I’ve always wanted to go to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Since I’m in this neck of the woods I may as well head over to the Outer Banks – even if only for a day.
My biggest hope is that it’s not too hot and humid as I seriously detest trying to sleep and function in blazing dampness.
Finding A Campground In The Outer Banks
After researching a few campgrounds I chose and made a reservation at the Cape Hatteras – Outer Banks KOA in Rodanthe, NC.
I was confused as nothing about the name of the campground gave me any inkling that it was located in Rodanthe, NC. But, then again, I also had no clue where Rodanthe is so I guess it didn’t matter.
For the first time ever, I splurged on a front row, next to the boardwalk, you can hear the ocean while you sleep campsite.
Driving To The Campground
The drive there was long. It seemed to go on forever. Eventually, I accepted the fact that I might end up in Timbuktu.
As I drove along I noticed the sand piled high along the sides of the highway. It reminded me of the northern Illinois blizzards of my childhood – except with sand.
It was obvious the piles were man-made. I assume the piles of sand were clean-up from a hurricane or possibly every day sand that blows over the road from the ocean breeze.
The Atlantic ocean is on the other side of the left pile of sand.
Darn GPS Doesn’t Know Where It’s Going
I’d gotten to the KOA later than planned because my GPS kept sending me to the wrong place.
After the third try, I decided to rely on my own ingenuity to find the campground.
Relying on the ingenuity of a directionally challenged woman to find a location on a map is a bit scary.
But I made it to the campground in one piece, unscathed and still sane!
At The Cape Hatteras / Outer Banks KOA
Sadly, it’s been rainy and gloomy lately and this day was no different. There would be no beach walking today.
It was also a bit humid and sticky because it had been raining all day. In the van, everything I touched felt like it had a damp film on it.
The good thing is it was only 71 degrees.
I was hungry and it was time to thinking about getting some grub.
Not wanting to heat the place up and make it even more sticky I chose to have a protein shake.
Most days I eat twice a day – around 8am and 4pm. If I’m hungry in between I may have a couple of crackers, a few nuts, a low sodium V8 or half of a protein shake (I use Purely Inspired Organic Protein Powder). Sometimes, I make the protein shake my meal. And, if I have fruit on hand, I add fruit to the protein mix and make it a yummy smoothie (it’s even better if the fruit is frozen!).
Drying The Van Out
It was getting late and it was time to think about sleep.
But everything still felt sticky.
I’d considered just sleeping in the chair rather than “sticking to the sheets” but I knew my back wouldn’t handle sleeping in the chair.
The chair is my passenger seat turned backwards. I had a swivel put in so I can turn it in any direction. I usually leave it facing backwards. The only time I turn it forward is the rare occasion when I have a passenger.
So how can I dry the van out without AC?
Ingenuity can strike when you least expect it!
I got the electric heater out, plugged it in and turned it on high to get rid of the dampness.
Then, once things were dried out, I turned the heater off and turned the fan back on so I could go to bed and sleep cool.
Monday Morning Sunrise
I set the alarm because I wanted to do a sunrise walk on the beach. I’m still stuck on Central Time and I didn’t want to sleep too late.
The #1 rule when it comes to sunrises is… if you snooze, you lose!
When the alarm went off I got up, got dressed in the dark, kind of combed my hair (it’s going to get messed up anyway from the ocean breeze) and headed out for my first sunrise walk on the beach in over 2 1/2 years.
It was still cloudy and a bit gloomy but that didn’t matter.
On the beach, it was myself and just a few other people who were walking their dogs.
When you first enter the beach the sand isn’t wet or packed. This sand shifts beneath your feet and I felt like an Octopus (with 8 legs) as I tried to get used to walking on shifting sand again.
Finally, I reach the area where the tide comes in and packs the sand down. The sand here is more firm – but still can’t be fully trusted.
I stand and admire the soothing sound of the Atlantic ocean and deeply inhale the fresh salty air.
I’ve never been to the Outer Banks but I’ve spent a lot of time along the shores of the Atlantic ocean. For some reason, it feels like I’m home again. The only logical explanation for this is… I was a Mermaid in a past life.
Watching Sandpipers Dance On The Shores Of The Outer Banks
I walk further down the shoreline where a few Sandpiper’s have gathered for breakfast.
As each wave rolls in, the whole gang of Sandpipers quickly strut away from the rolling tide until is diminishes. Then, as the wave rolls out, a new dance begins as a few Sandpipers excitedly run towards the water to see if the ocean left any treats behind.
It’s odd that only a few Sandpipers run after the tide. They peck here and there as the other’s watch but it looks like they’re pecking at nothing.
Are the other birds laughing at them because they’re pecking at nothing? Or, did the Atlantic leave behind some invisible treats for the courageous few who dared to run out and peck?
Maybe there were treats and maybe it was their imagination but their dance routine is fun to watch.
The beach birds keep their eye on me as I stroll past them and, then, they go back to dancing with the waves.
Dipping My Feet Into The Atlantic Ocean From The Outer Banks
On every ocean shore, in every state I visit… my rule is to step into the ocean waters.
I’ve never set foot in the Atlantic ocean from a North Carolina beach. Now that I’m visiting the Outer Banks I can check North Carolina off the list!
With a quick kick, off come my crocks and down to the waters edge I go. I briefly wondered why I even wore shoes.
I see a new wave rolling in so I take a couple steps forward hoping the wave will roll past my feet.
Yikes! The wave is stronger than I thought!
I stood my ground as the salty ocean water rushed over my feet while, at the same time, forcefully removing the sand beneath me and, then, rising to baptize my clean capris.
I swear it doesn’t pay to wear clean clothes. I only manage to stay clean a short while!
I was very thankful I didn’t fall in. That might have been quite a sight to see but it surely wouldn’t have been too fun for me.
Walking back to my shoes I put my now wet, sand covered feet into my already sand filled crocks and start heading back the van.
I’ve walked pretty far and I’m not used to it. I certainly don’t want to find myself in a pickle so I cut this walk a little short.
Back At The Van
It’s lighter out now as I open the side door to step up into the van. Once inside, I take a few steps and realize that I put my shirt on inside out.
That’s what I get for getting dressed in the dark. At least it wasn’t on backwards too!
I just have to chalk it up to me being me and move on!
It’s An Almost Perfect Day On The Outer Banks
The temperature and humidity level is perfect today (much better than yesterday). There’s a gentle ocean breeze that makes it even more enjoyable.
It’s cloudy and the sun never shows up but everything else is perfect.
A Little Van-House Cleaning
I spent some of my afternoon time re-arranging the van so that I could easily get to the things I need. Today’s target is all the stuff I shoved in back, under the bed.
In order to do this I need to have the back doors open. I haven’t done it until now because the places I’ve stayed were too hot, humid and too darn buggy.
Any time I opened a door the bugs flew (or crawled) in.
Today, there was just an annoying fly.
In going through the stuff I shoved under the bed I finally found that elusive stink bug that’s been crawling around the van since way back in Tennessee.
I don’t remember what I grabbed but, all of a sudden, there was a stink bug crawling on my hand. I don’t know where he ended up but I gave him a fling and he was gone.
Back At The Beach
After doing some housekeeping I took another short walk on the beach.
I walk up the boardwalk and as soon as I hit the sand my back said… “Take it easy there girl! You’ve done a lot of extra crap today and I’m about at my limit.”
So I take it slow.
Just shy of the boardwalk I stop and stand for a while… just soaking it all in.
To my right, a man is fishing. He has 3 lines in the water and a gentleman with a German Shepard pup is talking to him.
From the corner of my eye I see the puppy watching me. Every time I look at him he wags his tail.
I play a little game for a while… looking at the pup, watching his tail wag and, then, looking away. It was like playing peek-a-boo with a baby!
To my left, there are quite a few people sitting or walking on the beach.
I’m extra careful to social distance – even though I’ve been social distancing (in some form or another) for 30+ years!
After a short while I slowly head back to the van hoping that, after a good nights sleep, m back will feel better.
Final Thoughts – The Outer Banks Of North Carolina
My visit to the Outer Banks of NC (last week) was brief but it was much needed, very relaxing and it helped immensely.
I enjoy anything along the east coast and The Outer Banks is high on my list. I’d like to visit again and spend more time here.
In contemplating another visit I found the rates at this campground go down (significantly) as of November 1.
Hmmm…. the rate decrease is certainly something to keep in mind!