The next morning we were up leisurely and on the 10AM ferry from Ocracoke Island to Cedar Island. Mike S and Mike F stayed behind for a rest day on Ocracoke, and the other five of us motored on to SC.
a note about these NC ferries – last year, I recall that there were blocks to put against your front tires. this year we didn’t have any of those at all. No tie downs either, on either of the ferries (though we didn’t have them last year either).
it was a gorgeous day for a boat ride. The Ocracoke-Cedar Island ferry is about 2 hours and it was sunny and warm and I had to hide from the sun by the end of the ride!
When we got to Cedar Island, we got on the bikes and rode straight off of the ferry with no stopping until we got to a car wash where we could rinse the salt off of the motorcycles. And let’s be honest: some of our bikes (OK JUST MINE AND MIKES) were cleaner at this point than they had been for months and months.
and then we went to the first of many delicious meals at the Golden Corral.
For those of you not in the know, The Golden Corral is a reasonably priced buffet and the food quality is amazing in the south – but we can tell you that based on careful experimentation, the quality is quite patchy the further north you get from Delaware. Janice loves it. also: SWEET TEA.
The only problem with starting the day with a ferry is that you get up, get on the bikes and you hurry up and get started… to, well, wait for 2 hours. in the sun, and you get sleepy… and then you stop at a delicious buffet… so by the end of the day you feel like it’s really been a LONG TRIP. We felt that way for sure when we pulled into a rest area in south carolina at about 5PM. after a short stretch break we were on our way into Myrtle Beach. It was hot and we’d been riding through a headwind and we desparately needed a drink of water. We all stopped and texted exciting, pithy, and relevant updates to our official trip tumblr.
Bike Week in Myrtle Beach has been a contentious issue, lately. The City has been trying to chase out the bikers by passing things like helmet laws (there’s no helmet law in SC) and noise ordinances. And to be honest, while I’m in general supportive of these things (especially the helmet law, gracious!) I think that the City could have done a better job of saying: you know, we want your business, bikers, but we want you to be SAFE. but they were pretty clear they didn’t want the business of bikers so last year most bikers wouldn’t even pass through the City of Myrtle Beach, sticking to the activities on the north, west, and south instead. We stayed in Myrtle Beach and every hotel and restaurant proprietor was pretty clear that they were losing boatloads of money because of the drop in attendance (anecdotally, hotel bookings went from nearly 100% two years ago to about 50% this year) but at the same time the Mayor was reelected last year so who knows?
Personally we stay in the city, because we like hotels on the beach! Like this one, where we were happily ensconced for a few days:
after we got in we unloaded and went down to the beach-front bar for a drink, and then nearly passed out on our feet from exhaustion so turned in.