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Old 01-20-2013, 12:14 PM   #385
jdrocks OP
Gravel Runner
Joined: Jul 2007
Oddometer: 4,555
Bike parked, no tie downs necessary for this relatively short ride over flat water, although I had been on ferry rides in North Carolina when the seas were so rough that I thought the whole freakin’ ferry was going to sink. Not today, and besides a DOT truck carrying spare parts for the ferry, I was the only non working passenger.

I was about to wander around with the camera when one of the DOT deck hands rushed up, “What kind of bike is this?...wait a minute, gotta work, don’t go anywhere, I’ll be right back”.

Huh, did he just say “Don’t go anywhere”, I’m on the freakin’ ferry, the only place to go would be overboard, and that option held no appeal. I did get a better look at the dredge, and there was a mechanic doing some heavy work on the push boat motor. Working in a cramped engine room is never fun, so that must be why the dredge itself wasn’t operating.

The ferry itself had even more warning signs, Lordy, we hadn’t left them behind.

Luckily, I hadn’t broken out my skateboard, or perched in the wrong spot between tricks.

In the distance along the edge of the saltmarsh were a series of recently brushed up duck blinds, with the area from Back Bay through the Sounds south being a traditional hunting area, although with the warmer weather recently, fewer fowl get this far south than in centuries past.

My deckhand buddy came back, we might have been close to the same age, and coincidentally, he had been up to Alaska in 2009 on an R80, although later in the season than I had been in the same year. We compared our stories of bike travel, and it turned out he was old school in comparison…no GPS, no cell phone, no SPOT, no computer, no route planning, not itinerary, no MC forums, no nuthin’ besides a paper map and a destination, man, how refreshing.

I couldn’t recall meeting anyone lately who could afford at least some of the usual gizmos, yet chose not to own any. Our conversation went non stop for the entire crossing as we swapped stories, but then he said “Oops, gotta get back ta work again, nice talkin’ with y’all, ride safe” and he was gone, and so was I, back on dry land in North Carolina. Lest I forget, my buddy that didn’t own a cell phone just happened to have a mint 441 Victor in the garage, a country boy, Mr. Cool.

I had expected a fair amount of traffic for an Outer Banks Friday, even if it was off season, but there was very little. The Sandy storm had brushed this area, and there was still a washed out main road farther south that was restricted to 4X4 vehicles. I had been visiting the area for 30 years, and now there are many businesses that close the doors in the winter. Between the storm and the closures, the place was dead.

I was going to briefly follow a track provided by inmate Patrick from the Hampton Roads area, and ride a little muddy gravel for a starter, but first I needed something to eat, sorry no fried pie. So many places were closed that I finally said the heck with it, and pulled into a McDump near Kitty Hawk, I was way late and needed quick grease. Yeah, I know, once ya eat there you can’t keep your socks up for the rest of the day, but the choices were slim, clock ticking, and the sun heading the wrong way. I always park the bike where I can see it from the inside, and that turned out to be a real good choice.

(to be continued…)
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