With an early start on our 30-mile finish day, and with the temps in the 50s as we rolled, our final Cycle NC day was simply splendid. Jack saw a long-time friend before we left camp and had a nice chin-wag with Hal, and we still got on the road by about 9.
We were surprised to be met with significant headwinds, similar to Day 1, but with no storm on the horizon as with Friday. But we maintained an excellent pace, stopped at one rest stop and skipped the second, and found ourselves back in town about 11, but with fewer than our hoped-for 30 miles.
So we took the suggestion of another friend, who recommended heading to an island right off the Edenton waterfront and having a meander through what was undoubtedly once a plantation. Today, it is mostly agricultural and part of it has been developed into a small neighborhood of high-end homes on the waterfront. Very nicely landscaped and some modest and some more grand homes along winding pavement and lots and lots of birds and squirrels and other neighbors.
Tried to have lunch at the Dairy Freeze place where we had our first lunch in Edenton on Thursday, but they didn’t open until noon, so we headed to the local coffee house for a panini. They had changed their wifi pass word to honor the Cycle NC event, and had put a bicycle outside with some of their additional handmade offerings adorning every inch of it – mostly small knit birds, but other critters, etc.
So we returned to camp through a town emptying of the 800 or 1000 cyclists who’d arrived to temporarily wreak havoc on the little town, and I imagine everyone who worked so hard at the restaurants, inns, private homes, and at the hospitality points of the ride heaved a great sigh of relief. We were so very impressed with how friendly and welcoming and patient everyone was. It was a great event held in a great little town.
Packed and stowed and said goodbye to Edenton ourselves at around 2PM, and headed northward along Route 17 to Virginia, to meet up with our friends, Kerry & Gloria, at First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach. It was a long, nervous trip through the Dismal Swamp as our fuel gauge slowly dipped toward “E” but we finally found a station we could get into and out of easily, just before we got on Interstate 64 headed (with everyone else in the world it seemed) toward the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. We (very happily) got off the crowded and ever-changing Big Road to head down Rt. 13, also called Shore Drive, straight into VA Beach and our campground.
Gloria and Kerry were already there and set up, and about an hour and a half later, we all decided that dinner was in order, so we re-arranged our car to fit four and headed back into the northern part of VA Beach, where, as we’d come down Shore Drive, Jack and I had seen a cluster of seafood restaurants.
We ended up at a place called Bubba’s Seafood, but could have gone to the Shellfish Restaurant, or one of the three others right in the neighborhood, right on the water. I took a photo of the restaurant next door to us, but I’m sure the folks eating on the deck at Bubba’s looked the same.
Had a very nice meal of shrimp with all the expected go-withs, excellent cocktail sauce, a decent draft beer (called Laughing Crow, out of Pennsylvania – of course, I chose it on its name alone – and it was an IPA to boot), and overall a very good meal for taking a total “flier” on an unknown, obviously very tourist-y place to eat.