Thursday, September 27, 2007


I had an opportunity to spend some time in Edenton, NC a few weeks ago. What I discovered left me pleasantly surprised.

I am used to the easy pace of eastern NC since that is where I was born and have lived all my life. I am also aware of the rich and colorful history that surrounds the area. As one travels the eastern portion of this great state there are literally signs on the roadside that announce an important place or date. Growing up in New Bern and Harkers Island I am more familiar with Craven, Carteret and Pamlico counties and what they offered to our rich history but what I have learned about Edenton and Chowan county is worth remembering.

The first permanent settlement in North Carolina, Edenton is the ''mothertown'' of the State.

Edenton was the Colonial Capital before New Bern.

There were lighthouses on the Roanoke river while I can find no mention of lighthouses on the Neuse river.

I was fortunate enough to photograph the "new" lighthouse on the waterfront and some of the other things that caught my eye. Check out the links I have provided at the end of this post for more information on the lighthouse and the history of the area.

Here is a great ride from New Bern to Edenton and returning on an alternate route:

Take highway 17 North to Washington cross over the Pamlico River and visit the Washington waterfront then continue on 17 North to Williamston. As you leave Williamston again on 17 North you will cross the Roanoke River and enter into the Roanoke Wildlife Refuge. This particular stretch of four lane road is an interesting and relaxing ride to the outskirts of Windsor. As you approach main light and intersection in the town of Windsor take a short break at the convenience store on the right. There you will discover a nice riverfront park almost tucked away from sight on the Cashie River (Locally pronounced as Ku-shy.) I did a previous blog entry on Windsor at

Continue on 17 North, that would be a right at the light in Windsor, and you will soon cross the Chowan River and be within just three miles of Edenton, NC.

On the return trip take 17 South back across the Chowan river and about two miles off the bridge there is highway 45 to the left, some call it the Merry Hill exit. This road points you toward Plymouth but carries you through some very attractive countryside on a low traffic road. One of the highlights is the are where you cross the Cashie River, Middle River and the Roanoke River where they all connect to the Albemarle Sound. Nearing Plymouth you will briefly take a right on 64/32, all of 100 yards, and then left back on Highway 45. At the next intersection take a left and you will be on Highway 32 and routed through Acre Station and Five Points. Soon you will arrive at Highway 264 and if you exit to the right you will be about four miles east of Washington and from there it's a little less than an hour back to New Bern via Highway 17 South. The trip covers about 225 miles.

Or you could take a left on 264 and head to Bath, NC (8.5 miles) where Edward Teach, the infamous Blackbeard once plied the waters. You really should visit Bath if you have the time. That route will put you on your way to the Bayview Ferry, across the Pamlico River to Aurora and then back to New Bern. Of course you could always run to Bath and then back to Washington to have a Bill's hot dog before going back to New Bern.

No matter what path you travel to Edenton you should make it a point to go there. We are planning a trip there soon and I will let you know how the food is at one of the many downtown restaurants. Hey maybe we can ride together!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Ride

If you missed this event then you really missed out. From start to finish is was well thought out and quite enjoyable. The goal is to raise funding in order to build the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the property where the Beirut Memorial exists.

Our normal Crew couldn't make it so Debbie and I left New Bern around 9:15 and rode to Jacksonville. It was a little cool to start with but boy did it heat up quickly. We met Mike, Holli, Brett and Justin in Jacksonville and rode over to the ride location. Mike and Holli had rented an 07 Electra Glide Classic in Wilmington for the occasion. There may be a new Harley on the horizon in the near future.

We joined the line up at 10:30. Bikes were lined up, four deep, on Montford Landing Road from Highway 24 to the overpass. That's almost a quarter of a mile of motorcycles! The local TV station estimated around one thousand bikes.

The majority of the bikes were Harley-Davidson but every make was in the line up right up to a Royal Enfield.

Are these some outlaw members of the Wild Hogs?

The opening ceremony was held at 11:30. Members of the Marine Corp Band from Cherry Point were on hand as well as members of the Junior ROTC. There were several local dignitaries on hand and the event was well covered by the media.

We walked to the head of the line to check things out and pick up our shirts. Here are a few bikes in the line up that caught our attention.

Engines were started at 12:00 and we head to Hubert via 24 then to 117 to Sneads Ferry, hit 17 North and end up at New River Harley-Davidson.

The Onslow County Sheriff, Jacksonville Police Department and the Camp Lejeune Military Police all had a hand in handling traffic to allow the extremely long line of bikes safe passage.

The ride lasted about an hour and went through some very nice back roads. A good distance of the ride was on board Camp Lejeune. There was quite a number of people all along the ride waving and watching the procession.

The ride went very smoothly considering the number of riders and I saw only one bike with mechanical issues. That bike did show up at New River HD about a half hour late.

The only major slow up was the entrance to the dealership. There was plenty of parking but it took some time for everyone to spread out.

There was live entertainment, free food and beverages. These guys really know how to run an event.

Mike and Holli.

There were a lot of folks browsing the inventory and checking out the specials.

There were quite a large number of door prizes given out for those that registered.

About 3:00 we decided to head north back to New Bern. There were some very dark clouds in the area that we saw from the Jacksonville bypass but it appeared that we would avoid them. Unfortunately about halfway to Maysville we ran into a rain like I will never forget. Cars were running about 30 mph with flashers on and traffic in the approaching lane was throwing standing water in the air like rooster tails from a speed boat.

My glasses totally fogged up, water was running up the outside and down the inside of the windshield and it was difficult to look over the windshield and not be blinded by the driving rain. Did I mention it rained? At one point it was raining so hard I was concerned about getting a dry breath. There is nowhere to pull over on that stretch of road since this is part of the Hoffman State Forest and there is only a grassy shoulder and a rather large ditch. We slowed even more because of the amount of rain, low visibility and the slightly squirrelly feel the Ultra exhibited in plying the standing water on the roadway. Things quickly cleared and we pulled into the Hardees parking lot in Maysville. Debbie was fairly dry other than her hair out the back of the helmet and lower pants legs. I dried my glasses so I could once again see clearly and by the time we arrived in New Bern my shirt and jeans were dry. Even with the rain we had an exceptional trip. It was one of the most memorable trips to date.

So far as the Ultra in the rain, she never missed a beat and once again helped us arrive back home safely. She got a good clean up on Sunday and is shiny as new waiting for the next adventure. I'm ready for the next two wheeled adventure as well.