Gateway to the Outer Banks

Friday, March 23, 2012

I wrote very late last night to catch up on the blog, so I slept in this morning until about 10:00am which would have been unheard of a few weeks ago and is still rare, but becoming less rare as time goes by.  I have never been a lover of early mornings, but habit from working for 50+ years kind of acclimated my body and brain, like it or not.  What I like is to go to bed by midnight and get up about 8ish.  I typically wake up naturally after about 8 hours of sleep.

Anyway I will quit boring you with details of my sleeping habits.  We got a late start this morning and so decided not to try for the afternoon ferry to the outer banks.  The ferry landing is about a 3 or 4 hour drive and we did not want to rush.  So we made reservations for the 10am ferry from Cedar Island to Ocracoke, which is the southern end of what people here refer to as the outer banks. Unlike the other barrier islands we have been visiting along the way, Hatteras Island is up to 30 miles out from the mainland at some points.  Like the Florida Keys, these islands combine to make about a 120 mile drive.  Unlike the Keys, you don’t have to turn around and return the same way.  There is a bridge near the north end.  If you drive all the way to the north end, you do have to turn around and go back about 25 miles south to get to the bridge.

I will tell you more after we make the trip, but for today, it was a bit uneventful.  We did visit one little barrier island, but it was a a bit disappointing.    It is called Topsail Island and it is a narrow strip of land about 20 miles long.  The reason it was disappointing is that there were no views of the ocean.  The road just ran along between big condo buildings blocking the view on both sides of the island.  We made a complete circle and came back to where we started and continued to our destination of Cedar Island and the ferry landing.  The remainder of the trip was like much of the coast of north Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and now North Carolina.  Just miles and miles of marshes, punctuated by bridges over rivers and creeks.  I will say that some of the creeks here are as big as many of the rivers at home.  And some of the rivers are as wide as the Columbia with flood plains on both sides for miles.  There seems to be at least as much water as there is dry land.  Unlike the Columbia, these rivers are slow moving with low banks.  Cedar Island is known as the gateway to the outer banks

We arrived here at the ferry landing about 7:00pm.  The ferry departs at 10:00am.  So we are first in line.  We will sleep here tonight and be bright eyed and bushy tailed in the morning long before anyone else arrives to begin boarding the ferry.  I can’t post this tonight because there is no service of any kind in terms of electronic communications.  I believe the mosquitoes have eaten the cell tower. We are sitting in the van watching them swarm around as we thank God for glass.  Have you ever seen the Hitchcock movie “The Birds”?  I think this is the sequel “The Mosquitoes”.   Another title might be “Tiny Vampires of the Low Country”.

I was stationed here briefly about 40 years ago.

I want to take a minute to thank all of you who are reading our little blog and especially those of you who take the time to comment from time to time.  It means a lot to us when friends and family let us know they are checking up on us.  We miss you all and it makes us feel at home in this vast nation with friends just an email away.

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6 Responses to Gateway to the Outer Banks

  1. Brenda Childers says:

    Will be happy to see you in the mountain state, however we live very close to a river, so more water. There is an RV park just up the road from us right on the Kanawha River.

  2. Laurie says:

    We visited the NE a couple of summers ago and experienced your Topsail Island views — condos, apartments, hotels with no views of the ocean. And when we *did* find a place to see and access the beach, there was no parking. And the rules! No dogs, no beachcombing for rocks or shells, no this, no that.

    I had all new appreciation for the Oregon coast when we returned. We are soooo fortunate.

    I am sooo looking forward to hearing about the Outer Banks — we are going there soon.

    • I hope I did not put a damper on your Outer Bank plans. I think if we were younger and were more beach people we would have enjoyed it. The weather that day also prevented us from seeing some of the better parts at the north end. Just bring plenty of Deet to fend off the mosquitos. The lady at the ferry terminal told us that this was nothing compared to the numbers of bugs here in the summer.


      Sent from my iPad

  3. Carol Vincent says:

    Bill and I spent a couple weeks in the Outer Banks in 2009. I loved it, but then I’m a beachcomber, to spend time on the beach anywhere is great. I picked up great shell pieces there, no one to say no. It was a disapointment to not see the beach as you drive along. We went to the Wright Bros National Monumet near Kill Devil Hills in the Outer Banks. We also enjoyed the wild horses on the beach, up at the north end.
    Bill and I are enjoying your blog, we are in the process of buying a house here in Casa Grande! What the heck are we doing!? We will be hitting the road sometime in April for the summer. Carol

  4. Terry Childers says:

    I have been reading all your blogs and enjoy them very much

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