After leaving Fort Landing in the fading evening light, we went back down to 64 and rode on to Whalebone Junction via Manns Harbor, and the old bridge to Roanoke Island. We wound up grabbing an excellent dinner on the Kitty Hawk pier before circling back to our AirBnB in Manteo.
Tuesday morning, we woke up and split off for a bit. Josh rode up to Corolla to check out some lighthouses and other things, and since my wife was visiting family just west of the beach, I rode the hour or so back to Hertford to see them for a bit. My baby girl got her first ride on the bike (what an experience!) and then I rode back to the beach to meet Josh for a sightseeing flight over the Outer Banks.
I think the flight was the highlight of the trip for me...seeing the ribbon of sand from the sky gives you a whole different perspective on the fragility of the ocean and the ecosystem it supports. We saw pods of dolphins, leatherback and loggerhead turtles, giant rays gliding through the waves, and sharks swimming in the shallow shoals not 30 yards from people playing in the surf.
We flew all the way down to Cape Hatteras before turning north again back to Manteo.
Leaving Manteo, we rode south on NC-12 for our destination that night, a campground in Frisco. On the way down, we stopped at the Rodanthe Pier, the easternmost point in the state, so that we can say we have truly been as far east and west as you can go.
The next morning, we rode back up the banks to Manteo and broke off from each other. He had to be back to work soon, and my wife and I had planned some time together on the beach. Of course we had to have a photo at the distance sign to Murphy.
My wife and I visited family in Colington, then checked in to our hotel in Kitty Hawk. Next day was back south to Hatteras and some relaxing on the beach, and Friday we went through Ocracoke to pick up the ferry to Cedar Island.
It's actually two ferries, one from Hatteras to Ocracoke (free, 45 minutes) and one from Ocracoke to Cedar Island (fare, 2.5 hours).
On Cedar Island, I rolled the odometer over 30,000 miles...
And we continued on towards New Bern.
Just outside New Bern, the rain that had been threatening all day finally showed up, and I rode through a torrential downpour between Havelock and New Bern. When the bike was sufficiently soaked, I discovered that it would drop cylinders under load and was down on power. Sitting under a gas station awning for a few minutes, I let the bike get good and warm to dry out. After a few minutes it did, so I pulled back out into the monsoon, After 2-3 miles, the problem started again, and eventually cleared up again when the downpour became a steady rain.
Unfortunately the bed and breakfast we booked in historic New Bern did not accept children. Sure, it was in the fine print of the reservation, but nobody reads that. By this time I was soaked and a bit frustrated that I couldn't get a warm shower. The owner did agree to cancel my reservation without penalty, and we walked back out into the rain to keep riding.
We made a beeline for Goldsboro, about an hour northwest and a Hampton Inn. After drying out a bit, showering, and getting a hot meal in me, I checked the forecast and it called for rain all along our route for the next two days. I decided then to go ahead and rent a uhaul trailer and just drag the bike home.
Renting a trailer obviously guaranteed a day of beautiful weather on Saturday for the ride to Charlotte, but there was a gulleywasher all day Sunday for the trip back home from Charlotte.
All in all, it was an absolutely phenomenal trip. The rain making the bike run poorly was a bummer, but if that's the only mechanical problem I have on a 40 year old machine over the course of a 1,500 mile ride, I'll take it.
Fuel economy, especially in the flat part of the state where we cruised at 55-65 for extended periods was better than expected, I even had a 41mpg tank! Most of the trip I was seeing high 30s, except for the stint in the mountains which was low 30s.
I'm already looking forward to hearing about your next trip. You've done a great job of capturing the details and documenting. Being Canadian, I wouldn't know much about the areas you just traveled. I'll be bookmarking this for a possible future travel experience.
I should also note that oil consumption has dropped down significantly. Before we left on Friday, I filled the sump so the oil level was juuuust kissing the very top of the sight glass. I kept checking it waiting for it to go down, but by the time we had ridden 800 miles, it had only dropped just below the upper tick on the glass. I actually didn't top it off until I started the trip back after riding almost 1000 miles already, so that really eases my mind about the overall condition of the machine.
Maybe there was some sludge buildup around an oil ring, maybe a valve stem seal was just sorta dried out and has now swelled a bit, or more likely, maybe it's just more content cruising at constant throttle instead of frequent modulations like it sees being ridden up here in the hills.
In any case, I'm feeling much better about the overall mechanical condition of the motor.