Friday, August 17, 2012

Day 11, Sunset Beach to Wilmington, NC – 68.89 miles, average speed 12.4 mph. Total miles, 763

A pleasant night was followed by a pleasant beginning to the day because I was able to stop at the friendly neighborhood bagel shop and have (ta da) a coarse salt bagel! It was everything a bagel should be; chewy, warm (toasted) and slathered with cream cheese.

The ride was similarly pleasant most of the time as much of it was along or near the coast. I passed through Southport, Fort Fisher, Kure Beach and Carolina Beach before turning inland along Cape Fear River toward the port city, Wilmington. Southport and nearby Oak Island (which I did not see) have that trendy mentality which features the iea that “the initials say it all.” Both SPT and OKI stickers, labels and signs abound in the area. To its superficial credit, SPT (Southport) appears to be a delightful, prosperous village lacking many of the trappings typical of beachside communities; trinket stands and soon to be closed restaurants (which will soon reopen under new management). Not being directly on the ocean probably contributes to the community’s prosperity.

For me the draw to Southport was the ferry, part of North Carolina’s infrastructure. The 35 minute ride across Cape Fear River was a nice interlude. I was joined by a group of 8 motorcycles. I don't want to lose my ass and I definitely do not want to replace it with blue jean overhang, wither


After disembarking I rode through Fort Fisher which has the appearance of one of those vacation gems yet to be discovered by the general population. Kure Beach was more vacation developed, but lacked the tarnished sheen of Panama City Beach, for instance. But maybe PCB would look different at 12 miles an hour, too.

The next three days are very uncertain because of weather, distance, time and accommodations. Making Jacksonville, NC, would be good, but I’d be pushing 90 miles. Still, this would put me closer to an early arrival for the ferry to begin the Outer Banks. Additionally, weekend accommodations are less available. Weather? Scattered and isolated thunderstorms. At least the roads seem safer.


  1. Ed, sounds like a wonderful day. I am glad the roads have improved as well as the scenery.

  2. Write long on the outerbanks... living vicariously through your words... girls say hi and good luck.