Night had fallen by the time I drove into Whalebone Junction, the first town over the bridge onto the Outer Banks. It was dark,windy and cold, and I was hungry. I pulled into a restaurant and ordered a shrimp dinner at the bar counter of their lounge – the restaurant itself was too dark to read the menu. While conversing with the bartendress, I learned that it would be alright to sleep overnight in my car in their parking lot – that policemen overlooked that, but were extremely harsh on drunk drivers. I’d not been drinking, but as long as they didn’t bother my sleeping that was excellent. After dinner I drove my car around some bushes that hid me from the road but were right near the water alongside the restaurant, and enjoyed quite a comfortable overnight stay in my sleeping bag again.
Dawn creeped into the sky and the gray greasy overcast was still blocking the sun. I drove south down the Outer Banks, passing wildlife refuges and many historical sites. The wind had blown so much sand from the dunes onto the road it was easy to see how quickly the road could become impassable, and how much work it must take to keep it open.
My first stop was the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. I had arrived before 9 a.m. so the Information Center was not yet open, but in talking with another couple who were also looking at it, I learned that many years ago it was moved in its upright position from its original location several hundred yards away by a track system that was “greased” with Ivory soap! It was inched along until it was successfully relocated to its current location. What an incredible feat that was!
Driving further south I came to the Town of Hatteras itself, with many hotels, restaurants and the ferry terminal for the next southern island, Ocracoke. The entire chain of islands extends for almost 100 miles, and the driving is not always very fast, so I felt restrained by time from taking the ferry further south, and turned around.
Driving north again, I came to an area of housing that was so low and close to the sea, and with the waves so high in the strong winds, the ocean had actually started surging through between houses and was flooding the road! There is no way I’d ever want to own a home that close to the ocean!
I’d been noticing the look of my front left tire in comparison to the others – it appeared to be low – so I pulled into a gas station and had a very kind mechanic check it. The pressure was at 32 lbs., which, it turned out, was where it was supposed to be. He checked the others and they were 40, 40 and 50! He set them all at 32 and told me to let Thrifty car rentals know about how unsafe it is to drive with such high and disproportionate air levels.
Back up past Whalebone Junction I learned about a great little coffee shop which I pulled into and worked a bit on the blog. With the weather so inclement outside, it would have been pleasurable just to hang out there the rest of the day, but I was only passing this way but once, so carried on northward. Besides, I had to make it to Virginia Beach by night, and that was still another 100 miles or so.
At the Kitty Hawk Visitor’s Center I asked how to go about seeing the wild ponies – I had it in my head I really wanted to see them. Sometime back I had seen a National Geographic special about them, and since their years may be numbered due to human population pressures, it seemed imperative to make the effort. However, you must have a 4-wheel drive or take a tour, and since it was mid-afternoon already, I realized it wasn’t going to happen. I decided to visit the Wright Brothers National Memorial instead. And I’m very glad I did.
Arriving just in time for their bi-hourly informative interpretive talk, I joined the listening audience and also viewed the many walls hung with portraits in oil of “Firsts” in various aviation categories. Later I took a stroll across the first flight field to the Pavilion, where the importance of Orville and Wilbur’s success hit home – it was 66 years from their first flight to the landing on the moon! What a short time for such a steep learning curve! Awesome!
Outside the Pavilion I braved the icy wind and walked up to the monument atop the hill which overlooks their flight ground. The magnitude of what they accomplished after how long they tried with so many failures and set-backs was truly a bit overwhelming. Where would we be now if these two brothers had not been born and worked together so diligently on human flight?
Overall, I enjoyed my visit to the OBX (Outer Banks), but was alarmed to see such a large percentage of it covered by vacation homes. There are indeed many areas where it is protected and no development has occurred, but the numbers of dead wildlife on the road says to me there are too many speeding cars and people in general, and not enough protection still for the nature that abides there. However, this is, in my opinion, true for most of the world.
I stopped to pick up a freshly killed raccoon in the middle of the road and move it to the grass, and the cars didn’t even stop for me, just careened around like I was little more than another road obstacle. Too many humans are disconnected from other life, and fail to see themselves through the eyes of others, no matter what species. What I see is another consciousness like my own looking back at me, and I relate to it as though it were myself.
By 4 p.m. the overcast gloom was darkening and I wheeled my way north to Virgina Beach through a side road which wound me through many neighborhoods and towns until I arrived at the ARE Center. I pulled into the parking lot behind the Spa Therapy building on top of the hill, and hunkered down in my down bag for a good nights sleep.
The next morning I was scheduled to have my first ever Past Life Regression hypnosis session, and I was looking forward to it with curiosity and anticipation.