OBX Part 1


We are sitting at a picnic table at Camp Hatteras Campground in Rodanthe, NC this Tuesday morning November 22nd.  The wifi is strong and our most recent photos from the past few days are uploaded.  The campground we are at was covered in over 4 feet of water during Hurricane Irene.  Yesterday was the first day the office was suitable to work in again after many repairs.

To catch up to today we’ll start with leaving our warmshowers hosts on Thursday Nov. 17th.  The weather was not in our favor, but hey-it can’t always be. We have great raingear and we’ve actually found that riding in the rain we stay drier than just standing in the rain.  We left Suffolk, VA and pedaled around The Great Dismal Swamp for the better part of the day. Apparently the swamp is home to the highest concentration of black bears on the east coast.   Even with the poor weather we actually had a tailwind and made it 40 miles to South Mills, North Carolina.  Right around the time we were looking to find somewhere to camp we noticed spraypainted on the road “SAG —–> “, in bike speak this mean support for cyclists so we figured this might be an ok place to camp as it was pointing at a church.  We knocked on the neighbor’s door and this is when we met Howard and Lois Jean.  Howard was more than happy to show us where we could camp and then he told us all about his trail system and that he walks and hikes all the time, this coming from an 81 year old. He said the previous week he had walked 42 miles total.  He reminded us to stay close to nature and was so happy that we wanted to camp and take a walk on his trails.  We had a cold night but were totally warmed by our encounter with Howard.  The next morning we had coffee with Howard and Lois Jean in their home.  We learned about the area, how it’s changed and shared opinions on the current state of affairs.  Lois Jean gave us a tour of their home and showed us all her beautiful paintings.  They were a joy to spend time with and we were thankful that the marks on the road led us to have this great experience.  We  never know who we’re going to meet or what could happen at any time.

The sun appears and lights up the trees in South Mills, NC

Campsite @ Howard and Lois Jean's

Howard's walking sticks

Howard's trail

Getting ready to leave South Mills, NC

We started pedaling again after saying goodbye to Howard and Lois Jean.  We had a flat, sunny ride on Route 158 heading towards to Outer Banks.  We decided to check in on email at a library in Barco.  We are thankful we did because a warmshowers host in Point Harbor offered to let us camp at their home even though they were out of town. Wow!  We were totally excited to learn this as we weren’t sure if we’d make it across the bridge over the Currituck sound before dark.  We got to Point harbor and rolled in to our host’s yard.  It was a great spot with an incredible view of the bridge right along the sound.  They had an outdoor shower on the deck  and we enjoyed using it with it’s hot water!  The next morning as we were packing up to leave, Nick, our host called us and generously said we could stay longer is we wanted.  So, we changed plans and relaxed on the deck of their home for the rest of the day. It was lovely and the restful.

Wright Memorial Bridge-3 1/2 miles long!

View from deck in Point Harbor

On Sunday morning we packed up and pedaled across the bridge.  We were thankful for light traffic as there wasn’t much room.  Every car that passed us sounded so loud and 3.5 miles felt like an eternity.  We headed to Kitty Hawk to resupply and then pedaled just a few miles to Kill Devil Hills to set up camp early and go to the Wright Brothers Memorial.  The campground we stayed at was in rough shape thanks to Irene.  It really wasn’t that great but sometimes that’s how it goes.

Spotted on the way to the campground

Camping on the canal @ Joe and Kay's in Kill Devil Hills

Wright Brothers Memorial

Wilbur and Bryan

The memorial was huge

Sunset in Kill Devil Hills

Orville and Wilbur Wright were originally owned a bicycle repair shop in Dayton, Ohio.  They utilized their bike tools and knowledge to aid them in creating their flying machines.  We caught the sunset on the beach before headed back to our campsite. The next morning, Monday, we chatted with our neighbors at the campground who were from Massachusetts.  It was fun to share stories with them. We actually ended up  camping at the same campground with them again later that day.  We biked about 40 miles to Rodanthe yesterday.  The mosquitos are thick here this year, thanks to Irene and a warm October.  We really couldn’t stop in Pea Island along the way for fear of being sucked dry.  We had to cross another bridge across the Oregon Inlet.  It was beautiful and terrifying (for Debi more than Bryan).  There were dead birds all along the shoulder.  Traffic was light and it wasn’t THAT bad.

Flower spotted along the shore

850 pound stuffed fish caught in March of 2011

view of bridge while on it....it's so long!

Route 12 through Pea Island

Repair work ongoing from Irene

Irene damage in Rodanthe, the town seems like it took a hard hit

We set up camp at Camp Hatteras Campground. 4 feet of water covered the whole place during Irene.  It’s looking pretty good now and they are in the midst of rebuilding structures and infrastructure.  We went down to the beach for the sunset and check out the Rodanthe fishing pier nearby.

Rodanthe fishing pier

We woke up this morning at sunrise and rushed out to the beach.  We were inspired by our friend John and Tre with their jumping photos so we took on this morning.


We’re  heading to Ocracoke today via a short ferry ride.  Plans for Thanksgiving are up in the air and we’re just going with the flow.  We may  look for some kind of buffet or maybe something else will happen-who knows?!

Cheers from OBX, NC-

Debi and Bryan


8 Responses to “OBX Part 1”

  1. 1 Kate Cross

    Thanks for the new entries, and Happy Thanksgiving to you both! It’s cold and rainy here in IN.

  2. 2 Frank Zangara

    Your pictures are geat. Oct 17 we were riding Rt 158 however the trees were green and the weather was perfect and the cotton was in bloom.

    You guys are making good time. I hope the weather warms up for you soon.
    Be safe

    Frank, bike cop

  3. 3 Jeanette Damato

    We have some great memories from Cape Hatteras, NC (not sure if it is the same place…) but sure is good to see you guys!!
    10 inches of snow here today…hmmmm.
    Love seeing you guys! Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving – doing what you are, I don’t think there is any way you couldn’t.
    Much peace and love to you both!
    Jeanette and Chris

  4. 5 Karen Winslow

    Happy Thanksgiving Debi and Brian!! Thanks for letting us share your adventure! Great pictures!!

    • 6 thrubike

      Yay! Thanks Karen-hope you had a great day with your wonderful family!

  5. Happy Thanksgiving.

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