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Ocracoke, NC

Across the Pamlico Sound from the mainland of coastal North Carolina lies a chain of barrier islands know as “The Outer Banks”.  The sixteen mile long Ocracoke Island was our first stop of the tour.  We rode the early morning Swan Quarter ferry through choppy waters for two and a half hours, happy to be out of the rain and wind.  The cost to ride the ferry is three dollars for cyclists.  What a great value!  Can you imagine chartering a boat to sight-see for only three dollars?  Some of the shorter rides are free and I never tire of riding the ferries on the coast. 

This was our third tour through Ocracoke and it is our favorite Outer Banks Island.  Part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, it is only accessible by boat or private plane.  We decided to spend a full day exploring Ocracoke Village and enjoying the off-season solitude of Springer’s Point Nature Preserve.  There you’ll see the grave of a man buried beside his favorite horse and an old cistern as you walk through a tunnel of twisted and wind swept Live Oaks.  The old British Cemetery is also worth a visit.  Buried there are sailors torpedoed by German U-Boats during WW-II.

Howard’s pub, the oldest eating and drinking establishment on the island, serves great seafood.  It’s a short ride north out of the village.  Traffic was light due to the off-season and the lack of a bridge to the island.  People are not passing through; if they are there, there is where they meant to be, so folks are generally not in a rush.

Evidence of the laidback and peaceful nature of Ocracoke can be found at the lighthouse.  This life saving signaling device, used to keep ships from crashing into the treacherous shore, is not guarded by a jack-booted paramilitary homeland security professional, but by a yellow tabby.

There is a campground with tent sites available, but we chose to stay at the Captain’s Landing Hotel just a few blocks from the ferry station.  It’s a nice place to stay, but I suggest an upstairs room.  It sounded as if the people above us were avid tap dancers.  Still, all rooms are waterfront with spectacular sunset views.

Next stop Beaufort (bo-furt), Jack

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  1. April 6, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Welcome home! I hope you left the rain of the Outer Banks in time to get home and enjoy the rain and winds of our storm on Monday night! The yellow tabby looks particularly fearsome. Did she maliciously waste your time requiring a belly rub? Looks like some excellent photos. I hope you didn’t have rain the entire time!

    – Zeke

  2. The Velo Hobo
    April 6, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    Nope, it only rained every time we got on our bikes…otherwise it was nice. Thank goodness for fenders. That was quite a blow we had…8 people killed in Georgia and Tennesee.

    Jack

  3. April 6, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Well, at least you were able to lie around in comfort when not on the bike. Did you enjoy any “she crab” soup? I think that was the delicacy on the Outer Banks that I enjoyed on my trip many years ago. It may have been “Blue Crab”. I’m really not sure…

    We managed to go through the entire winter season and all of the snow without losing power. The winds got us Monday night though. It went out just as the WLOS dude was going to tell us there was a storm a brewing. It came back on about 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday. It was just like camping but more comfortable! 🙂 I have a feeling there were more tornadoes that sat down than we realize at this moment.

    – Zeke

    • The Velo Hobo
      April 6, 2011 at 5:59 pm

      No “She Crab” but lots of clam chowder. I’m hoping the worst of the weather is behind us. I’m looking forward to doing some local bike camping soon.

  4. April 6, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    So, how did the knee hold up? Any problems?

    – Zeke

  5. The Velo Hobo
    April 7, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Nope the knee did great. I glad I waited to do the surgery till I put a few hundred miles on it. I think it’s going to be fine.

  6. April 8, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Excellent! I’m glad to hear it. The Navigator and I are off tomorrow to the Low Country of S.C. to do some riding and eating! I’m looking forward to Chef Richard’s Shrimp ‘N Grits, a shrimp boil, etc. Heck, I’ll have to ride a bunch to offset the eating we’re gonna do! )

    – Zeke

  7. January 20, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    Hey Velohobo,
    I was wondering on a similar note,, Going on a camping trip this weekend down to the island. First time visiting, what should I expect?
    Wishes

  8. The Velo Hobo
    January 21, 2012 at 7:53 am

    This time of year? Cold and windy, but a lot less crowded.

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