Frisco (on Hatteras Island) to Pea Island
The mosquitoes had mostly disappeared by the morning, but we did find a few ticks while packing up our tent. We went back to the cafe we had stopped in the night before, Captain Beaner Bakery, to eat breakfast and publish the blogs that I had written but hadn’t had a chance to upload yet. Dallas and I both found more ticks on ourselves while changing in the bathroom. I finally caught up on my blogging and looked over to see Dallas reading about ticks on his phone. I’m afraid the fear of these insects is consuming his every waking thought.
Despite rising early, we didn’t leave the cafe until after noon. From there, we rode east and checked out the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. We rode north with the wind for the rest of the day, effortlessly maintaining a pace above 20 mph. Our first stop after the lighthouse was to go swimming on the beach. A Food Lion employee told us we could get free showers at a pool just down the road, so we chose to swim at the beach across from the pool. A group of vacationers hanging out in their own pool offered that we store our bikes under their rental home after watching us struggle to carry them up a few stairs to the first landing of the boardwalk. After our short swim (the ocean was too seaweedy today) we rode over to Club Hatteras, where we swam in the pool for a bit and we able to shower, all for free.
We ate lunch at a deli in the Food Lion plaza, where another man told us what to expect up ahead before we continued on our way north. He recommended a few food and ice-cream places and told us that we would be unable to leave the Outer Banks the way we were hoping to go, straight through False Cape State Park in Virginia. Instead, we would have to get off via the Wright Memorial Bridge in Kitty Hawk. This was good advice, since we wouldn’t have discovered that we couldn’t get through until we had gone more than 20 miles beyond the bridge.
Just before reaching the first ice-cream shop that was recommended, we passed another touring cyclist going in the opposite direction. His name is Alex, and we stopped and talked to him for a while. Alex was the first touring cyclist we ran into since leaving New Orleans, and the only one I have ever come across in my travels so far. We exchanged advice for the miles ahead of us before parting ways.
We resumed our fast pace northward until 7pm, when Dallas recommended we start searching for camping spots so we don’t get stuck in the dark. This put us just before the Oregon Inlet bridge to the next island. We were hoping to make it to Nag’s Head that day, but didn’t want to go over the busy bridge while the sun was so low, so we set up camp about a mile before the bridge amongst the large sand dunes, between the road and the ocean. An hour or so after trying to fall asleep, we got up and moved the tent in an attempt to prevent more sand from blowing in and burying us in our sleep.