I got up early to catch the 7 30 ferry to Cedar Island. This close to 3 hour ferry ride required a reservation and last night I had gone to make it. When the lady at the reservation desk found out it was a moped she said I could just pay in the morning and could take whatever ferry I wanted. What a bonus! The 7:30 ferry was full (for cars) and if I had a car I would have had to wait until 10:00 or later. Sometimes it is great to be doing this trip on a moped! 🙂
And what a beautiful morning for a ferry ride it was.
I met a lady on the ferry whose husband owns 8 Ducati’s! He was up in the North Carolina mountains riding his Ducati monster that day. She showed me the calendar for the Ducati club he is the president of, with a picture of one of his bikes. The white 2014 Ducati 899 Panigale.
As we got closer to the shore, there were some dark clouds on the horizon. Exciting! I don’t mind the rain, as long as it’s not pouring! The light drizzle doesn’t bother me at all. My clothes dry really fast on the moped with the air brushing by me and with the sun coming out right behind the rain to warm me up. It was slightly concerning though seeing the boat workers putting on their heavy rain gear.
They were right! These heavy raindrops started pouring down just as it was time to unload. With my raincoat tightly wrapped around my backpack with my electronics, I pulled off the boat and under a small shelter as quick as I could.
Do you see those huge raindrops!? This was after the roughest part. I had to park my moped where it was because anywhere else would have had it soaked with the way it was coming down. It wasn’t too long before the rain had run its course and it was down to that nice light drizzle, and I was off.
There were some cool fishing spots on either side of the road and so many signs saying that you aren’t allowed to fish from the bridges. I haven’t worried about the weather much on my trip yet, and haven’t even looked to see what the forecast is going to be. It is what it is, and I will either pull over or continue if it’s safe. Some other fun signs I have seen on my trip reminding me that keeping an eye on the weather would be smart were embodied in all the “hurricane evacuation route” signs that kept popping up everywhere. Haha. 😀
Route 12 and route 70 turned and weaved ever so gracefully around these waterways and stunning landscapes, before continuing near the coast line on 24. After looking at my map and wanting to avoid major 4 lane roads into cities, I saw a great route bypassing Jacksonville via 172.
Everything was going great, until I came up on an army checkpoint! A gentleman in full camo came out of a guard shack asking me if I was military. “Um. Nope.” I said. He explained to me that civilians are not allowed to take this road. I wondered why Google Maps didn’t change my route as I kept going south on 172. Explaining my desire to get to Wilmington, the army man said it would be a hot minute by having to take 24 north to 17 south. I didn’t think he would want his picture being taken, and I wasn’t going to try this time. And that was my experience trying to unknowingly go through Camp Lejeune.
North I went on the busy highway through Jacksonville, constantly reminding me that a moped is sometimes terribly ill-fitting. I was understandably passed by all vehicles including some interesting ones.
I eventually made it to Wilmington and enjoyed exploring a bit of a city that had some rough looking areas and a nice downtown strip. I had messaged a couple on couch-surfing who had bicycled around the U.S. for a couple years before settling down in Willmington, but hadn’t heard back and decided to send a message to another couch-surfing host. Even the outskirts of this city is not one I am looking to wild camp in.
Katelyn and her roommates where very kind to host me last minute and had a whole separate private room with a couch for me to sleep on. Not only that, but they also invited me to a taste of the city with a Bluegrass night they were going to downtown. There was a lot of people dancing and having fun, with a nice outdoor area for games.
There was a lot of swinging, twirling, and dipping for the dancing with a few guys showing others who wanted to try how it was done. Apparently the bluegrass night is something that is done every Sunday night here. I know my sisters would have been dancing away.
Katelyn and her roommates have done a lot of traveling themselves and we shared stories about some of our adventures. It was really neat hearing how Katelyn had done a mission trip to South Africa and would really like to go back. She also had couch-surfed through Europe and meet some great hosts.
Thanks again for the place to sleep and inviting me to see a special part of Wilmington!