Not sure if this should go here or in the impressions forum so what the .....
Man what a great extended weekend! Logged around 1200 over 5 days of riding.
Thursday I blasted down 95 then shot off on 40 to the coast and landed in Carolina Beach around 3:30. found a room with no problem at a nice place right on the beach. Unpacked and headed right for the bar/grill. There were several other motorcycle riders there and we chatted away the afternoon hours and well into the late evening. I enjoyed a great seafood dinner and nicely spiced calamari appetizer.
The bar started filling up and the crowd got pretty lively. One dude I met said he lived down on the beach during the winter then rolled his bike out and took off for three months during the summer and just toured the country, going to rallies and camping along the way. Man, now that’s the way to live!
It was still cool Friday when I headed up to my hotel in Wilmington, after spending a very relaxing evening and morning Caroline Beach, but the day promised to be sunny and warming through the day. In Wilmington I was staying right across from the gathering spot for the rally participants so after unpacking I headed across the street to see who had shown up for the Sat. mini-rally. Since I got into Wilmington around 11AM there wasn’t much activity at the rally hotel so I decided to head down the Cape Fear Riverfront in the old historic district of the town. There were some beautiful old homes along the way. Big 3 story structures much like the ones in the Cleveland Park area of DC where I lived for some years. They must have easily held 5-6 bedrooms and large living dining room and I bet the kitchens were huge as well. Of course, back in the days when these were built, the kitchen was still the central room in the house where folks gathered while the food was prepared, plus having to hold an entire staff of servants, as I’m sure many of the houses dated back quite some time when live-in staff was still quite common.
I got a bite to eat at a waterfront outdoor café and enjoyed some of the best calamari I had ever had. After lunch I wondered along the river walk enjoying the bright sun and warm temperatures.
Obviously I wasn’t the only one enjoying the day!
For the rest of the River Front shots go here
After wondering around, I headed back up town and noticed that some riders were now starting to arrive at the event hotel so I headed over to see who had arrived.
I met Jim B and some of the others from the club and also the other Jim who was hosting the event. I even got me a staff tee shirt and name tag, and although I was willing to help out wherever, I never actually ever did anything other than hang out with everyone and take a bunch of pictures.
Here is a short selection of rally shots and the party after everyone got in Saturday.
Here’s our very own Tina practicing her self-hypnosis
(careful Jim, she may be practicing on you when you aren’t looking!)
There was a pretty kool old BMW knock-off in the parking lot, I think it was a Ural, but it could have been a hybrid, the emblem on the tank was kinda odd looking. I think Jim figured what it was by looking at the lens, but they could have been from something else for all we knew. Still a kool old machine.
There was also a lot of this going on throughout the weekend.
(Drinking and talking, not so much the finger-pointing these folks were engaged in!)
Here’s ‘ol Pegleg doing the German March to some tune in his head, (who knows what goes on it there, then again, who wants too?)
A number of people spent the time trying to look kool, as we can see here, note the gentleman in the middle, yeah, man too, too, kool!
Friday there was a simple dinner and more shooting the bull, then I wondered back to my hotel.
Saturday, while the rally riders where off on their 10 hour jaunt, Jim, myself and one other rider decided to ride up and down the coast. We headed down thru Caroline Beach and took the ferry across to the lower end on the islands then stopped for lunch. The calamari I had there wasn’t nearly as good as the calamari I had had the day before, but it was passable. We then headed inland and up 17 so as to get back by the time the 10 hour riders were coming in. Some of the LD folks had already started showing up, some of whom didn’t seem to know which way they were headed, but after 24 hours of riding, who can blame them.
As the riders started coming in we hung out and watched and before long it was time for the festivities (and food) to begin so we all headed inside.
You can see the rest of the shots of the event, mostly from Saturday, here
Sunday dawned bright and clear once again so I packed and said my goodbyes before heading north to catch the Cape Hatteras ferry to head up to Nags Head, for my final overnight. The ride was very pleasant and I met a number of folks on both the long ferry
ride to cape Hatteras as well as an older gentleman on a Goldwing trike with his wife on the short ferry further up the coast.
This was another shot I liked that I took on the way up, the one bird seemed to be playing with his companion, he would raise one leg then look at the other bird, lower it, then raise it again and again look over at the other bird, as if saying ‘Hey, can you do THIS?!”
Got to Nags Head around 4 in the afternoon and found a hotel on the beach with a place to eat and bar right on the premises and by 5 I had made myself at home on deck with a good cold beer in hand. Had another excellent meal of some of my favorite seafood, a nice sampler platter and oysters Rockefeller. Now that’s some good eating. This time the bar was quiet, not many folks up in this part of beach area, which was fine with me, after the last 4 days I was pretty much talked out.
At one point I noticed a cat staring in through the glass door to the patio. Seems he was the hotel cat and mighty well feed from the looks of it.
He seemed to be a real friendly soul, I had been talking to him earlier when I was outside, (at the time I just thought he lived near by, he was too fat to be a stray). So since he had shared a bit of the afternoon with me on the deck, I shared a bit of my grilled tuna with him after I had finished dinner.
The next morning I spent about two hours on the deck and balcony of my hotel room watching the sun rise as the day warmed into mid-morning then headed home through the Dismal Swamp area and then booked up 95 in the mid day heat.
All in all a great trip, one I certainly needed, the combination of great weather, good friends and terrific riding all made for a journey I’d like to do again
Now for some of my favorites from the trip.
The rest of the best are here
And the remainder are here, some of the best results I had to-date, out of 400 some shots of the beach, birds and such around 150 were decent and 50 were what I would call top notch. I should do this for a living!