Interesting day today. I woke up fully intending to ride over 60 miles today, however I managed to crank out a big 15 miles through Ocracoke and another 15 miles through the Cedar Island Wildlife Reserve! Wow! Yay me. Note to self, on days you take a ferry ride be sure to check the schedule prior to getting to station. That way you won’t take you’re sweet time and miss the earlier ferry! So I had to wait 3 hours for my 2 1/2 hour ferry ride to Cedar Island (said with a ‘sk’ sound so said a local Cedar Islander). So today was boat day because I have spent more time on it than my bike.
I have had some time today to meet some really neat people. I think I need to bring my bike with me more often because it has caused others to ask me where I am going and than the conversations just keep coming. For those of you who know me, I am pretty much a very quiet person around people I don’t know so this has made me step out of my comfort zone quite a bit. I met Carol and her boyfriend from San Fransisco. She and I would be great friends if we lived close together. She is an adventurous soul like me and has done so many fascinating thing from a backpacking into slot canyons in Utah, cycling for two days straight in a race only stopping to use the restroom, and cycling South Africa. There were many other stories she told me too. Then I met Bob! I love Bob. He is a retired college professor who rides the ferries everyday just for something to do. His wife comes and picks him up after his rides and then they make their way back to Buxton for dinner then tv. He says it helps clear his mind and refreshes his soul looking at the water and the sea gulls. He had a stroke 8 years ago where he lost the eye sight out of his right eye. His son came to see him this weekend and they were riding the ferry together. This was their second trip to Ocracoke today. He said he was in for one more ride. What a sweet man! Bless him. I met several others who were from Ohio, Virginia, and Georgia. Great folks. The last woman I met worked the ferries. It seems like a hard way of life. She works 12 hour days 7 days a week in Ocracoke then she goes home to Cedars Island said with a “sk”. She is raising her grandson whose 1 year birthday is today. Her daughter just took off and left her son for her to raise. A sad story there and she wears it on her face as she tells it. She was so nice to me as I was getting on the ferry and asked me tons of questions about my life. She then pulls me aside and gave me a very yummy chicken salad sandwich. Wow! People are generally so nice and do go out of the way for a stranger. I have enjoyed today because it has made me step out of my comfort zone and get to meet new people. I really have enjoyed all their stories. People love to talk if you give them your time and attention. It was the first day in a long time that I have talked to people who didn’t have a cell phone in their had checking it all the time. Amazing what you can learn about someone when they have your focus and you have theirs. I realize I hide behind mine a lot when I am in an unfamiliar situation. Thankfully my cell was charging otherwise I would have never met these people. 🙂 It was a nice change! So Day 3 hasn’t been a waste at all for me.
I was supposed to meet Scott in Morehead City, NC tonight, however that would require 2 plus hours of nighttime cycling which is a no go for me. He was kind enough to pick me up around Stacy, NC which is about 15 miles from the ferry. I have to say the marsh at sunset is gorgeous! The blues and pinks on the east side with the rising moon, and the deep orange and reds with the sun setting in the West was worth the 3 hour delay just to experience and see it. Wish I could have captured it on camera, but it is etched forever in my mind. It was a great 6 miles ride seeing that! Then the thrill of nighttime riding began and all the fears start haunting me as I pedal through the dark parts of hwy 12. “What if I get hit and they just throw my body in the marsh and no one would know where I was or what happened to me” was a reoccurring thought in my mind, so I sang songs to try to not think of being a victim of a hit and run….I am thankful Scott is still helping me out and came and picked my butt up even after I forgot my water bottles AGAIN in the hotel refrigerator earlier this morning. Sometime I amaze myself. Tomorrow I will not forget them!!! I might forget something else but it won’t be the water bottles! All in all today was a good day.