December 25, 2019

#198 The Outer Banks

“Some of the most unusual and beautiful beaches on America’s Atlantic coast can be found in North Carolina’s Outer Banks, a string of skinny barrier islands.  The candy-striped Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the most famous structure on the Outer Banks and the tallest of America’s lighthouses.  Tricky winds and tides necessitated its construction, having sunk more than 650 ships.”

“Sanderling Inn, which sits just north of the whimsically monikered town of Duck …[is] known as the Outer Bank’s most luxurious refuge, the inn is also ecosensitive. The inn’s restaurant, adjacent to the main house in a restored 1899 United States Lifesaving Station [is] famous for its excellent menu, themed to the sea, and with a Southern slant.”

I had scheduled three weeks in an Airbnb in OBX and was really looking forward to some rest and relaxation, cleaning out my car, and resetting after nearly 6 weeks of weekly moves.  It ended up being a different kind of adventure.  I ended up with a dental emergency that resulted in my visiting a dentist, an endodontist, and finally an oral surgeon.  The oral surgery, while not serious, was not fun, and I spent my first weekend there recovering from that.

The second weekend, I was planning to drive all the way down to Cape Hatteras (Ocracoke Islands is still off-limits after damage suffered in Hurricane Dorian) and then back up to Duck and the Sanderling Inn, but a nor’Easter spun up and my host advised me that driving down to Hatteras might result in me being stranded. I ended up driving to Bodie Lighthouse and then one of the local beaches.  It was so cold and windy, and the ocean was already very, angry.  I opened my car door at the beach and suddenly, half the beach was in my car and stuck to all my clothes.

My host was right, the only road that runs over the bridge and down to Hatteras was closed.  And it was closed for several days.  On the bridge they worry about ocean overwash...basically waves crashing over and onto the road and whatever might be on it. Terrifying. And on certain sections, the road is lined with super tall sand dunes.  In a storm like this, the wind and ocean overwash blow/push all the sand from the ocean side right onto the road.  By the time I drove down to Hatteras a week and a half after the storm, there were still places that were sand-packed.


I also thought this would be a great place to get my oil changed and my tired balanced/rotated.  I’d been feeling a lot of vibration in the last couple of weeks, but when they put my car on the lift to work on the tires we all discovered that the rear tires had no tread left.  Like, none.  Like, I don’t even want to drive this car back to your Airbnb, gone.  I’m still so grateful that I didn’t get a flat or have a tire blow out on me.  I’ve driven in some pretty remote areas and gone a really long time without seeing another person, so I’m so grateful that I made it somewhere I’d ben staying for several weeks and had the time to get everything done.  So, surprise new back tires and shocks.

  • I really did get to rest up while there.  I had a fantastic place to stay, and the host was so nice.  I’d mentioned in passing that I’d be holed up all weekend after my dental surgery, and he messaged me Sunday to make sure I was all right and ask if I needed anything because he was headed to the store.  The both gave me good local advice, and made sure I didn’t get myself stranded in the wilderness.  
  • I got my car detailed.  It looked amazing! (for about 5 minutes)
  • I found the best white pizza in the world.  Seriously, I ate at Barefoot Bernie’s 4 or 5 times, and always got the white pizza.  They do a lot of seafood, and they took my allergy seriously, and tagged my plate to make sure it didn’t get contaminated. But seriously, it was delicious.
  • I also had a bunch of good bbq.  I was kind kind of limited in what I could eat, though, because my mouth was still all messed up.
  • It really is a beautiful part of the country.