Mountains-to-Sea Trail – In for a penny, in for a pound

Starting with 901.1miles, 94,350 ft. ascent


ORV ramp #4 to ORV ramp #2 and some extra

5 miles, 0 ascent

We drive to our next town – Rodanthe – and plan to work out where we’ll leave our cars the next couple of days.

With Cape Hatteras National Seashore and Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, we can’t just park anywhere.

We’re also curious about the Bonner Bridge which takes you from Hatteras Island to Bodie Island. It’s supposed to be a monster of a bridge to walk across.

We meet two US Fish and Wildlife Refuge Officers. They’re parked in the middle of Pea Island watching people.

We explain about walking the Bonner Bridge; it’s 2.5 miles according to Scot Ward’s book. DOT is talking about replacing the bridge and they had public hearings about it last summer but it will be a long time before they do it. I hope they put in a walking lane on the bridge as well.

The older officer looks at the younger one with a grim face.

“I wouldn’t do it,” the young one says. “It’s not safe. I’m a cyclist and I wouldn’t ride it either. Now I’m not talking for the US Fish and Wildlife Service, just for myself.”

“I know that,” I say. “But you’re in uniform and you’re local so your word carries a lot of weight with me.”

“We’re just law enforcement for the Service. When they run a marathon, the organizations hire escorts and they close a bridge lane.”

He seems a little put out that I’m taking notes but I don’t ask for his name, on purpose.

In for a penny, in for a pound – Sharon and I decide not to walk the bridge. We’ll do a few miles tomorrow and visit the Bodie Island lighthouse.

We’re staying in Rodanthe and I’m very disappointed in the town. I think I got taken by the movie A Night in Rodanthe. We’re staying in an adequate place; the only motel in town. There are no supermarkets in the three towns – Salvo, Waves and Rodanthe. There are a couple of restaurants and one good gallery. Avon was a lively place by comparison.

Happy Easter Sunday!

Sharon invited me to go to church with her. We end up at the Fairhaven Methodist Church in Rodanthe.

I know, I know, I completely ignored Passover this year and here I am at an Easter service. It’s an interesting cultural experience and unlike a Seder, it’s only an hour and in English.

We drive over the Bonner Bridge to see what it’s like. Traffic is zooming wildly both ways. Some joker tries to pass a slower car. There’s a permanent wind advisory sign up – and that’s just for vehicles.

Sharon says that if two RVs pass each other and we’re on the side, we’ll be squashed bugs or blown overblown.

Look at the top picture – any questions?

This is our rest day but we decide to walk a few miles anyway to shorten our last day together. We walk ORV #4 ramp to ORV #2 ramp. This is where Off-Road Vehicles can get on the beach. The rules and regulations on where and when they can do this has created a big controversy with fishermen. I won’t try to summarize it here.

We start out on the road (NC 12) and the mosquitoes are fierce. Sharon pulls out her bug spray and sprays right into her eye. It’s very painful. She’s carrying a water bladder which just dribbles out and I only have a quart of Gatorade.

I’m hesitant about her getting sugar in her eyes as well as insect repellant but I offer her my bandanna and Gatorade water; it’s better than nothing. She swabs her eye with the liquid, though it still smarts.

After she feels a little better, we keep walking. In the excitement, we miss our turn off the road into the Bodie Lighthouse area. So we end up walking a mile up and a mile back down before we get on the Bodie Island Dike Trail.

MST235-BodieislandpondIt’s a short but beautiful walk through the maritime forest. A great white heron flies out of the pond.


We find three one-dollar bills that have been dropped, most probably out of someone’s back pocket. We pick up the “litter” and plan to put it in the Park donation box.

MST235-BodielighthouseSoon we reach the Bodie Lighthouse, the third lighthouse in Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

You can’t climb the lighthouse so few people visit. Still, it’s an impressive lighthouse with a small house in front that used to hold the fuel for the lighthouse.

MST235-myfeetIt’s hot and my feet are very cut up.

I’ve gotten a new blister every day. So if I have a new blister every day and I need to put band-aids on my old blisters as well, how many band-aids will I need?

Remember the Gaussian formula? N(N PLUS 1)/2. Who says that math is not needed after you leave school?
Cumulative after 72 days, 906.1miles, 94,350 ft. ascent

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