Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Days (and a windy night) on Rodanthe

Shirley and I drove to the Outer Banks of North Carolina to look around. The plan was to camp, but we soon found out why the Wright Brothers loved this place so much! Try keeping a tent in place with steady 25 mph winds from the east! Extra long tent pegs and some 40 feet of rope were needed just to keep our nylon Coleman special from blowing into the Cape Hatteras lighthouse. Even then it looked like a melted ice-cream cone except that it kept changing shape every few seconds. In then end, coming back late from touring around, we saw flashes of lightning in the sky and decided against camping for the night. By the headlights of the car I untied the extra ropes and pulled out the extra long tent pegs and stuffed the whole business into the trunk of the car. Best Western never looked so good!

The Outer Banks is beautiful. Sand dunes and miles of beaches stretch out along the Atlantic coast for miles. Most of it is deserted. It was just the kind of wind-blown desolation that should inspire fiction writers to pen meaningful stories about talented and rich protagonists living in moody isolation... but all I was thinking was; 'who owns all this?' and, 'I wonder if the government of North Carolina would notice if I built a little shack along here somewhere between a couple of dunes..?

Shirley appreciated the fresh fish featured in every restaurant.

The ferry trip to the Ocracoke Island was worthwhile. Every 40 minutes a free ferry takes a casual load of tourists and locals past the crashing waves and shallow sand bars which separate these several long islands of sand. Ocracoke, being more inaccessible, is also more typical of an older time. There were some smaller hotels and tourist places, but also sagging century homes, old overgrown graveyards, houses with Boo Radley porch swings, seashell-paved back lanes and a lifestyle to be envied by busy city people. It had that casual look of an island where there are about six family names and everybody knows each others' secrets and nobody cares.
Just above Shirley's head in the picture on the right is a 'Live Oak' which isregistered with the Live Oak Society of the Louisiana Garden Club Federation as a
significant tree of the species. Click on the photo to see it better.

1 comment:

  1. Mr.Schmidt!!
    Hey , its Jenn MacDonald and Roisin Larcombe. Ofcourse you remember us..i mean we were your favourite students. Anyway .. we miss you at stockdale.