Thursday, October 6, 2011

Leaving Ocracoke Island
Ferry for crossing
First palm tree siting--Morehead NC
Crossing inter coastal waterway
Signs on fence outside Camp Lejuen Marine Corps Base
Day 15
Distance-86 miles
Weather-sunny 78 degrees
wind-NNE 10-15 mph
Our day began early with a 7:30 trip on a ferry to take us from Ocracoke Island to the North Carolina mainland. The ride was a 2 hour 15 minute ride so we began our actual riding at 10:00. That's the good news. Now for the better news. If you saw the wind direction and know the direction we are travelling you will have noticed we had a favorable wind all day. I cannot remember having a wind behind our backs for an entire ride but today was the day. The 86 miles went so fast and were so easy, instead of feeling like I rode 86 miles if felt like I had ridden only..............85 miles. Man, what a breeze. After leaving the ferry, the first 20 miles were a long two lane road with swamp water on both sides. Thankfully, no one had to stop because the mosquitoes were as bad as, and in come cases worse than, those in Ocracoke Island. Also, along this stretch were many small towns that reflected the aftermath of hurricane Irene. House after house had placed near the road furniture, wooden items, and household items that were destroyed by the water from the hurricane. Then next 20-25 miles were along the ATLANTIC coast with many resort hotels, condos, and townhouses. Most of the places looked empty because their "season" is over. And, there were a ton of condo, and townhouses with for sale signs on them. I would suggest one could get a pretty nice property for a pretty good price. But, what the heck, it's like that everywhere. At about the 60 mile mark we turned away from the ocean, crossed the inter coastal waters, and made our way to Jacksonville. It was a four lane road with a reasonable shoulder but the traffic was heavy and fast.
Jacksonville NC is the home of the Marine Corps base, Camp Lejeune It is one of the staging areas that Marines leave from and return home. Along the fence surrounding the camp are signs from family members and loved ones who give support to their service member. Quite moving to see all the well wishes.
All in all a very enjoyable adventure and hopefully tomorrow's weather will match today's because we ride 109 miles tomorrow to Little River South Carolina.

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