In which I discover that driving “within sound” of the ocean is pretty much negated by the rush of air you create when you go above, say, 5 miles an hour.
Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. What a world the Lord has made. I mean, look:
Multiple bridges, two ferry rides, and a few hundred miles later, I am still so enjoying this tour of the Atlantic coast. A little disappointed that the water is so infrequently visible – even where there are no buildings, sand dunes and trees block much of the view. But then the sudden glimpses of blue that come upon you are all the more exciting.
Plus there are some pretty fantastic bridges.
Day 2 got me into North Carolina pretty quickly, and before I had much time to think about it I was in Kitty Hawk. The weather was perfect; the traffic, nonexistent. It was a blast.
Signs for Roanoke Island lured me away from my main route to pursue some history and education. The notion of this ‘lost colony’ is intriguing, and the bridge from the outer banks to the island was magnificent.
The lost colony exhibit was a bit of a drag, unfortunately. Maybe I’m just spoiled living near Washington DC, where we know how to present these things. What I found was an ‘earthen fort’ – basically a man-made sand dune circling a flag. It looked like a toy.
The effect was not enhanced by a sign directing visitors not to climb on the earthen walls because they are ‘fragile’.
Somewhat less than desirable for a fort.
I hunted around for an hour and gave up to google it later. Here’s the gist:
On these small wooded grounds lie many stories of families and their struggles that have continued through time, resulting in the creation of a nation and its people. Here, the first infant cries of English colonization in the New World (1584-1590) burst upon the world.These efforts, sponsored by Sir Walter Raleigh, ended with the disappearance of 116 men, women and children, including two that were born in the New World. The fate of this “lost colony” remains one of the world’s great mysteries.(National Park Service, http://www.nps.gov)
The long drive through Hatteras was peaceful and mindless. There’s only one road on the island, so you don’t have to worry about getting lost. Civilization is slight and well spaced, but I did get to witness a bunch of people kite surfing off the edge of the island opposite the ocean. I’ve never seen that before.
The clouds rolled over the sun as I continued south and the empty beaches of the Hatteras nature preserve seemed forlorn. I stopped at one of the rare inhabited portions of the island to stretch and look at the water.
Amazing how it can be so warm outside and so frigid in the water!
I was a little nervous about the ferry, having never done it before. Can you imagine, all these years alive on the earth and never driving onto a ferry boat? Well, that is all behind us.
The ferryman was very friendly and seemed genuinely pleased to see me. That was heartening, and I drove confidently onto the boat behind a Honda Element. There’s something comical about that car.
Five minutes into our voyage the raindrops fell. The weather flipped back and forth and mixed all the rest of the way, between sun, showers and both. You can kind of see from the picture what a weirdly mixed up sky it was.
But then this happened.