ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 08-12-2010, 06:51 AM   #1
ADVWannabee OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Virginia
Oddometer: 212
Lola does the OBX

I posted my first ride report back in June detailing my trip with a couple coworkers to the Dragon (ride report here: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=594271). This trip will be my second real ride, this time mostly solo. I say mostly because I will be on my own from Thursday evening until Friday night. My brother is driving down in his Jeep to meet me Friday evening and will stay until I leave Sunday morning. I will also be camping this time rather than hoteling it. As for my brother and his Jeep, would it be rude to ride my bike around during the weekend while he drives the Jeep? After all, the purpose of this trip is to ride.

What is the trip you ask? It is a 3 day ride from my home near Roanoke, VA to the OBX and back. I am leaving this afternoon after work. I am going to spend tonight at Clarksville lake. Friday morning I will head to the OBX. I have a reservation for tonight at Occoneechee State Park and for Saturday night at the Ocracoke campground. The Oregon Inlet campground doesn't take reservations so I am hoping to claim a spot there early Friday afternoon.

I also have a reservation for the 6:30 am Sunday morning ferry from Ocracoke to Swan Quarter. I know, I know, that is EARLY! But the next ferry doesn't leave until noon and I have a 300 mile ride home once I hit the mainland. I do have a stop planned at my other brother's house near Raleigh.

The plan:


One problem may be the weather (isn't it always?). The forecast for home is for rain most every day, though not a total washout. The forecast for the OBX is pretty good; which is where I will be most of the time. Yesterday evening a thunderstorm popped up all evening. If it does that again today, I will have to skip Clarksville and head out first thing tomorrow morning.

Forecast for Roanoke:


Forecast for the OBX:


Unfortunately I won't be able to keep this report up to date during the ride so I will finish it up once I return.
ADVWannabee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2010, 10:23 AM   #2
SRMN8R
Down & Out
 
SRMN8R's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2005
Location: Powhatan, VA
Oddometer: 2,993
That's a nice loop. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

Be careful on 58. Especially around Franklin and Emporia. Lots of LEO's running radar in those areas.

Also, pack some serious bug spray! Black flys and mosquitos can be terrible this time of year if the wind is wrong on the Banks.
SRMN8R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2010, 07:31 PM   #3
ADVWannabee OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Virginia
Oddometer: 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by SRMN8R
That's a nice loop. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

Be careful on 58. Especially around Franklin and Emporia. Lots of LEO's running radar in those areas.

Also, pack some serious bug spray! Black flys and mosquitos can be terrible this time of year if the wind is wrong on the Banks.
Your advice was spot on, saw lots of police on 58 early on Friday morning. I am not a major speeder so not too big of a problem unless you miss one of the many speed limit changes which fortunately I didn't do.
ADVWannabee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2010, 07:49 PM   #4
ADVWannabee OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Virginia
Oddometer: 212
I made the trip and I am back now. Actually I have been back for a day but am just now getting back to the report.

I will start with the preparations. This being my first camping trip from the bike and my first real camping trip in over 15 years, I made a list. I didn't get everything on the list packed, but got real close. First up was the food. I am using an alchohol stove so I needed stuff that just took hot water or no cooking at all. Like all good plans, they didn't work out. I made breakfast one morning and ate a peanut butter bagel one evening. I cooked breakfast on my brother's stove (he drove down and met me Friday evening) and ate out the rest.



Water was the next consideration. I just got the CamelBak and this was my first use of it. I don't know how I lived without it. Even after drinking while riding in the heat, it was hard to stay hydrated. Again somthing I would pay for later.


Alcohol stove and messkit:


Next up was electronics and misc items:


Then the camping gear:


It all packed down to this. Ignore the plastic ware, it had my medicine kit which I couldn't fit anywhere and didn't take. A decision I would regret later.


I stuffed the messkit, food, water and electronics into the saddlebags along with a pair of sandles, tire guage and the rain liner for my pants. I used a bungie net to strap the yellow drybag to my passenger seat and I got my clothes into a trunk bag on the luggage rack. I have no idea how I would ever camp and go 2-up???
ADVWannabee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2010, 05:29 AM   #5
ADVWannabee OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Virginia
Oddometer: 212
Thursday, August 12, 2010

I worked all day Thursday and got off at 3:00 pm. I headed home, grabbed a sandwich, donned the riding gear and kickstand up about 4:00 pm. I only had 100 miles to go before my first campground at Occoneechee State Park on Kerr Lake. I had made a reservation for the campground online so I knew I had a place to stay. Turned out, there was only 1 other person there that night. I don't know which is more creepy, having a campground to yourself or sharing it with just one other person?

Part of the route the GPS picked was not a way I would have picked and turned out to probably not be any quicker. But I am glad I took it as I saw part of Virginia I haven't seen before. At one point I passed a farming area that looked like I had gone back to the 40's or 50's. Quaint wooden farm houses with lots of tobacco fields. These files weren't the typical rectangular rows of tobacco. They were arced along the curve of the hills with grass strips between every 12th or 15th row of tobacco. Very picturesque. Unfortunately I haven't master shooting on the run and I have a hard time stopping for pics every little bit. I really need to work on that.

The campsites were nice with groomed pads for the tent, a pole for a lantern, a picnic table and a fire ring.



Looking back down at the bike:


Highway 58 bridge. This bridge was a constant source of noise from truck traffic all night. I probably could have slept through it normally except for it was miserably hot and humid. I poured sweat just sitting there.


Sunset that night:


To the right of this shot is a boat ramp and a couple people put in early in the morning but they didn't make much noise and I was up anyway.
ADVWannabee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2010, 05:52 AM   #6
ADVWannabee OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Virginia
Oddometer: 212
Friday, August 13, 2010

I got up a little before 6:00 am on Friday after a miserable nights sleep. It was still very humid and I was pouring sweat just sitting around. I had taken a cold shower the night before and actually considered turning around and going home. I figured if it was this miserable in central Virginia, what must the beach be like?

I have determined that traveling by bike is more about mental toughness than physical toughness though. You have to push through when things look rough. So I did and I am glad I did.

I pulled out the alcohol stove and my mess kit, fired up some hot water, made coffee and oatmeal and then broke camp. Overall, it took about 2 hours to break camp. I need to improve on that. While breaking camp I was rewarded with watching a Bald Eagle land in a tree on the shore of the lake below my camp.

I finally got on the road and it was very hazy with low hanging clouds. It looked like rain any minute but it held off. I had realized that my wife didn't give me the cash she got out of the bank for me, so at one of my fuel stops I looked up ATM locations on my GPS and headed to the bank. Gotta love a GPS.

Once I got to Portsmouth and turned South on 168, the roads were wet and it was starting to sprinkle. I stopped at the last exit before the toll road to check the radar on my phone. A storm cell was just east and had already passed through. Another one was behind it and a little South, the direction I was heading. I almost stopped to wait it out but it looked like I could beat it so I took off again. I could see the curtains of rain to the west of me but I managed to beat it. By the time I was getting close to the OBX, it was blue skies with puffy clouds and lots of sun. In fact, I had clear blue skies, sun, low to mid 80s temperatures and moderate humidity the rest of the weekend!

I headed to Oregon Inlet to claim a campground site. This was the only night I didn't have a reservation as they don't take reservations. On the way I stopped at Subway for lunch and too cool off. Another rider stopped in on full bagger Harley. He said he would be 64 his next birthday and him and his buddy ride their bikes everywhere. Canada, out west, etc and they don't trailer it. He is 20 years ahead of me and I can only hope I can still do it when/if I get to that age.

After lunch I stopped by Bodie Island lighthouse for a photo shoot but it is under repair. I didn't bother to read any signs as to what is going on or when it will be finished. I got the shot I wanted, well almost, and left.


The campground is just a mile south of Bodie Island light and on the opposite side of the road. There were plenty of sites open so I claimed one and setup my tent.


There isn't too much to recommend about the campground except that it is a cheap place to stay. You can't have campfires except below the high tide line on the beach. It was too hot for a fire and I had no firewood anyway.

While hanging out, I met my neighbor and his son. He said he and his wife had ridden their bikes down here a few years back. He gave me a beer while we chatted.

My younger brother drove his Jeep down from his place at Virginia Beach that night and met me. He set up his tent and broke out the beer and I had a couple more. Now remember when I said I would regret not bringing my medicine kit? Well I paid for that decision the next morning. Drinking several beers while dehydrated apparently leads to massive headaches. And I had no aspirin or Ibuprofen.

The lessons from this trip is hydration and medicine kit. Even with the CamelBak and downing waters and Gatorade during breaks, it is hard to stay hydrated. I will have to do better next time. Oh, and less beer.
ADVWannabee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2010, 10:46 AM   #7
ADVWannabee OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Virginia
Oddometer: 212
Saturday, August 14, 2010

As I mentioned in the previous post, I awoke to a massive headache so I was moving pretty slow. We made coffee and oatmeal, broke camp and headed a few miles back north to the outlet mall. I parked the bike and jumped in my brother's Jeep and we headed for the Alligator River Park. Until last summer, I had never heard of this park. To get there, you cross over to Roanoke Island and then over to the mainland. There are supposed to be alligators in the park but I haven't seen one yet. What I have seen are plenty of bears! I would not have thought this part of NC had bears. We only saw one young one this trip but it was late morning by now. The picture looks like night because it is a photo of the computer monitor that my brother sent me. The bear pics were on his camera.



After leaving the park, I got back on the bike and we headed south to Hatteras and eventually Ocracoke. We stopped by the Hatteras lighthouse of course for the obligatory photo shoot.






After leaving Hatteras we set our sites for Ocracoke campground. I had reservations for tonight so I wasn't in a hurry. You have to jump a ferry to go from Hatteras island to Ocracoke island. I think it is about 5 miles between ports and takes about 30 minutes. This was Lola's first ferry ride and she loved it, though they boarded her last.

I got put on a ferry that was getting ready to leave and I thought my brother would make the ferry that was just starting to load. He did not make that one but made the next one so I had to wait at Ocracoke for about 30 minutes until he arrived. I didn't mind as I sat in the shade to cool off and drink some water.

This is typical of the houses on the OBX. Would love to live in one full time.


This is Lola on her first ferry. At one point during the trip, you finally get below the southern point of Hatteras and have open sea on your left and the sound on your right. I wonder if the captains of these ships ever consider making a left and heading out to sea?


The Ocracoke campground is nice but pretty open due to the lack of real vegetation or trees. It was nearly full but really quite. Just over the dunes is the beach and a very nice area. We finally got to get into the water in the evening. The mosquitos were worse here than at Oregon Inlet as the wind died down some. After an application of 40% Deet they obeyed the no fly zone.


We had fish tacos for dinner at Jolly Roger's. I highly recommend them.




After dinner we hit the beach in the Jeep. The sand was very soft and deep and it really worked the Jeep. You definitely need bigger, wider tires to really navigate this stuff. Unfortunately Lola wouldn't even come close to getting through this stuff.
ADVWannabee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2010, 02:03 PM   #8
ADVWannabee OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Virginia
Oddometer: 212
Sunday, August 15, 2010

Alas, Sunday rolled around and so ends my trip. I have a 2.5 hour ferry ride from Ocracoke to catch and then 320 miles home. I set my alarm to get me up at 5:00 am so I could break camp and get to the ferry by 6:00 am for a 6:30 am departure. I know, it sucks to get up early when on vacation. I rolled out of camp a little ahead of schedule and probably woke a few people up. My bike has stock exhaust but still makes a little noise.

This ferry requires reservations, so it is best to make them as it is 3 hours between ferry runs.

I got to the ferry in time to grab a cup of coffee while I wait for loading to start. The ferry personnel, recognizing who they had in line, let Lola and I load first. In fact, they gave us a lane all to ourselves as the ferry wasn't even half full.



The sun was starting to break the horizon as we left the dock.


I think if I didn't live in the mountains I would want to live on the coast. I think the nautical life would suit me fine.


As we left the harbor we were escorted by a squadron of pelicans.


As I was riding into Ocracoke in the dark, I was really disappointed I didn't get to see the Currituck lighthouse this trip and I didn't get a picture of Lola with the Ocracoke lighthouse. She really likes to have her picture taken. But wait, whats that I see? It is the Ocracoke lighthouse coming around the aft side where Lola could get a look.


It was perfect weather for the trip across the sound with clear skies and calm seas.


We passed a ferry heading to Ocracoke, I'm sure with anxious vacationers.


That is it for the pics, I spent the next 6 hours heading home with a short stop off at my other brother's house in Raleigh.

I was the second to unload from the ferry, they let the truck beside me go to give me room though I could have easily made it. Thankfully, when I got to the main road 2 miles later, the truck went right and I went left. Time to ride.

I spent the next 50 miles or so riding through some of the prettiest country around. Straight stretches that went 2 miles with a pass lane the whole way. You lean right for a couple seconds then hit another 2 mile stretch. You lean left for a couple seconds and then do it again. Fortunately I didn't need the pass lane but once. I literally had the road to myself. There was the occasional car going the other way and nobody in front or behind me. Add to it the clear blue skies and comfortable temps and I was in riding heaven. Oh and the scenery, there were some of the biggest farm fields I have seen. There were soybean fields that must have been a mile deep from the road and very wide as well.

Both sides of the road had water filled drainage ditches so I was hoping that would slow down any forest critters that might be around. I soon saw crows in the road eating a raccoon so the ditches don't stop everything. But I was more worried about deer.

At one point, I hit a right hand exit while traveling due north. Even though it was a right hand exit, it gained elevation and hit a bridge that crossed back over the highway I just exited and wrapped around to another 4 lane highway headed due west. As I am wrapping around from my elevated view of the road I would be merging on, I see two cagers traveling along that I would come in behind. So I ducked down, juiced it and merged right behind them in a way that would make the Red Baron proud. If only I had a mini-gun on the front of the bike I could have blasted those cagers right off the road.

Once I got to a 4 lane road, it was still traffic free sailing. I eventually hit 40 around the bottom end of Raleigh and still no traffic. I tell you, Sunday morning is the time to travel!

I stopped at my brothers for a sandwich and CamelBak refill, said hi and bye to my nieces and took off again. I had another 2.5 hours to my house. I manage to split a storm front again and arrived home around 3:00 pm safe, dry and a smile on my face.

I got cleaned up, hung out my camp gear and took my wife to Red Robin for the Royal Red Robin. In case you don't know, this is basically a bacon cheeseburger with a fried egg on it. YUM!
ADVWannabee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2010, 07:56 PM   #9
SRMN8R
Down & Out
 
SRMN8R's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2005
Location: Powhatan, VA
Oddometer: 2,993


Well done. Sounds like an awesome ride. I love the Banks. It's been one of my favorite places on earth since the mid 60's.

If you're in the mood to make the run again, I'd highly recommend Sept. 10-12. The MOTORCYCLE CANNONBALL RUN is leaving the Wright Brothers Memorial on the 12th, headed for the west coast on 100 year old motorcycles.
SRMN8R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2010, 07:19 AM   #10
ADVWannabee OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Virginia
Oddometer: 212
I thought I might add a little gear review here for anyone interested. I am not a well traveled biker as I am still in Wannabe status, so take my comments for what they are worth.

Outdoor Products dry bag from Wal-Mart - for $15 this bag is tough to beat. I have only used it twice and have yet to hit rain, but I am fully confident it is waterproof and durable. It is also cheap so if it tears up you get another one.

Therm-a-rest Trail Pro mattress pad - I got this one on closeout from Amazon.com as it is a 2008 model and it was half price. It is only 1.5 inches thick when inflated but kept my 220 lbs off the ground. It also packs pretty small as you fold it in half before rolling it up. So it packs to 5"x13". Considering I haven't camped in over 15 years, I wasn't too excited about sleeping on the ground again. But this mat did the trick.

Eureka Apex 2XT - Great tent, I love almost everything about it but it does have a draw back. I am tall, but not too tall at 6' 2" and my sleeping bag hit the bottom of the tent and drew in moisture on my last night. This wouldn't happen if the fly extended down to the bathtub floor on the one side rather than be sculpted out. The solution in the future will be to sleep with my head on that side since you tend to slide down toward your feet so that my feet will hit the mesh side. I love the dual entrance and vestibules, I love the full mesh on one side for star gazing without the fly when you don't expect rain or dew and it is the perfect size for one person and gear. My riding boots sat under the vestibule, my riding gear layed in the tent.

Garmin 755T GPS - Great GPS even if it isn't made for a motorcycle. My only real complaints are that the screen is dim in full sun and it does have some lag when selecting functions on the GPS. The positives are it has lifetime traffic reports, route around traffic, it can do routes and track logs and has lane assist. All for less than $200. I can deal with the dim screen rather than spend 3 times the money on a Zumo.

RAM GPS mount - This mount is awesome. It is well made, sturdy, really adjustable and worth more than the $30 I paid for it.

***Edited to add***
Forgot to mention the CamelBak. I got my first CamelBak specifically for this trip and love it. I had trouble staying hydrated and would hate to think how much harder it would have been without the CamelBak.

ADVWannabee screwed with this post 08-18-2010 at 10:56 AM
ADVWannabee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2010, 12:47 PM   #11
Rocktruggy03
No re-tread here...
 
Rocktruggy03's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2008
Location: Virginia
Oddometer: 103
The OBX is such a cool place. So relaxing. I'm looking at doing a similar trip with two of my college buds in the near future. Thanks for the motivation!
__________________
Heavy is the head that eats the crayons.


2008 KLR650
Rocktruggy03 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2010, 08:06 PM   #12
BusyWeb
Adventurer
 
BusyWeb's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2009
Oddometer: 99
BusyWeb is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 09:02 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014