Ocracoke to Hatteras, NC

The ferry ride to Ocracoke was 2 and a half hours long.  I caught up on my blogging while Dallas caught up on sleep.  He was probably dreaming about mosquitoes.

On the ferry from Cedar Island to Ocracoke

After arriving on Ocracoke Island, we rode a short distance to Flying Melon Cafe, where we shared a delicious brunch.  Right off the ferry there is a small village area that is dense with cafes, restaurants, and ice-cream shops.  The best part about beach towns is that there’s no shortage of ice-cream shops.  After this strip, there is only one road that goes to the other end of the island, where we catch the free ferry to Hatteras.  This road is devoid of any structures at all – no shops, restaurants, houses…nothing.  There is a nice bike path that runs as far as the campground, and after that there is a wide shoulder to ride on for another 5 miles or so to the beach.  After the beach, there is just a narrow road the rest of the way to the ferry, where there is little else aside from a few vending machines and bathrooms.

Strong waves on the beach in Ocracoke

Dallas and I rode the 14 miles to the other end of Ocracoke at a leisurely pace, enjoying the flat and scenic ride with minimal traffic.  There is driving allowed on the beach, so maybe that’s where all the vehicles were.  Most of the trucks driving by were carrying coolers and fishing poles, which were blatantly obstructing the view of the road for the drivers.

Seagulls following the ferry to Hatteras

The ferry to Hatteras is free and runs every half hour.  It is only a 40 minute ride over shallow waters.  Hatteras is a much bigger island than Ocracoke, but the selection of shops and restaurants we were met with upon exiting the ferry was meager in comparison.  We rode a few miles to a beach, where we swam and rode the waves for a while and then showered in the public outdoor showers.  The tap water around here smells and tastes horrible.

After cleaning up and drying off, we continued up the only road and ate dinner at the only restaurant on the map for miles.  We both agreed that it was a terrible restaurant, but we didn’t have a lot of options and we were hungry.  Further down the road we came across a cafe that wasn’t on the map, but it was open.  The man inside said that they had just bought the place and were in their first week of business, which explains why we couldn’t see it on google maps.  He told us we could camp in their back yard if we wanted, which we seriously considered before heading off to the campground nearby.

Upon entering the campground, a park ranger informed us that it costs $20 per night to camp there.  She said we could ride around and pick out a site that we liked and then come back to tell her which one we wanted.  We rode around the area, which was hilly from sand dunes and had some great views of the ocean, but neither of us wanted to pay $20 to camp out next to a bunch of other campers, including RVs and trucks.  After leaving the campground but before reaching the main road, Dallas spotted a small trail leading away from the road.  We decided to bring our bikes back there and find a place to camp for free.  The mosquitoes were upon us as soon as we decided to take out our tent, so we hurried to set everything up and get inside.  The next day (May 28th) is Dallas’s birthday…hopefully the bugs will leave him alone!

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About Sarah

Sarah grew up in Cranston - just south of Providence, Rhode Island - and developed a love for travel, music, and outdoor sports at an early age. She had started bicycling long distances at age 12, as a participant of the MS150 bike tours to raise money for the MS Society. She didn't use her bike regularly until she built her own while studying in Montreal and found it an excellent way to get around the city. After graduating from McGill and moving back to Providence, Sarah started working at Brown University's office of Environmental Health & Safety as the Biological Safety Specialist. She was living 4 miles away at the time, and for the first few weeks was driving to work. She made the switch from driving to bicycling when she realized that she could get to work faster, avoid parking tickets, and integrate a few miles of training into her day. Bicycling was better for the environment and better for her own health and mood. She found that she had more energy and felt much happier once she started biking to work. When her car broke down several months later, she never bothered replacing it. After 4 years of working in Biosafety (and on her master's in Environmental Studies), Sarah left her job to pursue her passion. She has been working various jobs in the bicycle industry since June of 2011, including pedicab driver, bicycle tour guide, bike mechanic and traveling bicycle advocate. In between seasonal jobs, she has done a few long-distance bike tours, which is the main reason for this blog. Her dream is to eventually ride around the world and sail across the oceans.

Posted on 28 May 2012, in Bicycle Touring, New Orleans to Newport. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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