So today I am riding to Kill Devil Hills and the truly world famous Kitty Hawk where the Wright brothers achieved the first powered flight. It’s only 180 miles so I should be able to get there for early afternoon and have plenty of time for a look around; just hope it isn’t really expensive.
Although the sun is shining when I leave my hotel it soon becomes overcast. I stop at the Harley dealers but it doesn’t open until 11 so another 15 minutes. There are several people waiting outside and I take the opportunity to breakout the riding vest and put it on to help keep warm.
As I’m waiting a woman approaches me and asks if I’m going on the poker run… I explain I would like to, but unfortunately I’m only passing through. It is in aid of a local children’s charity, which is something all HOG chapters do, have rides to raise funds for local charities; it’s $20 to join this one.
After this an older guy called Frank comes over and asks about my trip… He is thinking of taking his bike over to England and touring Europe, the reverse of what I’m doing. He asks a load of questions re shipping and travelling across Europe, but he’s one of those people who doesn’t really want to listen to the answer as every time I respond he cuts me off, so I’m getting a bit peeved with this. Eventually the shop opens and I make my excuses to get away… Why do I seem to be attracting the boring ones now?
I then fall into conversation with another bloke who is a marine, Jacksonville is US marine world, Camp Lejune is here and a couple of other marine bases so most of the guys going on the ride look like military personnel. He seems very nice, as do almost everyone I have met. He’s hoping to get a posting to Germany and when he does he is going to take his bike with him, he gets it shipped for free. Boring Frank then comes up and says how I’m famous as he has told everyone about my trip… He is the only person to have asked me a) have I had any near misses? And b) have I ever feared for my life while on the road? The answer to both is no, although I did have a near miss the other week in the rain I can’t be bothered to tell him cos he won’t be listening anyway, he obviously just likes the sound of his own voice.
One of the other chaps also chats for a while and offers me to join his group for the poker run… how nice is that, I decline, but if I knew I couldn’t go home early I would definitely have taken up his offer.
Time is a marching so better get gone, but before I leave I give the woman a $10 donation, it’s all the change I have.
Back on the road and after about 10 minutes I stop and change my helmet for the warmer one, (I’m in helmet law states now until Delaware, which will be the last time I can ride helmetless).
I next pass this historical marker
Hurrah… I saw one of these in Alabama and thought I’ll stop at the next one and take a photo, except I haven’t seen one until now. Isn’t it just the most perfect name ever for a supermarket!
It’s in the town of Maysville…
Along the road there are signs pointing to plantations and it isn’t until now that I see an actual house..
Soon after this I stop to put on my leather jacket and warmer gloves, it really is cold for me… I see other bikers in t-shirts, but I really do suffer with the cold since I lost all my body fat.
I think to myself, I’ll stop for a coffee and a warm up in the next biggish town, New Bern
But I don’t see anywhere to stop… And no further references to Pepsi Cola either, maybe I’m in the wrong part of town again. Anyway the road takes me out of New Bern and a right turn towards the Atlantic Ocean and the Outer Banks.
After a while I need to stop for petrol and the road is not interstate so going is slower than expected.
I pass through the original Washington, apparently…
and stop to take a photo of this interesting building
There’s no historical plaque or signpost but it looks pretty old to me.
Eventually I arrive in Kill Devil Hills, the actual place where the Wright brothers undertook their historical flight and home to the museum. I arrive at 5.05 and it is shut! What a bummer, if I hadn’t stopped so much to get warmer I would have been on time.
Oh well, my hotel is only 50 miles away, if I get up extra early I can come back and visit the museum tomorrow morning.
I ride along the outer banks into Kitty Hawk itself…
Next to the sign is another… Do you think they put it there as a joke?
I pass Grandy in, yet another wonderfully named county, Currituck…
and am soon in Elizabeth City, my stop for tonight..
An early night then if I’m going back to Kitty Hawk tomorrow… I’ll also be going to Portsmouth, back to Bayside Harley Davidson, where I bought the bike, to get it valued for UK customs charges. So will have gone full circle tomorrow, but still another few days riding up through Atlantic City to New Jersey to drop the bike for shipping, although I’m still waiting to hear from the shipping agent whether I can drop it early or not.
Nice tower don’t you think….