Saturday, May 25, 2013

North Carolina

Fisher Island Ferry

 Entering North Carolina, we were thankful to be back in a bicycle friendly state.  After spending the first night in Shallotte, we rode to Southport and took the Fisher Island ferry across the Cape Fear River and along the river up to Wilmington, North Carolina.   Wilmington is an industrial port city.  Among other things we saw large piles of logs ready for loading onto ships.  Wilmington also has some beautifully restored Victorian homes but traffic was such that we were unable to stop and take pictures.

Marsh along Cape Fear River Riding into Wilmington

Beach at Surf City
From Wilmington we rode to Surf City and took a well deserved rest day after seven days of riding.   Our hotel was across the street from the ocean and we enjoyed two nights of ocean front dining.  The weather was good and we enjoyed lounging by the pool.  The wind was a little too strong for sun bathing on the beach.  We found the boat storage interesting.  (see the picture below)  We are not sure if the reason for the multistory boat storage is the lack of available space or protection against storm surges. 

Boat Storage at Surf City
Unique Island Formations on Road to Jacksonville
From Surf City we rode to Jacksonville and the next day on to New Bern where we narrowly missed getting caught in a downpour with thunder and lightening.  The following day we took a ferry across the Pamlico River and rode into Bath where we stayed at the Bath Harbor Motel and Marina.  The views down the river were spectacular from the deck of our room.

Ferry across Pamlico River

Bath Harbor Motel and Marina

View from Deck at Bath Harbor Motel and Marina
Clary Sage
The rest of our ride through North Carolina was mostly through woodland and farms.  We passed a number of fields planted with corn, winter wheat, tobacco, and clary sage.  Clary sage is only grown in Russia, France and North Carolina and is used to make fine oil used in cosmetics.  The corn was less than knee high, the winter wheat appeared to be ready for harvest, the tobacco was only a few inches high and the clary sage was in full bloom in both purple and white varieties. 

Field of Flowers near Ahsokie Inn

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