If there was a theme to this last week, it would be “Back to the Beach” and the process of getting there in three hops. The secondary theme would be “Don’t Underestimate the Wind.”
The first hop was Oyster Point, where a national forest campsite had a lovely trail I enjoyed daily. The Carolina version of a swamp was creepy, in a scary movie kind of way.
For one day, though, it was warm enough I could open all the windows and get a proper airing out done, which was sorely needed!
The next hop was over to Cedar Island for a night, where I was on hookups and also had access to laundry, which was also sorely needed. It’s early in vacation season around these parts, so I had the beachview row to myself.
Third hop was on the ferry, the second time Bella and Breeze have had a water ride in our almost two years together. Also, that roof is really dirty.
Two and a half hours later, I was on the outer islands of the Outer Banks. Bucket list item checked off! And three and a half hours later, I was standing here, right over the dunes from my campsite…
Ah, beach. And pelicans! And terns (who are this week’s cover stars at the top of the post)!
And then… there’s the wind. Here was my campsite on Monday before the wind decides to have a little fun with me. See that lovely green tent structure. That’s my new Clam shelter.
I hadn’t read the memo that massively long tent stakes are a critical component of camping success on the very windy Outer Banks. As a result, a huge gust of wind transformed my Clam shelter into a kite, and it was merrily scudding up over that path, headed for the beach until some thorny bushes and a helpful bystander stopped it mid-flight. I was already running after it, having seen it take off at the exact moment I was watching SpaceX’s Falcon launch about 700 miles south of me. The Falcon launch was planned, the Clam launch was not. I managed to drag the Clam back down the trail, folded it up as best I could, and stowed it under the Alto so it could not try to fly again.
The downside to this episode was those thorny bushes. I ran after my pricey new shelter without thinking about shoes. Ouch. Yes, two thorns found their way into my right heel, and it turns out that removing thorns from the outside of your heel is really hard to do by yourself. Three hours and many attempts later, they were both out, the second one a full quarter-inch of pain-making nastiness.
Yesterday, I went into town and bought seriously long metal stakes. I’m ready for the next round, but it won’t be today because the trailer (and me inside it) are being jostled by 20-25 mph winds. On the upside, the solar has been awesome, which is great since there are no hookups here. And the temperature is pretty sweet too, 71F right now.
I’ll leave you with a picture of the beach yesterday. It’s pretty endless as far as walking goes, which suits me just fine.
It is perhaps more fortunate to have a taste for collecting shells than to have been born a millionaire.
Robert Louis Stevenson