Day 9: Wilmington — Shallotte (48.5 miles)

Whatever island or peninsula Wilmington is on sure is bigger than the map would have you think. I crossed one scary bridge over the intracoastal getting out of there, well made up for by later cruising through a beach town and reaching the Atlantic for the first time.

After passing through Fort Fisher, it was time to ride a ferry! I was the only pedestrian so I got to sit in a cabin with the crew while everyone else stayed in their vehicles or milled around the deck. There were two RVs and one crew member pointed out “one has three A/C units and a TV satellite dish. Ain’t never seen that before.”

Then I had to say goodbye to the Atlantic and travel back inland to follow the bike-friendly highways. 211 was smooth, relatively flat, relatively free of wind, and traveled by friendly traffic. The final 10 miles, on a mix of residential roads and the main drag through Shallotte, were not as forgiving.

Tonight’s my last night in North Carolina. There’s still so much ahead!