The next 2 weeks I made my way up the East coast with my only major commitment being to pick up my good friend Courtney at the airport in Washington D.C. on November 21st, just before Thanksgving. I made the most of my trip and spent quite a bit of time in North Carolina and Virginia, here’s more or less what I did:
Wednesday November 9th– Charleston, SC
I walked to the Citadel to see what its all about, interesting museum of the school’s history. Took the ferry to Ft Sumter where the Civil War began, beautiful round trip ferry ride with views of the harbor.
Thursday November 10th– Charleston to The Outer Banks
Drove north through South Carolina, into North Carolina and wound my way to the Outer Banks. Made it to the hostel I found was in Kitty Hawk and hunkered down for the evening, it was windy out!
Friday November 11th– OBX, NC
Visited the Wright Brothers Memorial and learned about their work! I think they sound like pretty cool dudes. I found a hammock store!!!! I almost melted on the spot, I love hammocks! I exercised a lot of self-restraint and only left with a catalog. From there I drove to the very Northern part of the Outer Banks where the road in fact ends and cars can drive along the beach between there and Virginia. That’s when I did a very silly thing (It was SO cool though!) and drove Velma just a little ways on the beach, she looks so outdoorsy with the roof box and all. Unfortunately, Velma is a Nissan Altima Sedan and I got stuck in the sand! Fortunately, there were a lot of duck hunters and locals going by in their larger more appropriate beachcombing vehicles. Quickly a group of very nice gentlemen formed and helped me back to the road that was painfully close, only about 10 feet away. Utterly embarrassed I waved thank you and scooted back down that paved road towards the town of Duck. In town I stumble upon a coffee/beer/wine shop with much needed WiFi. It turned out they were hosting a beer tasting so I hung around a bit longer! Dinner was another educational experience that day. I went to the Jolly Roger (karaoke on Friday nights y’all!) where I had to ask my server to teach my how to peel shrimp. Their little legs are pretty gross but with melted butter, delicious!
Saturday November 11th– OBX, NC
I drove South instead of North and stopped at the Hatteras National Shore Lighthouse, although I couldn’t go up it. The drive was beautiful a two-lane road most of the way with dramatic shoreline and water on both sides. I saw kiteboarders taking advantage of the windy and sunny day. Walked down to the beach and appreciated the Atlantic Ocean some more, from sea to shining sea! I also saw a lot of damage from Hurricane Irene which hit the coast at the end of August. A lot of things had been fixed and a bridge reopened but a few towns were hit much worse than others. The evidence was everywhere; boarded up houses, construction sites, piles of rubble, abandoned and collapsing motor homes. Just south of much of the damage was the ferry to Ocracoke. I had to wait about an hour for the next ferry but the ride was fun. The ferries held about 25 cars each I think and looked much more like tugboats than the ferries in Washington. We chugged across the sound for about 30 minutes and disembarked amongst sandy hills. Driving into Ocracoke the sand swirled into the road, unaware of its boundaries. As cars in front of my passed over a patch of sand the grains swirled up and fell some place new each time. It was easy to see the winds had the same effect and the hills themselves were merely temporary.
Ocracoke was like many of the towns in the Outer Banks, long with one main road and a cluster of cute buildings. By far, Ocracoke was the most flavorful of all the quirky towns I had stopped into. I visited another coffee/wine/beer shop and overheard some of the juicy island gossip. After dinner I made my back to the ferry and Kitty Hawk.
Once I was back in my part of the Outer Banks I found a sports bar to watch the second half of the Duck’s game at when they beat Stanford (beat=VICTORY)
Sunday November 13- The Outer Banks to Durham, North Carolina
On my way west I stopped on Roanoke Island at the Fort Raleigh National Site and learned about The Lost Colony; which frustratingly there isn’t much to learn! I drove to Raleigh and just briefly checked out downtown. I made my plans to stay in Durham and checked in for the night.
From there I got to experience The Triangle!
With love from the road,