Life and Times

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Outer Banks

Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3

Part 3

After leaving the ferry terminal at the south end, we turned north to go back to Buxton.  When it came time to take the ferry, the wait was far shorter than before.  There was practically no line to take the ferry, and then when we boarded, our ferry, the W. Stanford White, was only half full.  Much of the deck was empty.  I was a bit disappointed about getting the same ferry for the return crossing, since I wanted a different boat, but I wasn’t about to sit out a departure just to get a different boat.  And it’s not like I’ve never had the same ferry out and back before, as I had the Frisco both ways on the same day in 1997.

The half-full ferry, however, made for some different photography opportunities.  Fewer cars and a more open location for the car allowed me to get some good shots of the car on the ferry, one of which I Instagrammed with the caption, “I’m on a boat!”  The more central positioning on the ferry also meant that the car wouldn’t be subject to as much salt spray as we got on the way out, though at that point, the car was already messed up, so what’s a little more, right?  I mean, I already had to clean it, so a few more spots to clean weren’t going to make much of a difference.


I'm on a boat!

I’m on a boat!

I'm on a boat!


I photographed the boat itself and some of the scenery, messing up both my glasses and the lens of my camera again in the process, but the thing I paid most attention to was actually the other ferries.  Fellow River Class ferries Hatteras and Croatoan passed us, and later, the Hatteras Class ferry Roanoke passed us.  But the most-photographed ferry of the afternoon was the Floyd J. Lupton, also a River Class ferry.  We followed the Floyd J. Lupton for some distance, right up to the dock, and I got some great photos of its docking, and then our own docking.


The deck of the W. Stanford White, showing exactly how empty the boat was for the return trip. All of this was full on the outbound trip.

The deck of the W. Stanford White, showing exactly how empty the boat was for the return trip.  All of this was full on the outbound trip.

The deck of the W. Stanford White, showing exactly how empty the boat was for the return trip. All of this was full on the outbound trip.


The Hatteras passes us going in the opposite direction.

The Hatteras passes us going in the opposite direction.

The Hatteras passes us going in the opposite direction.


Sea gulls passing us by.  Sea gulls passing us by.

Sea gulls passing us by.

Sea gulls passing us by.  Sea gulls passing us by.


The Croatoan passes us.

The Croatoan passes us.

The Croatoan passes us.

The Croatoan passes us.


My glasses, messed up for the second time in one day.

My glasses, messed up for the second time in one day.


The empty stern, with the boat's wake beyond.

The empty stern, with the boat’s wake beyond.


Waves alongside the W. Stanford White.  Waves alongside the W. Stanford White.

Waves alongside the W. Stanford White.


Watching as the Floyd J. Lupton and the Roanoke pass each other.

Watching as the Floyd J. Lupton and the Roanoke pass each other.

Watching as the Floyd J. Lupton and the Roanoke pass each other.


The Floyd J. Lupton approaches the Hatteras ferry terminal.

The Floyd J. Lupton approaches the Hatteras ferry terminal.

The Floyd J. Lupton approaches the Hatteras ferry terminal.

The Floyd J. Lupton approaches the Hatteras ferry terminal.

The Floyd J. Lupton approaches the Hatteras ferry terminal.


The Floyd J. Lupton begins to dock.

The Floyd J. Lupton begins to dock.

The Floyd J. Lupton begins to dock.

The Floyd J. Lupton begins to dock.

The Floyd J. Lupton begins to dock.


With the Floyd J. Lupton docked, we began our own docking.

With the Floyd J. Lupton docked, we began our own docking.

With the Floyd J. Lupton docked, we began our own docking.

With the Floyd J. Lupton docked, we began our own docking.  With the Floyd J. Lupton docked, we began our own docking.


After we finished at the ferry, we headed back up to Buxton, and determined that Pete needed a few supplies.  We stopped at Conner’s Supermarket, which is an independent grocery store on Route 12.  This place had charm, as independent stores often do.  The selection was as you would expect for a grocery store, plus they had beach supplies, owing to the fact that they are located in a heavy tourist area.


Conner's Supermarket in Buxton.

Conner’s Supermarket in Buxton.


The produce department at Conner's.  The produce department at Conner's.

The produce department at Conner’s.

The produce department at Conner's.  The produce department at Conner's.


The alleged "Serious Beach Shovel" in the beach supplies area.

The alleged “Serious Beach Shovel” in the beach supplies area.


The label on this bottle of "Jack Ass Red" amused me.

The label on this bottle of “Jack Ass Red” amused me.


We then headed over for some ice cream, and then returned to the hotel.  There, we made a quick visit to the observation tower off of the lobby, which offers a view of the surrounding area from about three or four stories up, with a neighborhood to one side, ballfields on the other side, and the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in the distance.  It’s nowhere near as neat as the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse view, but it was still worth about five or ten minutes.



Then we headed out again, up to Avon, on a dual purpose.  First, we were collecting seashells, which I planned to use for a small craft project when I got home.  Second, we wanted to see the sunset.  The location that we went to see the beach was access point 38, which was where we always used to hit the beach back in the 1990s.  It looked the same, save for some additional signage.


Access point 38 looked exactly the same as I remembered it!

Access point 38 looked exactly the same as I remembered it!

Access point 38 looked exactly the same as I remembered it!

Access point 38 looked exactly the same as I remembered it!

Access point 38 looked exactly the same as I remembered it!

Access point 38 looked exactly the same as I remembered it!  Access point 38 looked exactly the same as I remembered it!


These sorts of signs, however, were new to me. I recall similar signage back in the 1990s, but not this nice.

These sorts of signs, however, were new to me.  I recall similar signage back in the 1990s, but not this nice.


It was great to visit the beach in Avon again!

It was great to visit the beach in Avon again!


  


Pete on the beach in Avon.

Pete on the beach in Avon.


The remains of a horseshoe crab, spotted way up the beach, some distance from the ocean. I wonder if this particular crab got washed out during a high tide or something.

The remains of a horseshoe crab, spotted way up the beach, some distance from the ocean.  I wonder if this particular crab got washed out during a high tide or something.


Oh, and I messed up my glasses again, for the third time in one day.

Oh, and I messed up my glasses again, for the third time in one day.


As the sun continued to go down, we left the beach and headed over to the Haulover Day Use Area on the sound side of the island, also known as Canadian Hole, to watch the sunset.  I also picked up more shells for my project, mostly on the bottom of the sound, which was less than a foot deep for quite some distance from the water’s edge.


The sunset, as viewed from the Haulover Day Use Area, was beautiful.  The sunset, as viewed from the Haulover Day Use Area, was beautiful.

The sunset, as viewed from the Haulover Day Use Area, was beautiful.

The sunset, as viewed from the Haulover Day Use Area, was beautiful.

The sunset, as viewed from the Haulover Day Use Area, was beautiful.

The sunset, as viewed from the Haulover Day Use Area, was beautiful.


Shells collected from Pamlico Sound.

Shells collected from Pamlico Sound.


Spotted this in the water. Not entirely sure what it is.

Spotted this in the water.  Not entirely sure what it is.


"Please stick it in" on a bumper sticker about seat belts on a car parked at the Haulover lot. Even though it was a serious message, this amused me more than it probably should have.

“Please stick it in” on a bumper sticker about seat belts on a car parked at the Haulover lot.  Even though it was a serious message, this amused me more than it probably should have.


Leaving Haulover, we went over to Angelo’s, a pizza place and arcade on the other side of Diamond Shoals from our hotel.  First order of business was to clean my glasses for the third and final time this evening.  Dinner was good as well.


While at Angelo's, I got Pete to take a photo of my wet shorts. Without thinking, I left the bag for the shells in the car when we went to the sound, and so I ended up putting the shells from the sound in one of the pockets on my shorts. That left a big wet spot on there (oops).

While at Angelo’s, I got Pete to take a photo of my wet shorts.  Without thinking, I left the bag for the shells in the car when we went to the sound, and so I ended up putting the shells from the sound in one of the pockets on my shorts.  That left a big wet spot on there (oops).


On Sunday, it was time to go home.  The plan was to leave around 8:00 or so.  We both got up with plenty of time to get ready, and so I took a moment to photograph something that had caught my interest earlier up on the observation deck: a house that was in the process of being moved to a site.


The house, still on wheels.  The house, still on wheels.

The house, still on wheels.

The house, still on wheels.


I was kind of surprised that the house was built elsewhere and then transported to the site rather than being constructed on-site, however, I do not know the circumstances that led to this house move.  In any case, it’s now on Oramar Drive in Buxton.

Then as Pete and I were checking out and preparing to leave, I noticed something that gave away the age of the facility in the bathroom.


Yes, that is an ashtray built into the wall, next to the commode. Looking at this in 2014, I don't know why someone would ever want to smoke while using the restroom, but apparently someone at some point did. Bizarre.  Yes, that is an ashtray built into the wall, next to the commode. Looking at this in 2014, I don't know why someone would ever want to smoke while using the restroom, but apparently someone at some point did. Bizarre.

Yes, that is an ashtray built into the wall, next to the commode.  Looking at this in 2014, I don’t know why someone would ever want to smoke while using the restroom, but apparently someone at some point did.  Bizarre.


Finishing up at the hotel, Pete and I headed out.  The plan was to get breakfast somewhere along the way, and also photograph the Bodie Island Lighthouse, which we had missed on the way down.  Then Pete and I had planned a lunch stop in Richmond with some friends of Pete’s.  We ended up stopping at Atlantic Coast Cafe in Waves, which was open on Sunday morning (a rarity, much to my surprise), but which served a good, solid breakfast.


They also had a sign that you could pose with, which we both did.  They also had a sign that you could pose with, which we both did.

They also had a sign that you could pose with, which we both did.


Departing the restaurant, we headed north through Pea Island, and then, after crossing the Bonner Bridge, stopped at the Bodie Island Lighthouse, which we missed on the way down.  It was just as well that we missed it going down, as the weather was cloudy on Friday.  Sunday’s weather, on the other hand, was perfect.  This was to be a quick stop.  Pete waited in the car, while I got some photos around the lighthouse.


  

  

  


Raised walkway in order to hopefully keep patrons and snakes, as warned about on signs, on separate paths.

Raised walkway in order to hopefully keep patrons and snakes, as warned about on signs, on separate paths.

Raised walkway in order to hopefully keep patrons and snakes, as warned about on signs, on separate paths.


All in all, not a bad lighthouse.  I want to climb to the top of this lighthouse on a future Outer Banks trip one day.

Then from there, we headed back in earnest.  We drove through Nags Head and Kill Devil Hills, and then onto the mainland in Currituck County.  We made a pit stop in Moyock, and then we passed into Virginia, taking the Chesapeake Expressway to the Hampton Roads Beltway inner loop (I-664), going through the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel, and then onto I-64.  The plan was to drive nonstop to Richmond.

Then in Newport News, after the highway dropped down to two lanes each way, traffic conditions started to deteriorate, as we got into our first traffic backup of the day.  This had the potential to make us late for lunch, but we got through quickly enough where we could either recover from the delay, or be only slightly late.  But then as we approached West Point, we hit another backup.  And it was, unfortunately, a really big backup that lasted for miles.


Major backup on I-64 near West Point. We crept along for miles. Not fun, but I suppose we made the best of it.

Major backup on I-64 near West Point.  We crept along for miles.  Not fun, but I suppose we made the best of it.


The source of the problem was just before exit 220 (SR 33), and was almost cleared by the time we got through.  We took the exit, and made another pit stop, as the delay had put us behind on gas and in need of a restroom break.  Lunch would also definitely be late.  While in the store, I spotted this device while I was waiting to use a restroom.


Turns out that this device is for when a building is not required to have a full fire alarm system, but nonetheless is required to have duct smoke detection.  Turns out that this device is for when a building is not required to have a full fire alarm system, but nonetheless is required to have duct smoke detection.

Turns out that this device is for when a building is not required to have a full fire alarm system, but nonetheless is required to have duct smoke detection.


After we were finished here, we nonstopped it to Richmond.  First we picked up one of the people that we would be seeing, and then we headed over to Lift Coffee Shop on West Broad Street, and visited for a while with a few folks.  Not a bad time, as we enjoyed a very late lunch.

Following lunch, we turned north, and took I-95 toward DC.  That was a bad idea, as I-95 was backed up just as badly as I-64 was.  We ended up getting off at the next exit and cut over to Route 1, taking that as far as Stafford, where we were able to observe I-95 to see that the traffic was clear again.  We cut over to the HOV lanes pretty quickly, and then it was smooth sailing all the way through the Mixing Bowl and into DC.  From there, we stopped by Pete’s house, got the dog carrier, and went up to Takoma to pick up Pete’s dog Bruno.


It was clear that these two were very happy to see each other again!

It was clear that these two were very happy to see each other again!


From there, I took Pete and Bruno home, and then went home myself.  That was a fun trip.  We need to do these sorts of trips more often.

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Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3

Part 3