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I have just returned from a two day trip along the Outer Banks of North Carolina. A riding friend on a 1980 Honda 750 and I on the 03 Burgman 650. I have just outfitted my Burg with a vented Clearview shield and was eager to see how it performed. It was overcast and the weather carried 30% to 50% chance of rain. That is seasonal here.

We left Greenville, NC on Tuesday the 12th and drove through Williamston to Plymouth. Established in 1787 this town got its name from the early sailors on ships from Plymouth, Mass who stopped there for cargo - thus the name Plymouth Landing. Later the name was shortened to Plymouth. In the early 1800's it was one of the six main ports in North Caorlina and ranked ninth in population. It became a port of delivery, complete with a customs house. Scooners bound for the West Indies sailed from the port heavily loaded with hogsheads of tobacco, barrels of tar, pitch and turpentine, masts and spars, corn and rice.

Our next stop was on the Albemarle-Pamlico peninsula in the little town of Columbia. Originally known as Elizabeth Town, it was an early center for boat building and lumber industry. An additional 17 miles down US 64 brought us to the long bridge across the alligator river into the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. Not a place for a breakdown. We soon passed through Mann's Harbour and across the Croatan Sound onto Roanoke Island, the home of the Lost Colony. This colony was established in 1587 in the first English attempt to settle the "New World". We know that the first child of English parents born in the new world was born just days after the settlers landed. Virginia Dare was baptised on the Sunday following her birth and was the second recorded Christian sacrament administered in North America. The first baptism had been administered a few days earlier to Manteo, an Indian chief whose name is carried by one of the two towns on the Island. The other town, an authentic fising village is Wanchese, who was Manteo's brother. The settlement vanished and is memorialized in the outdoor drama "The Lost Colony".

Then across the Roanoke Sound onto the barrier islands we turned south at Whalebone on NC 12 and began our journey toward Hatteras. We passed by the Bodie Island Lighthouse and across the Oregan Inlet Bridge in the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. Eleven miles further and we came to the historic Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, one of the most famous along the east coast. At Hatteras we boarded one of the free ferry boats for the trip to Ocracoke Island.

This tiny island, accessible only by water or air, is part of the barrier islands where the pirate Blackbeard is known to have once roamed. The island is only 16 miles long with the Pamlico Sound on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. Often you can stand in one spot and see both. The quaint village includes the 1823 Ocracoke Lighthouse as well as several historic buildings. Throughout the years, the waters off Ocracoke Island have witnessed the sinking of many ships. In fact it has earned the nickname the "Graveyard of the Atlantic". During the height of the German submarine campaign on May 14, 1942, the HMC Bedfordshire was torpedoed and sunk with all hands lost. Four bodies of the crew washed ashore and the people of Ocracoke, knowing the ocean and her power, buried these saliors in a well-tended graveyard and then deeded that plot to the English Crown. On the white picket fence is a bronze plaque containing the words of Robert Brooke: "if I should die think only this of me that there's some forever corner of a foreign field that is forever England."

After 255 miles we counted it a day, spending the night on the island in one of their comfortable inns. The next morning we were faced with fierce thunder storms and rain. We had reservations on the Cedar Island Ferry which would return us, after a 2 hour crossing, to the mainland close to Beaufort, NC. We spent the morning unpacking our "frogg toggs" and preparing for a ride in the rain. While I would certainly have chosen otherwise I was eager to see how the Burgman handled a trip in the rain. To say it was tested would be a classic understatement.

Our return took us through old Beaufort By the Sea. Settled in 1709 is it North Carolina's third oldest town. Originally known as "Fish Town" it was established nearly 20 years before George Washington was born, and Anne was still Queen of England. Named for Henry Somerset, Duke of Beaufort, the town was incorporated in 1723.

We then completed our trip through Morehead City, New Bern and up NC 43 to home in Greenville. It was a wonder trip through much of the early history of North Carolina, and endeed our nation. The Burgman is a wonderful road bike, and her performance in the rain was splendid. With the new shield, the rain gear and the protective fairing, I arrived home warm and dry. It was a grip worth taking.

Canon
 

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Great report ! I've done that trip (in a car) a few times and your story brought back memories of those times.

B'Man is indeed a great road bike.
 

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Great post. I really appreciate you taking the time to bring out the historical significance of the stops along your journey.

It truly is a great touring bike!
Perry R.
 
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