Happy 31st anniversary to us! Bob surprised me by putting out the flamingoes he bought me a couple of weeks ago.
We slept in and had a leisurely morning. The wind finally died sometime last night and it was calm this morning. Bob did some personal and co-op businesss while I had breakfast. We left at 11:30 to explore Rodanthe. There wasn’t much there and we were through it quickly. Check out this map of Rodanthe looking from the north.
We drove north on Hwy.12 along more of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. It extends more than 70 miles from Nags Head to Ocracoke Inlet covering 30,000 acres. It is the 1st National Seashore in the country. There is a very distinct line between the edge of town in Rodanthe and where the “wilderness” begins.
Today we would only go as far as the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge to do some sightseeing.
It is located between Rodanthe and the tip of Bodie Island. This 6,000 acre refuge is a haven for more than 360 species of birds.
We stopped there and went inside to check out the bird exhibits. It was very interesting and the volunteer was very informative. She told us that the very narrow steel plate bridge that we crossed, was built after Hurricane Irene cut through the island on August 27, 2011.
The sand has filled in at the cut somewhat and will eventually fill in completely until another storm cuts through it again.
People in the know have said that the Outer Banks islands are shifting and moving farther west thru their natural progression with the wind. The volunteer told us that 40 years ago, the part of the road along where the bridge is, was actually much further east until sand erosion forced its move farther inland.
“People”, in their infinite wisdom, have tried to halt nature’s plan by building large dunes along the beach, but still she keeps moving on. This is a picture of the road we traveled on today from a postcard.
After our visit at the Nature Center, I took a path that crossed over the dunes to the Atlantic Ocean.
It was fairly calm today and there were a few people on this particular beach. The beach was quite wide here.
You can see how tall the dunes stand on this beach to protect the road.
The winds were calmer today which brought out the offshore fishermen.
There is also a boardwalk trail–the Charles Kuralt Trail, that allows you to walk out into the Reserve to get a closer look at the birds when they are here.
From the viewing platform you can view the birds during their spring and fall migration. There weren’t many birds in the Reserve today. We took a slow drive back and noticed some of the homes were still showing damage from Hurricane Sandy last year, which the locals say did as much damage as Irene. The name on this property is Wave Breaker. How appropriate!! Many homes look new, probably repaired or built after Sandy.
We got back to our campground around 2:30 and decided to spend some time at the private beach at the campground.
The temperature on our thermometer was in the upper 80’s —a little bit cooler than yesterday, but not on the beach. The sand could burn your feet! We packed our beach gear and walked about 1 block from our campsite to the beach. It was pretty crowded, but we found a nice spot.
With all the people swimming in the water, I decided to go swimming in the waves myself. I waded in and tried to time it just right so a wave wouldn’t hit me while I was stepping off the dropoff into the deeper water. No such luck! The waves were coming in large and strong. After getting hit by the waves a few times, I decided to use the force of the waves to get momentum to help me step onto the ledge to get back to the shore. WHAM! Next thing I knew, I was pushed to the sand and washed ashore with a big, breaking wave, scraping the beach as I went. When I finally stood up….and that took awhile….I walked up the beach to where I thought Bob and I were sitting…only Bob wasn’t there. I realized that I had moved down the beach from where we had been sitting. I looked over and there he was down the beach a ways with a big grin on his face. Luckily, he hadn’t thought to take a picture…. or worse yet….a movie!!! He suggested I shower off the sand which I was covered in, so I headed for a nearby bathroom. About 1 cup of sand fell out of my bottom and more fell out of my top. I had sand all over my body, in my hair, and in every crack and orifice. It took me 15 minutes to get it all out!! Yikes!! We laughed about it later…..a lot!!!! We spent a couple of hours on the beach watching everyone else play in the waves.
We could see the Rodanthe Pier to the north from where we sat.
We came back to our site to sit outside with Auggie. Our wind “gauge” told us that it was much windier now.
We sat outside with cocktails before dinner. Bob and I decided to eat at home for our anniversary tonight since Rodanthe didn’t really have much in the way of restaurants. Bob wanted to cook scallops and steak for our anniversary dinner. Get a load of these “50 cent-piece” scallops. Yum!! Melt in your mouth….
We enjoyed our special meal. It was de–lish!
Later, we took Auggie for his walk down towards the pool.
The skies clouded up and it looked like we might get some rain overnight.