The Tiny Room Tour is over halfway through the North American dates. Z and I spent the last five days on Hatteras Island on the Outer Banks. True to form, our cabin accommodations were spartan — no TV, no kitchen, a mat for a bed. It was sorta awesome. I took away a few important thoughts from our time together: 1) my husband eats Oreos incorrectly 2) the Wicked Witch of the West must have had killer legs 3) it’s impossible to take a good photo of stars.
On the way to the bath house the first night I looked up to the sky and was completely blown away by the number of stars that could be seen. It’s a forgotten advantage of living away from urbanization. Layers upon layers upon layers of stars in a sky was so black that it looked soft. Van Gogh totally should have painted Starry Night on black velvet. It would have taken it to a whole new level.
One of my favorite moments was sitting on the mat at bedtime eating Double Stuf Oreos with Z. I revere the Oreo. I take my time, twist the cookie away from the cream, eat the cream (while trying to peel it up in one piece — let’s face it, you can’t lick that stuff), then eat the cookies one by one. Happiness. I look up and see Z stuffing the whole cookie in his mouth. No reverence. No remorse. I was stunned that I was married to a man that didn’t know the proper technique to eating an Oreo. I tried to teach him. He listened, then popped another whole cookie into his mouth.
The next morning we decided to bike the seven miles down to the Graveyard of the Atlantic museum. I packed Gatorade, apples and granola bars in case we got distracted and didn’t get back in time for lunch. We always get distracted. We were almost to the museum when we ran into the traffic for the ferry to Ocracoke Island. The ferryman (no, not that ferryman, luckily) waved us over and said we could take our bikes and hop the line to the front if we wanted to take the ferry. We hadn’t planned on going to Ocracoke, but who can resist hopping a huge car line?! We weaved through the cars and parked our bikes up front. A guy in his mid-20s was already waiting with his bike. He was friendly in a quiet and mild mannered kind of way. He told us he was biking from Rochester, New York to Greenville, South Carolina to visit family. He had already rode 850 miles, mostly taking a coastal path. He had camping gear tied to the back of his ten year old bike. Did you do anything special to your bike for the trip, I asked? I put new tires on, he said. So much for needing the latest and greatest equipment. At the end of our 40 minute ferry ride, I wished him luck and told him to be safe. He blushed and took off down the road in a blur.
Meanwhile, Z and I had 13 miles to go to make it to Ocracoke Village. I was on my beach cruiser and Z was on his mountain bike. Z let me set the pace since my beach cruiser doesn’t have gears and was being solely powered by my pudgy little legs. We were pushing slightly uphill and against the wind for the first nine miles. That part of the island is completely undeveloped except for Highway 12 South running from the ferry dock to the village. At intervals we could see the ocean through the sand dunes. It was incredibly hot, but the sky was blue and, even though I was peddling like mad against the wind, it felt great against my face. As I struggled to come up with a word to describe what I was seeing, the only thing that would come to mind was, “This is the day the Lord has made.” We stopped halfway to visit the Ocracoke Ponies, who were mostly hiding in the shade. When we got back on the road, Zef couldn’t hear me due to the wind, so I entertained myself by humming the theme song for the Wicked Witch of the West. She may have been wicked, but with all of that bike riding, she must have had killer legs. Thanks to the wind, it took us two whole hours to get to the village. We were hot, sweaty and thirsty and it was two hours past lunch time. We stopped at the first pizza place in the village — Jason’s Restaurant. Chris, the waiter, took pity on us and brought us huge glasses of water in addition to our tea and soda. [Why, oh why, does no one on the Outer Banks carry Coke, I begged to know. Because the Pepsi bottler is in New Bern, Chris said definitively. Oh.] Maybe I was just hungry, but the pizza is amazingly delicious. If you are ever on Ocracoke Island, go there. Ask for Chris. You won’t be disappointed. Before we left, Chris wrapped our leftovers for the ride back and filled our empty Gatorade bottles with ice water. I was expecting to battle the wind again, but the ride back was utterly calm. We arrived at the ferry in under an hour. Told you that pizza was amazing.
Currently Reading: A Scattered Life by Karen McQuestion
Training Log: About 60 bike miles over the course of three days.