Tales of Blue Aweigh travel blog

Cape Hatteras light house

Road to Hatteras, Rodanthe very scenic

Building sand dunes with high winds

We found the best route to the outer banks from South Carolina is the Cedar Island ferry to Cape Hatteras, N.C. which saved hundreds of miles of driving. Our destination was the Ocracoke Campground on Cape Hatteras National Seashore. This was another popular holiday and camping destination. When I was checking in at the park service office, I noticed there were screens everywhere; caging in the ranger, caging in the visitors, etc. At once I saw Mike outside unhooking our car from the motor home actively swatting around his body. We have never seen nor experienced more mosquitoes ever! This definitely helped us to plan our stay. We rode on bikes roughly 12 miles to see the charming seaside town and to Howard's Pub where we enjoyed many beers with some fantastic chowder and oysters. It would have been nice to enjoy more of the long seashore but the pesky mosquitoes just made the endeavor untenable. Not to mention I somehow came down with a case of sore throat so lying low seemed like the thing to do.

We took a long drive north along the outer banks to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse where we hiked to the top to enjoy the view and a drive to Nag's Head for lunch. There were sand dunes on both sides of the road (causeway?)due to high winds during our visit which make their way onto much of the roadways. We cruised by the washed out houses on the shores of Rodanthe next to some that were unscathed by past storms. Very different shores that I have become used to in the West.

Our next trek north involved another ferry from Cape Hatteras to Virginia Beach, Virginia. We arrived early due to no reservations which is much more risky with an RV and towed car to load. We basically take up about 3 car lengths in total and these are not huge ferries. As the ferry employee directed us forward, he decided Mike needed to pull very close to the wheelhouse of the ferry. Mike tried to point to him that we were going to be too close when he sternly pointed to his eyes then Mike's eyes....as though to say, "I'll tell you where to park!" Did I mention Mike was a commercial semi truck driver for more than a decade? So Mike follows his order only to find we are 2" away from hitting the metal wheelhouse midship with our awning. We cannot back up! In addition they have directed others to pull in within a foot behind us. So Mike decides the only way for our awning not to hit the ferry is to use our automatic leveling jacks to secure us in place as the ferry crosses over water to prevent rocking and rolling and hitting the ferry. Great idea! So a few minutes later 3 ferry employees are surrounding our RV and want to know what a particular noise is that is coming from the rear of our RV. Well guess what?? We can't get out! They have parked us so close that we cannot open our door and exit our RV. Incredible. So now we are explaining that we cannot hear a thing and yes, we closed off all of our propane tanks. They continue to tell us something is making a noise from under our RV. Mike realizes we can lift our mattress and access our engine in the rear. As we lift the secure hatch over the engine we get the smell of light smoke billowing in. I run and grab a fire extinguisher. We have a new problem. The motor for our jacks has burned out. Yep, when Mike put down the jacks the motor kept running, which we could not hear being so close to the ferry engines thus it burned out. What a nightmare. All the while we couldn't even get out of the motorhome. The ferry guys are now satisified and the guy that misdirected Mike too close apologized after the ferry captain chewed him out. What a bummer...

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