The last few days have primarily been jockeying for a position like a race horse due to the squeeze of the tornado alert/watch at Beaufort and then as the result of a non-functioning bridge lift just south of Norfolk, Virginia. We, along with a horde of other Loopers and northbound snowbirds had to wait to get word of a low railroad bridge being fixed before we could move northward. Clearly there is absolutely NO point in planning anything beyond one day at a time. It seems we are slow learners of the “live in the moment” concept because inevitably just when we do try to make an action plan, the stars align to re-teach us.
So despite getting up early and pushing off from the Beaufort dock in the morning to head over to the very nearby Shackleford horse island (gee, it’s only about a 3 mile trek) we were unable to make it due to mega big 8 foot swells still rolling in after all the wind from the prior days. So the wild horse sightings will have to be limited to Cumberland Island from a few weeks ago. It’s the journey, right?
We headed north on a slow slog that took nearly 4 hours to go just 38 miles and stopped at quiet River Dunes Harbor, outside of Oriental, a small town on Pamlico Sound. Great, modern place for the night but very remote. Clearly a partially completed project with only 40 or so completed of the 500+ planned building sites (not to mention the little commercial center that has but one store operating/built)….but when you are Steve Forbes investing in stuff maybe you don’t care about success or return on your investment. Or maybe you just need a big tax write off? Fancy jetted, steamed showers and yummy on-site restaurant for dinner as well as some walks and bike rides on deserted roads filled the afternoon and evening.
With still no word on whether the bridge repair was completed, N doggedly determined a route that resulted in avoiding the slow slog behind everyone up the ICW while at the same time avoiding the wide open Atlantic (and B and Z’s seasickness issues) so we headed out (fast) and just inside the barrier islands to the last available stop before the bridge: Coinjock. (I’m not making that name up…apparently it means mulberry bush in the probably-now-extinct local native language).
Coinjock consisted solely of a big long dock and a famous restaurant known for serving 32 ounces of roast beef We happily opted for the fresh soft shelled crabs…fried! But the restaurant was packed with boaters and a few locals. The whole scene was reminiscent of our night rafted up at Bobby’s Fish Camp on the Tenn-Tom River back in the Fall.
A bit of shell shock to go from pretty, peaceful, remote wilderness and small rural towns so abruptly and without any aforethought, into the Norfolk Harbor filled with industry, port activities and a bunch of USS Battleships in various stages of repair and disrepair.
In fact, it’s the largest navy base in the world.
Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you got til it’s gone? Already missing that countryside…how does YOUR soul feel when you compare these last pix with all the others above (not to mention the previous posts)?
Staying the night outside of Norfolk at Hampton Public Docks—much quieter and calmer….but still not very soul-fulfilling.
Off to the Air and Space Museum!