Thunder Roads Magazine MO/So. IL 2017-September - Page 14

THE ROAD Less Traveled between or off the islands was by boat. This helped to preserve the maritime culture and the distinctive Outer Banks accent or brogue which sounds more like an English accent than it does an American accent. Many “bankers” have often been mistaken for being from England or Ireland when traveling to areas outside the Outer Banks. The brogue is more distinctive the further south you travel with it being the thickest This month our ride is going to take us for a ride which is literally on Ocracoke Island and Harkers Island. Some of the residents of the located in the Atlantic Ocean. Situated off the eastern shore of North Outer Banks, known as wreckers, made part of their living by scavenging Carolina is the Outer Banks (OBX). This is a 200 mile long string of wrecked ships. They would lure ships to their destruction by tying barrier islands which stretch from North Carolina to southeastern Virginia. They cover most of the North Carolina coastline, separating the lanterns around the necks of horses and walk them along the beach. Currituck Sound, Albemarle Sound and Pamlico Sound from the Atlantic The up and down motion of the lanterns would appear to ships as being an indication of clear water and a ship ahead. The unsuspecting Ocean. The Outer Banks are a major tourist destination and are known captain would then sail his ship ashore following this false light. The around the world for their subtropical climate and wide expanse of open islands are home to herds of feral horses, sometimes called “banker beachfront. The treacherous seas off the Outer Banks and the large ponies”, which according to local legend are descended from Spanish number of shipwrecks that have occurred there have given these seas Mustangs washed ashore centuries ago in shipwrecks. Populations the nickname Graveyard of the Atlantic. The Graveyard of the Atlantic of wild horses are found on Ocracoke Island, Shackle ford Banks and Museum is located in Hatteras Village near a United States Coast Currituck Banks. Travel to the Outer Banks is something that needs to Guard facility and the Hatteras ferry. The Wright Brothers’ first flight in be carefully planned ahead. If you decide to start at the southernmost a controlled, powered, heavier-than-air vehicle took place on the Outer point, you will need to take the Ocracoke Ferry. The ferry from Ocracoke Banks on December 7, 1903, at Kill Devil Hills near the seafront town Island to Cedar Island is about 2 ½ hours travel time. The ferry charge is of Kitty Hawk. The Wright Brothers National Monument commemorates $10 per bike and reservations for the ferry should be made a couple of the historic flights and the First Flight Airport is a small, general-aviation days in advance. If you want to avoid the ferry ride, you can start in the airfield located there. The Outer Banks is a string of peninsulas and middle of the Outer Banks and do either the north leg or south leg first. barrier islands separating the Atlantic Ocean from mainland North To get to the middle starting point, you will need to go to Whalebone, Carolina. From north to south, the largest of these include Bodie Island, North Carolina and head north or south on NC 12. Once you are on NC Hatteras Island, Ocracoke Island, Portsmouth Island and the Core 12, you are on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Here you will find Banks. Over time, the exact number of islands and inlets changes as areas where the Atlantic Ocean is on one side of the road with the Inter- new inlets are opened up, often during a breach created during violent coastal Waterway on the other. You will find lots of sand dunes, wind storms, and older inlets close, usually due to gradually shifting sands surfers, kites flying and of course lighthouses. The historical lighthouses during the processes of beach evolution. The Outer Banks extend are located on Bodie Island, Hatteras Island and Ocracoke Island. The southward from Sandbridge in Virginia Beach down the North Carolina most scenic areas to visit are notably Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands. coastline. The Outer Banks are home to the states three prominent The hardest thing to deal with while making this ride is not the road but capes: Cape Hatteras, Cape Lookout and Cape Fear. The northern part of the Outer Banks from Oregon Inlet northward, is actually a part of the the constantly changing winds sweeping in from the ocean. At times it may feel more like sailing than riding a motorcycle. This route has North American mainland since the northern inlets of Bodie Island and lots of tourist attractions to stop at and you will certainly want to find a Currituck Banks no longer exist. It is separated by the Currituck Sound seafood restaurant to enjoy the daily catch. Finding gas is not a problem and the Inter-coastal Waterway which passes through the Great Dismal however the further south you travel, the greater the distance between Swamp which occupies much of the mainland west of the Outer Banks. fuel stops and expect to pay a premium for fuel when gassing up. If you North Carolina State Highway 12 links most of the popular Outer Banks are traveling the southern section towards Atlantic Beach, be sure to ride communities in this section of the coast. The easternmost point is Cape through the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. This 17 mile section Point at Cape Hatteras on Hatteras Island which is the site of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. The Outer Banks are not anchored to offshore coral provides a nice contrast to the beach views you have experienced along the Outer Banks. Here you may have the opportunity to see alligators, reefs like many other barrier islands and as a result they often suffer bears and coyotes all of which call this refuge their home. Whichever significant beach erosion during major storms. Their location jutting out direction you decide to take, the Outer Banks of North Carolina will into the Atlantic makes them the most hurricane prone area north of provide you with a unique riding experience unlike any other ride you Florida for land-falling storms. The Outer Banks ]H[\X[X]\X^H]H][\HZ[[Y[X\܈[\^]YH܂]\X]\HوZ\[\]YH[ܘ\X[][ۋ\][ۂ[\^]]KYHYHYH]&\\^H]Yۈ\H]›XZ\[HۙHY[ٝ[]\[H[\\]\\BY[\\YH[]H]\H^K\[H[\\]\\[ۈH[[\X\˂H]\[\H\]YH[\]\X[ۚX[]\X[HوH[]H\[[][ۈH\[\YHYKY™^KYܙHY\\HZ[[H NL8&\HۛHܛHو[ܝ[\YXY^[H L[\YXY^[H L