Rodanthe, NC to Lumberton, NC

We had strong thunderstorms overnight with rain and lots of wind. I woke up when I heard the wind blowing our vent flap and went outside to close it around 2:30 AM. It was just starting to rain at that time. When I woke up this morning our neighbors canopy had blown off and someone farther down the street was retrieving their tiki umbrella from down the way. Bob woke up later than usual this morning, so I walked Auggie. Many campers were drying out after the rain and wind last night. We packed up in-between storms and were thankful that Bob had the foresight to put most everything away last night in anticipation of our departure today. The sky was very dark over the ocean and blue over land. We heard thunder and saw lightning off in the distance. As we were packing up, the lady next door came over to inquire about my pineapple plant. She had planted one like mine from the stem of a pineapple, but had no fruit yet. I told her it takes about 3-4 years to produce a fruit and she was relieved to know that she would eventually see the results of her labor. She just had to be patient. We pulled out of the campground at 10:00 and headed north on Highway 12–the Cape Hatteras National Seashore road. The skies were cloudy, but Oregon Inlet was glass calm today. There were even a few fishermen fishing the inlet.

As we passed by the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center, we could see that most of the sportfishing charter boats were still sitting at the dock. I wouldn’t have wanted to be out fishing in the storm that came by this morning.

We left Outer Banks and turned west towards Manteo on Roanoke Island.

The bridge took us over Croatan Sound to Roanoke Island and towards the mainland.

This bridge took us on the North Carolina Scenic Byway over the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge.

The signs said to watch out for bears. One of the rangers told us that North Carolina had a large population of black bears in this area. We kept our eyes peeled for them. Once you get off the Outer Banks islands you leave all the sand dunes and ocean behind and trade them for forests and countryside and towns with names like Frying Pan and Gum Neck. Hmmm….

We crossed the Alligator River and the ICW. How ironic that we had to wait for the bridge to open for a boat going through when the last time we were here in our boat, the bridgetender made us wait because of the traffic and construction going on.

The skies finally cleared as we were driving down the Historic Albemarle Highway.

This part of the state is covered in farm fields of vegetables and tobacco.

We had mostly cloudy skies with sprinkles of rain off and on all day. We encountered an accident scene on the other side of the highway near Selma, NC. We saw miles and miles of backed up traffic. South of Raleigh we ran into a thunderstorm with heavy rain and wind that pushed us around the road. It was quite a downpour and after the rain we noticed lots of debris on the road farther down the way. Strong winds must have come through right before we did. Good thing we missed it. We stopped for gas once before reaching our campground—Sleepy Bear RV Park.

We had been here once before on our way home from Canada last year and enjoyed our short stay. We were able to have a campsite where we could keep the truck attached to the trailer. That would make it a little easier for leaving tomorrow. We relaxed after our drive today of 5 1/2 hours and 297 miles. We had a later dinner of lamb chops and asparagus and watched some TV after Auggie got his evening walk. We have a drive tomorrow of about 300 miles, so we hope to get an earlier start.

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