Yin and Yang of bike touring

I’ve mentioned my fear of bridges before. But recently I’ve learned that the Yin for that is the pleasure of ferries. If the threat of annihilation by truck, or the death falling off a bridge just to cross a body of water is the dark side (Yang), then the crossing of water by ferry, at least here on my trip, represents the zen-like pleasure of waiting, walking on and experiencing miles of your travel being lopped off for pennies on the mile.

Picture this. You arrive at a ferry stop which, at least this time of the year, is not busy or crowded. You purchase your ticket and learn that a passenger and bike crossing cost only $3 to get to the other side. One ferry went 5 miles and another 20 – that’s a 2.5 hr ride! And, get this. If you get to Ocracoke Island the hourly ferry to take you to Hatteras is FREE. Always. Both ways. Cars are a little more expensive. But in northeastern terms still a real bargain.

Once on the ferry, the ride is smooth, easy and relaxing. Strangers talk to each other, like the motorcycle couple who saw my Colorado bike jersey. They had to transplant to the Washington DC area for work but miss Colorado dearly. There were 3 Montreal couples on the strangest 3-wheeled vehicles, each with baggage in tow. Then there was then young wedding planner nervous about a big affair coming this Saturday (cinco de mayo) with a wild mother-of-the-bride to deal with. She was heading to meet her boyfriend to chill out for the day. And, on Cedar Island I met Harold who was a Long Island native clammer who has been chasing better waters until they become popular and too poluted and over fished. He was a vibrant 75 with a great friendly and accepting attitude.

Lastly, there was Jim. Jim approached me with admiration of my bike and mentioned he just bought a new one and was looking for a good seat for it. I learned he was going to Hatteras to do wind-surfing. He offered out of the blue for me to stay overnight if I need to at a place. He was sharing a big house with a friend and even gave me his phone number. There’s more to this story which I’ll post another time.

On the water there is no anxiety, only peace and calm, at least under this great weather day. For me, it’s an unexpected therapy after four bridges that day (and they were not even that bad).

Today, after appreciating the trek yesterday and realizing that I had made it to such a vast and beautiful place as Cape Hatteras, I decided to take it all in. Yes, take all the Yin I can find. I rode just 15 miles north to my planned KOA campsite. It’s a day off camping at the beach!

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One Comment

  1. I’ve been on those ferries too… a little more pleasant than the Staten Island ferry. Glad you’re enjoying your ride, and thanks again for writing these reports… looking forward to more.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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