As the days passed in the Outer Banks, the weather continued to be sunny, very windy and cool on most days. Most days, the easterly wind off the ocean, made a 75-degree day feel more like 55, if we were near the ocean. There seemed to be a continual rolling forcast, with 80-degree temperatures just a few days away.
Cape Hatteras and Pea Island
We continued to find as many new places to walk or hike as my foot could tolerate. We walked at the Pea Island National Wildlife refuge a couple of times. We also went to Cape Hatteras Lighthouse a couple of times, hiked on a trail there and enjoyed the beach. The lighthouse was not open for climbing, due to an interior paint removal project, but it was great to see it again. Seeing it, in person, really adds perspective to the history of the moving of the light house 2900 feet, from it’s original location, back in 1999.
Since we were in the south end of Nags Head, we only about 6 1/2 miles from the Nags Head Fishing Pier, home of Fish Heads Bar & Grill, one of our favorite ocean front tiki bars in the continental US. It’s a casual, laid-back atmosphere with a very friendly staff, an enormous draft beer selection and great food, including their happy hour shrimp. We first met two of the owners when discovered it, back in July of 2015, Since then, the pier has had some close calls with hurricanes, but has survived. We were happy to see the owners again and the restaurant and bar still thriving after the pandemic. We enjoyed a few visits there, when we were able to find an outdoor table and it wasn’t raining.
Life in the Campground
Half the fun of campground life is checking out all the campsites and rigs, seeing all of the cute dogs and cats and meeting people who enjoy camping. During our 3 1/2 weeks at one campground we had the opportunity to meet many campers and see the entire spectrum of rigs and camping styles including tents, vans, classic airstreams, pop-ups, mini trailers, large trailers, class A motorcoaches, a full-size 5th wheel pulled by a semi, and everything in between.
The rig that we will not forget is a not-so-great looking converted school bus occupied by what appeared to be a home-schooling family of 8. Like many other campers who did not reserve in advance, they changed campsites every 1 – 3 days over a period of 3 weeks, packing up multiple bicycles, kids and camping gear only to move a few sites away. We were fortunate to not have them as neighbors, as there was often a baby crying or other kid-related commotion at their campsite. I will add that the young 20- or 30-something parents always looked extremely happy.
Our favorite neighbors were a couple from Virginia. He was a retired Capitol Police officer. Their German shephard, Justice, was a recently retired police dog. He was only 3 years old but had to retire early because his specialty was marajuana detection, and that became legal in Virginia. He was extremely intelligent and never let his owner out of his sight. We also met two guys who were visiting for a fishing charter, which was canceled due to high winds and rough seas. They had an extremely quiet generator, which they are very happy with. We may be buying one soon. This was one of many occasions on which we learned something useful from our fellow campers. Overall, most of the people were friendly and considerate of other campers.
One day, we went exploring in Wanchese, a fishing village and residential area. We drove along a road near the town’s large harbor, and stopped at a commerial fishing business called Fresh Catch. The place was located right in the harbor, with large conveyors for hauling in seafood from the fishing boats. We found a walk-up window with a small sign above it that said “retail”. We ordered some shrimp and tuna, than watched the guy cutting our tuna from the morning catch. That’s as fresh is it gets! Needless to say, it was the best.
During our last week there, we finally had a wind-free, 80-degree day. We drove to Hatteras Island, past Cape Hatteras, to Frisco. We had packed a lunch and planned to stay for a couple of hours, then return to the campground It was so beautiful and peaceful and the weather was so perfect, that we decided to sty all day. When Dave went out to buy some cold beer, I met a sweet poodle who was walking with his owner, a retired aviation engineer. We chatted about the benefits of early retirement, how wonderful Colorado is and how Sudoko is a great way to relax. By the time Dave returned, we were discussing our route home. We learned from him, that our plan to avoid heavy Washington DC area traffic was not a good one, so we changed our planned route. We enjoyed the rest of the day on the beach and went to a Wings store for some OBX t-shirts. We really like the area, as it is mostly residential, with very light traffic. We will definitely spend more time there on our next trip.
On May 26, after 118 nights on the road, countless new experiences and our 2nd dose of the Moderna COVID vaccine completed, it was finally time to start heading toward home. We enjoyed our time in the Outer Banks, but were looking forward to being home.
Cape Hatteras Light Station, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Buxton North Carolina