Bald Head Island had been on my list right from the start when I had found out about the little island and lighthouse just south of Wilmington, NC. It fascinated me that it is the place that all these uber rich and celebrities go when they are wanting beach vacations in the Carolinas. I also wanted to see the lighthouse that was out on the island and I really wanted a bike excursion that would push me out of my comfort zone just a little bit.
I had woken early trying not to wake everyone else in the house. All that I had needed had been packed in my Timbuk2 commuter bag the night before with my bathing suit, sunblock, lip balm, money, water, phone and charger. I had bought some women’s padded riding shorts for this ride. Which is funny since I had ridden around for a good long time before getting padded shorts. FYI, those shorts are in a duffle lost in a garage at this moment possibly to never return.
I waited to get coffee and breakfast until I had reached Carolina Beach and stopped at the Veggie Wagon. Sat outside and enjoyed my breakfast sandwich and iced coffee until I was ready to head down to Fort Fisher to take the ferry over to the other side where I would then catch the ferry for Bald Head Island. On the Fort Fisher ferry I ran into another cyclist who was bike touring the east coast. Running into other cyclists and those on bike tours always get me thinking about doing one myself.
The Bald Head Island Ferry was a lot of fun. It is run privately so the cost is a little more but it is a much bigger ferry and a passenger only ferry as well. No cars out on Bald Head Island. Golf carts, bikes and walking is how you get around the island.
I could do island life, I think. Slow down, take a ride around and head to the beach and then take a nice leisurely stroll after dinner on one of the trails.
The island like most and all of North Carolina were good hiding spots for all your famous and not so famous pirates as well as your writers who like a good hide away and adventures of the deep blue.
I rode and explored the walking trails and went to the lighthouse and got views of the island and out to sea. I had a good reminder of what it was like to explore again. To be on a bike and to ride just a couple hours and see a new place. This day trip had reminded me of the year previously and what I had been missing and what I had been wanting to continue in my life but also that I could do it on my own. That I didn’t have to wait for others or to be in a relationship to travel and explore. That with a little planning and know how all I had to do was go and do. It was a lot of trusting myself and pushing myself.
I had gotten so used to the year before with a lifestyle that was constantly on the go, traveling, moving and exploring and then to slowing it all down. I wanted to get back to traveling again but I had to put it more in my hands. I be the one supporting the traveling rather than relying on someone else all the time for it. Though this trip was only a day trip these where the things I was thinking about. Do I go back to the West or do I keep pushing myself forward to create a life that is more in my hands and then trust in the plan.
Letting go isn’t easy, moving forward with our lives, our needs and wishes is actually a lot harder than it seems but while we are doing all of that we can create memories of the places that we went to to help take our minds off of all that. To remind us of the beauty, the wild spaces and how it creates creativity, play and enchantment in our lives.
I played in the ocean. What I mean is that I ran into the ocean and then pretended to be a mermaid for a few hours and then closed my eyes and created a whole world right there on that island.
When I was hungry enough I rode over to the grocery store and got a sandwich something to drink and then eventually found myself with an ice cream cone as well. I mean every adventure with me ends in some way with ice cream. I won’t have it any other way.
By the time I finished my ice cream it was time for me to start heading back to the ferry to get to downtown Wilmington for the evening. I had said yes to going on a date that evening with someone who I had already gone out with once or twice by that time and I didn’t think about how much the ride, the day in the sun and just all of the things would take me out emotionally as well. So I hurried as much as I could to get back on time for the date. I wasn’t able to get back to my house by that time to get cleaned up so I showed up all sweaty, sun burnt and my hair just all over the place from the wind and sea and salt.
I am sure one day maybe showing up to a date after a 50 mile or so bike ride would impress some people but for the most part you just get a shocked look on their face then you have to go and use their shower to try and redeem yourself and while doing so cry from the sheer shock of yourself for pushing yourself a little more. and for the strangeness, newness of pushing yourself to meet new people of letting go while still slightly holding on.