Virginia Beach to Cape Hatteras – Pt 3

two harleys at the sandbar and grill in buxton, nc

Crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel on Monday morning following Easter was quite a way to start the day. The bridge is a modern marvel of engineering. It is 23 miles long and has two tunnels where the bridge dips down underneath the bay and goes for a mile under water before you come back up on another section of bridge. It was a sunny morning with blue skies. Not as windy as the day before. My thoughts were with Vic, Karen and Joanne. Karen died in a motorcycle accident a few miles before the bridge in April of 2009. We were on that trip with our friend when she was killed. Vic was a Harley-Davidson enthusiast from Pennsylvania who died of cancer in November 2011. He loved the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel and here I was enjoying the ride for him and talking to him as I crossed the majestic span. My thoughts were also with Joanne, a member of our HOG Chapter who died in a motorcycle accident about 48 hours before this leg of our trip. While crossing the bridge and entering a tunnel a speeding tractor trailer decided to tailgate me. At one point Diana couldn’t even make me out in her rear-view mirror as I got swallowed up by the front grill of the truck. Finally we emerged from the tunnel with it’s one lane in each direction and came out onto the bridge with it’s two lanes so the truck could now pass me.

Once we crossed the span and entered into the Virginia Beach area we had to do battle on the interstates. My least favorite part of the trip. I hate highway riding, especially beltways around busy cities. Some crazy people in a green Pontiac got between me and Diana and were riding her ass and making it difficult for her to make the lane changes we needed to in order to get where we needed to be. Diana as usual held her ground and managed to not get run over or killed. But I’m still feeling the stress of watching these jerks put my wife’s life in danger as we tried to navigate our way around a strange city. Shortly after we found ourselves on the more peaceful Rt 168 leading to Rt 158 down the North Carolina shore to the outer banks. Yeah!!!

As we drove past the Wright Brother’s Memorial in Kitty Hawk I found myself disappointed. This touristy beach area was not much different from Ocean City, MD. My vision of the outer banks was less developed. At the end of Rt 158 we merged onto Rt 12 South, also known as Cape Hatteras National Park Road. This was more of what I had in mind and I breathed a sigh of relief and started to smile. The vacation part of the trip kicked in! We rode our motorcycles through vast areas of undeveloped shoreline with sand dunes that were as tall as the houses in my neighborhood. The barrier island is so narrow that in some places you see the Atlantic Ocean on your left and Pamilico Sound on the right. Rt 12 is the only road in and out with one lane in each direction. No shoulder, just beach sand on both sides. Giant dunes on the left and acres of wilderness land on the right. Once in awhile an impatient driver will pass using the oncoming lane. It pissed Diana off when someone almost took me out while making one of these pass moves. We would occasionally come into a small beach town with cool beach houses raised on stilts. We finally came into Cape Hatteras. It was too early to check into our room at the Lighthouse View Motel but we were plenty hungry. We rode past the motel and kept an eye out for a good place to eat hoping for a dining experience with a water view. We found it at the Sandbar & Grill in Buxton! We stripped off our chaps and riding gear and made a beeline for the rest rooms. Then we went upstairs to order beer and a heaping pile of deep fried seafood that again hit the spot perfectly after a day of riding (only one alcoholic beveridge was imbibed by each motorcycle rider before switching to diet cola with lemon). Then we poked around taking pictures before heading back to the motel to check in. Cape Hatteras is great getaway! Just a few motels, a gas station, several restaurants, several gift shops, a general store and a bait store. Definitely paradise for the avid fisherman.

jay and Diana at the Sandbar and Grill inside

Sandbar and Grill Sign

A great dinig experience with a waterview at the Sandbar and Grill

The view from the deck of the Sandbar and Grill

Diana behind the Sandbar and Grill

The Sandbar and Grillis right on Pamlico Sound

Pamlico Sound from the Sandbar and Grill

Diana is the mastermind of vacation planning. She found this terrific motel on the Internet that costs less than $100 per night. She got us a third floor room facing the ocean with a magnificent view. We unpacked and walked to the general store to pick up a six pack of Yuengling, a twelve pack of bottled water and other supplies. Then we changed into our bathing suits to relax in the hot tub. Diana’s true genius came out when she suggested we bring bathrobes with us for the outdoor hot tub.  It was pretty warm when we arrived and we didn’t need the robes to get in the hot tub, but I’m sure glad we had them when we got out as the sun set and the wind picked up a little bit. They took up a lot of valuable luggage space, but they were worth it! We were in heaven! We rode to Cape Hatteras, had an awesome steaming pile of deep fried seafood as a late lunch, checked into a great hotel with an incredible view right on the beach, had several Yuengling beers and then soaked in a steaming hot tub.

 The lighthouse view motel and cottages in buxton, nc

Parked at the Lighthouse View Motel

The parking lot of the Lighthouse View Motel

Nice rooms at the Ligthouse View Motel

The pool and beach are just outsuide the room of the Lighthouse View Motel

Sitting outside our room at the Lighthouse View Motel

Ralaxing after a soak in the hot tub

We put on dry clothes about mid evening and walked across the street to the Shipwreck Grill looking for a light dinner. We had soup and salad and then returned to our room to drink more Yuengling and watch American Chopper and Outlaw Garage before turning the lights out and sleeping very soundly!

Shipwreck Grill Sign

Jay shipwrecked

Daina shipwrecked in Buxton, NC