scenic beauty – all on a fairly big road with a fairly small shoulder. So I spent a lot of time staring intently at the white line protecting me from cars and vans and boat trailers – all loaded with beach chairs and pool noodles and other crap that will probably get lost on a bridge later. Along the way we also saw this historic marker:
and this lighthouse:
Just finished dinner at the seafood restaurant next door to the motel in Cape Hatteras. The fish was delicious, but the noise level was deafening. Noise doesn’t usually bother me, but there was a family with a herd of children that I found annoying. Dana’s tinnitus went crazy, he could barely think. We were trying to plan the miles between here and Wilmington, NC, but we couldn’t even talk to each other.
Meanwhile, when we were back at the Pea Island Visitor’s Center, we saw lots of wildlife pictures. Then one of the park rangers told me about her knee replacements, about which I was depressingly interested. From there we rode through the Pea Island Wildlife Refuge, which is beautiful. After Pea Island we took a butt break at an ice cream parlor – we’re getting better about the whole butt break thing – then we continued on towards our motel in Cape Hatteras.
The 17 miles between Chicamacomico and Avon were beautiful, in a flat, monotonous sort of way. At first we were saying “wow, look at that!”. After 17 miles we were saying “enough already, where’s the town?”. But we had a glorious tailwind the entire time, and averaged about 15 MPH for the rest of our day. I’ve decided that boring and flat with a tailwind is better than interesting and hilly with a headwind.
Just as we got near our motel we saw more historic markers:
We also saw a lighthouse, but we didn’t take a picture because we too excited about getting off of our bikes. The good news is that we did 61 miles today. The bad news is that our butts did 61 miles today.
This motel has a laundry room, so I’m sitting in my bathing suit waiting for the washer to be done. On the plus side, I’m not sitting on a bicycle seat.