Sunday, March 15, 2009

Spontaneous Road Trip

This morning (Saturday) Walt & I went out to Target to pick up a few things for the house. Curtain rods, sheers and such, when conversation turned to taking pictures and me wanting to go to the Eastern Shore. Well, much to my surprise, Walter had been harboring a secret desire to find an excuse to head off to Ocracoke. So from the time we left Target to the time we pulled into the driveway at home it had been decided that we were off on a road trip to Ocracoke! Packing took less than 20 minutes and that included getting hotel reservations.

Thus began the adventure for the day. Miss Carla hopped in the backseat and settled in for the ride. We hit 460 and headed East to 17, thru the Dismal Swamp and on to Elizabeth City. We got checked into the hotel then headed off to Ocracoke.

Some where on 460, after Wakefield, I spotted several hogs near the side of the road. One sow even had piglets. I hadn't seen pigs in years, of course a picture was absolutely necessary. While going thru the Dismal Swamp we saw no less than seven hawks sitting on fence posts near the road. The rain made it difficult to get photos, but I did manage one of a hawk in flight. We hit Ivor and saw something that I had seen since Italy! Three wheeled little trucks! They were so cute. I called back to the dealer and found out that they are classified here as motorcycles! Hmm... This could be a interesting turn of events.

On the way to the Outerbanks we passed by Grave Digger and got the obligatory photos. Walter had to stop at Hatteras Hammocks to pose for a picture next to the world's largest hammock. We stopped by the Bodie Island lighthouse for photos and then headed on towards Hatteras.

We made a stop at one of the walkovers and took Carla over the dunes to the beach. I don't know who was funnier, Carla or Walter laughing at Carla. She was so excited. When we got to the dunes she had to stop everywhere to smell everything! On the beach she was so hyper, running everywhere, not quite seeming to know what to do. Walt ran down to the edge of the water and she followed right along. Until....the water chased her. That's when she took off back up toward the dunes. She was having no part of water that moved, no way!

Our ferry ride over to Ocracoke was uneventful for Walt & I, but for Carla it was another matter. We had her out on deck to stretch, but she really shied away from walking too far. She did look much more comfortable once safely ensconced in the backseat of the car, and even more so once the wheels hit dry land.

We continued our trip onward to Howard's Pub. This was the goal of the whole trip, dinner out! Having never dined there I had no expectation other than what Walter told me and the fact that it was good, amazing in itself. I definitely wasn't disappointed. The oysters, shrimp and scallops were fabulous. We even had a bowl of crab corn chowder which was flavorful and really hit the spot on a rainy evening.

The only thing that I should have done before leaving was try to get a cup of cofee to go. The coffee would have really hit the spot while riding back on the ferry. Turns out that, what we would have known if we came this way often, virtually everything on Hatteras Island closes down before 9:00 p.m. I don't know if it's that way during the Summmer or not. We did find one place in Buxton that was still open at 10:00 so we were able to stock up on coffee and a couple of other things for the 2 1/2 hour trip back to Elizabeth City.

That drive turned out to be one of the oddest things I've experienced in quite awhile. There was no traffic on the road. From the time we got off the ferry at 9:30 p.m. to the time we arrived back MilePost 1, Walter counted five cars traveling North. Of that five only 1 car ever passed us the others were just headlights in the rearview mirror. The number going South was markedly higher - giving Walter the creepy feeling that they were 'running away' from something that he was driving right into.

We got back into Elizabeth City around 12:30 a.m. It was nice to be out of the car, dry and able to stretch out for a good rest. Carla definitely seemed grateful as well.

I've posted photos on Facebook and you can see them by click on this link.

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