April 30 – May 15, 2015

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I don’t know where to start with this blog as the 2 weeks that we just spent with 12 friends that we had met and not seen since last year in March was some of the best times! We talked, shared and laughed, we packed in so much every day that I am having a hard time remembering it all.  First of all, we all met while in Tennessee at an RV Dreams Rally.  RV Dreams was started by Howard and Linda, who have lived full time in their fifth wheel for the last 11 -12 years. They found numerous people in their travels who also wanted to live this life style but weren’t sure how to go about it, so they decided that they could fill that nich by starting RV Dreams to help educate people with seminars that show and teach what is involved and how to make it work. We call ourselves the Class of 2014, as we were all trying to sell houses, buy motor coaches or fifth wheels and sell everything we owned so we all could experience and live this full time lifestyle of traveling this country.

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Eileen/Gene, Guy/Sue, Jo/Craig, Kelly/Bill, Cori/Greg, Tracy/Lee

This picture was taken on the last day of our stay but I wanted to include it first so we have an idea of who is who!! It took about 4 pictures to get this one!

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We all met at the Cape Hatteras Seashore! Kelly and Bill had been before and picked out the campground for us all to stay at, Ocean Waves in Waves, NC. The first 4 couples had gotten there about 2 weeks before Guy and I. They all were camped together and we  were going to be down the street a ways. But when they all heard how far away we would be, Craig went and talked to the office to move us closer to the “Compound” as the office started calling our group. We all were a stones throw from the ocean, we couldn’t see it as there were high dunes we had to walk over to get to the ocean, but we sure could hear it crashing as it came in. The weather was pretty dicey every day as we were expecting a storm “Ana”.

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The beach right out from our campground!

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Our drive to the Outer Banks was beautiful, we kept to the side roads and went thru lots of little towns.   We crossed three bridges on our way there, one over the Alligator River, The Croatan Sound and Roanoke Sound. There is another one at Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. Cape Hatteras stretches north to south across 3 islands, Bodie, Hatteras, Ocracoke along Hwy 12. The Pamlico Sound is on one side of the islands while the Atlantic is on the other. The road is paved but the sand comes right up along the street and in a lot of places onto the street. It looks like a full time job trying to keep the streets free of the sand. They keep the dunes very high along the street as the ocean can get pretty rough and come over the street. All along the road in the towns were houses that were at least 3 stories and are all on stilts to keep out any ocean water.

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Opening the bridge to allow boats to pass under

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Sand comes right over the road way

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The walk to the beach

After we arrived everyone came out to say hello and gave us a great big welcome.  One of the traditions is that on travel day  you don’t need to cook!! Everyone at camp prepares a meal and you can just rest!! We had a great bbq, talked and laughed well into the night.

Cape Hatteras has 3 lighthouses, Bodie Island, Cape Hatteras and Ocracoke. We went to all three, Bodie has 200 steps to the top, about 10 stories, it was built in 1872 and still works today, from the top you can see, Bodie Island, Atlantic Ocean and Pamilco Sound. When we went to climb to the top the wind was so strong that we could not go outside. I could take picture thru the windows.

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View from top, rainy and windy

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Hatteras has 257 steps to the top, 12 stories high, it was built in 1870. It is the tallest brick lighthouse in North America.

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Hatteras Lighthouse

 

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During the week Cori and Tracy work from their rigs so as a group we didn’t  get together during the day to do much but at night we would get together either for Happy Hour or dinner. Guy and I toured a couple of places by ourselves that the others had already been too. We walked the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge which is part of the Charles Kuralt Trail. Charles was a native of North Carolina, he also started a television new feature, “On the Road” in which he traveled the country in a motor home. He was also a host for the Sunday morning series, “Sunday Morning”.  The Charles Kuralt trail has 11 national wildlife refuges throughout Virginia and North Carolina. They help to provide the public access to the wild lands and to protect the plants and animals. The National Wildlife  Refuges consist of 95 million acres and were founded by President T. Roosevelt in 1903.

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We also needed some lunch and of course you all know what Guys choice for lunch is, yup Mexican!!

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Beef tacos for Guy and Fish tacos for me right out of the                                                            Taco Truck on the side of the road!!

We went to the wharf to check it out as it had been destroyed during a storm and had been  rebuilt and was now open. It looked like the bridge was used mainly for fishing.  We wanted to walk out on it but they changed $2.00. I guess they needed the money for the rebuild.

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How about the sinking in the middle!!

As Guy was driving by the Kitty Hawk Kite store he decided that it had been 50 years since he had flown his own kite!! Yes, he went in and bought one that had two handles with two strings.

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So back to the store he went to find out what we were doing wrong and get some direction on this type of kite.The wind was blowing but come to find out it was to erratic and gusty for that type of kite. So the picture of it in the air was the only time it flew!! And yes, he came home with a new kite again!! This one flew thank goodness or he might have gone back and gotten another one!!

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This time Lee went down with Guy to the beach to see if they could get this one to fly, but the tide was coming in not leaving lots of room on the beach to fly it, so off down the beach they went to a big beach!

 

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Yippee, Success!!

Driving up and down the coast road are places where you can stop and watch all the kite boarders sail thru the ocean!! The wind was so strong that most of them were flying a good 20 – 25′ high into the air.  This was on the Pamlico Sound side of the island not the Atlantic Ocean side. It sure was fun watching them. We decided that it is a young peoples sport, our backs, knees, shoulders nor arms could take it!!

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On Saturday everyone decided to take the ferry to Ocracoke Island. We all have trucks or cars that either are for towing or are towed, but the inside may have room for extra people or is used as a garage to store all the extras you think you need(ours) and needs to be removed. With 10 of us we needed to shuffle around stuff and all carpool, Tracy and Lee drove their own car as they wanted to smoke and not bother anyone.

On the way we stopped to see the wild horses and check out the beach. Of course we all needed to take pictures.

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The ferry only runs to the island every hour so we really needed to plan so that all 3 cars  could get on the same ferry, Lee and Tracy were the last car on!!

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The little town of Ocracoke is small enough that we could walk around and check out all the stores, try on hats, look for a skirt for Tracy and find some wonderfully expensive yard art!!

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Stephen, the son, Your moms birthday is right around the corner, I know you could make one of these!! She especially likes the donkey!! Just saying!!

One of the first things we did when we arrived was of course eat! It was a beautiful setting right on the water. The birds were a joy to watch as they chased each other off of the poles and one bird had its fish in its mouth when another decided he wanted it!!

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Trying to steal a fish

As we were walking around the town and heading from store to store, we could see the three lighthouse, Ocracoke Island lighthouse, so off we headed.  It was a very sunny hot day so the short walk turned into a long walk! This building was at the end of the slew from the lighthouse.

 

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This lighthouse is the only one that is closed to entering.

When we arrived at the ferry later in the day the line had about 30 cars in front of us. There are two lines, one is for residents, they are first on, then the tourist lane. We were sweating it that all three cars would make it on the ferry. We had an hour wait and as we were waiting we were watching residents show up!! They were cutting down our chances of getting on, we did not make the first boat but had to wait for the second, Tracy and Lee were behind us again, and they were the second to last on the ferry!! Yea!

The night of the full moon all of us waiting with Lee trying to teach us all how to take pictures or it!!

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I will leave you with a picture full moon!

 

SPA_4665Thanks for visiting with us and continuing to follow us on our travels. Y’all have a blessed day and stay tuned for part 2 of our trip to the OBX!