East Coast Bike Tour Day 35

Day 35 – Cedar Point to Oriental, NC

Accidentally stopped my mile counter in Beaufort..

Little Eppi gave up her bed for me and made a fort with her brother Mac for the night. Wow she has a comfy bed and pillow! I slept great!

Matt was gone in the morning on a bike ride in Wilmington, so I hung out for a couple hours with Hilary and the kids. Took my time waking up and getting ready.

I raced the kids down the long driveway as I left, blew kisses and waived goodbye to my new relatives.

I crossed over the bridge and onto Emerald Isle and found myself a dog and coffee shop. Had a large coffee to help me wake up and get going, as well as was able to talk with my beautiful wife.

Muttigan’s coffee and dog shop

Down the long Isle, I hit Atlantic Beach and arrived shortly after Crystal Coast Brewing opened. They had just finished yoga there and I was bummed I missed it cause I know I could have used it!

Here is where my day got pretty awesome and wild. So hang on, there are a lot of moving parts and people!

First person I met here was Jennifer. She was the yoga teacher and had many contacts because I’m guessing she does yoga at a lot of these local breweries. We chatted for a while along with some of her group and the bartender. She hooked me up with the contacts of the NC Beer Guys in Raleigh. She also posted on Facebook about meeting me.

Jennifer and our bartender Haley at Crystal Coast Brewing

She recommended a few things:

  • Visit Fort Macon right down the road
  • Go to downtown Morehead City and catch the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament
  • Go to Fishtowne Brewery

So I did all of that in that order. I went the extra few miles to Fort Macon, picnicked there and walked around the fort grounds.

Fort Macon State Park

Rode back out of there, across the bridge and over to downtown Morehead City and to the tournament. Got to see one boats large catch and ended up talking with 2 guys. These two guys were big bikers also and so we talked about their travels and races and mine for a while. Joe then donated $40 to my ride! Super nice guys even before the donation.

My legs then took me over another bridge to Fishtowne Brewery. I was chilling for a little bit until Marissa and Mike walked in and said hello to me. They saw Jennifer Facebook post and had to come meet me. They are the owners of the a local brew bus company called The Hoppy Transit and offered to pay for my flight of beer.

Me and Mike, owner of The Hoppy Transit

We chatted for a while and they hooked me up with more contacts. They told me I need to visit The New Village Brewery, and I should go to Mill Whistle Brewing on the way. So I did just that!

Mill Whistle Brewing was right down the road and had two sections to it. I sat at the bar section and was given a sample of all of their beer. They were all delicious by the way, bit they didn’t have flights of beer so I had a hard time deciding which beer to get. I went with their sour.

A few minutes later, their head brewer came in and met me and wanted to get my picture. He also said I needed to check out their other section – a garage across the parking lot.

Mill Whistle Brewing

There in the garage was a man laying the guitar and singing and was actually traveling the east coast going brewery to brewery just like myself but was playing music at each! He was good too! Wonder if I’ll see him again on my ride…

By this point, it was a little after 5, I was going to ride to The New Village Brewery which was over 30 miles and a ferry ride away, I haven’t had dinner, and I have no idea where I’m going to sleep for the night.

The ferry that I needed to catch was leaving at 730 and I knew I would have no problem catching that…unless something happens along the way.

Google maps taking me on interesting routes

Nothing happened. Just had to stop and pee once. I made it there with time to spare and was able to cook some mashed taters and eat a packet of tuna before the ferry came.

Cooking food while waiting for the ferry

The ferry ride was a little under 30 minutes. I plugged my phone into a plug on the ceiling and let it hang right in front of my face as I took a little nap.

Got to the other side of the Neuse River and it was now a race against the sun. I had about a 50 minute ride to the brewery and the sun was starting to set.

Ferry over the Neuse River

Once I was getting within 3 miles I was looking all around for places that I may be able to pitch my tent but nothing really looked suitable.

I got to the brewery just after the music had ended and just as it began to get real dark out. I sat in a corner by myself as all the bar seats were occupied. Just as I was finishing my delicious farmhouse IPA, a guy walked in and announced to the whole bar, “this guy over in the corner not saying a word is biking from Key West to Canada!”. All heads turned and eyes shifted towards me.

So there begun the story time and meeting the owners Frank and Lili. They asked about my travels and eventually asked where I was staying. I told them I was not sure yet.

“We have some people you should reach out to” they said. They gave me contact information to a man named Lewis who is in charge of the Carolina Brewscene Magazine as well as copied me on an email with Keith and Allison who are the people behind towndock.net the local and popular website for all things news and weather.

I ended up pitching my tent in their beer garden out back with their permission. A nice peaceful area where I could look up and see the stars glittering the night sky.

Morning after my camping in the beer garden. Tent was set up back by the blue tables

Stats:

  • 70.17 miles riden – highest mileage day yet!

Accommodation:

  • Hawkins family
  • The New Village Brewery beer garden

Breweries:

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