Avon, NC to Ocracoke, NC; 38 miles.
Practically a rest day for us.
When we woke up at the Avon cottages we found that the weather had changed overnight. Instead of a cold wind from the north, there was a warm, wet wind from the south. The warmth was more than welcome, but our pleasant tailwind had turned into a constant headwind!
From Avon we headed south to the Hatteras lighthouse. It was a slow November day at the National seashore. There were, however, a number of trucks and SUVs with special carriers for fishing poles. Apparently fishing is big business here.
The lighthouse itself was closed to climbing, but it was very pretty to look at. For the next few days in mainland North Carolina we continued to see replicas of this particular lighthouse and its distinctive spiral stripes.
In the museum we learned that this area was called the ‘graveyard of the Atlantic’ because the large number of ships that wrecked along the shore. In World War II it was called ‘Torpedo Junction” because German submarines lurked just off shore and sunk 397 merchant ships in the first 6 months of 1942. We had no idea!
After visiting the lighthouse we needed to catch a ferry to the next island, and we were lucky enough to ride up to the ferry landing just as they were maneuvering the final cars on board. There is always room for a couple more bikes! The ferry took us through quite shallow water – we could see sand banks just below the surface.
Once on the island of Ocracoke we stopped for lunch in a sheltered spot near the ferry landing. Two separate ferry workers walked over to warn us of an encroaching storm, so we hurriedly finished our lunch and pedaled the remaining fourteen miles into town.
In Ocracoke we got yet another cheap motel, and even negotiated a discount for paying in cash. Surprisingly, we saw a number of locals riding bicycles and driving golf carts around the quaint community. The best surprise of all was Eduardo’s – the taco truck! We ordered two burritos for dinner and they were absolutely delicious.
We retreated to the hotel just as the storm arriving with wind and heavy rain. The next morning we planned to catch the early ferry to the mainland, so we planned the next day’s ride using Google maps. We would come to regret this soon…