“Back in the OBX, Ron said after our “Set up” toast. The weekend begins when Ron cracks open his beer and settles into the blue rocker, spinach dip and chips by his side. Another week gone; how time does fly.
Our first time on the inner loop, and we like it so far. The sun gives us shade in the afternoon when we need it most.
“Eight years seems crazy, doesn’t it?” Ron said as we reminisced about our many trips to OBX Campground. We bought an RV so we could spend weekends in the Outer Banks. The manager at the Christmas Mouse in Williamsburg gave Ron the idea one day at work. Her family keeps their camper parked in OBX year round, giving them a second home at the beach.
“This is my favorite part. I just love Friday camping nights.”
Ron’s words ring true for both of us. Something about setting up camp, opening a beer, puts a period on the week. Change of Place + Change of Pace=Change of Perspective, a quote from Mark Batterson that stands the test of time.
“Well, tomorrow’s high is 82 degrees, and it’s 94 today. Today’s the better day to be inside.”
Ron agreed with my thinking; off we went to RC Kill Devil Hills Movie 10 to see the long-awaited Maverick. Thoroughly enjoyable, time flew by as fast as the F-18’s on a mission.
“Danger Zone” takes me back to Treasure Lake. Having found out the guy I had a crush on after my senior year lied to me about his relationship status, I left the Ski Lodge heartbroken. Not a mile from the Haunted House me, and my crush worked together; I rolled my car. Catching the sharp ditch just past the stop sign of the four-way intersection, my Omni Putter flipped on its roof. My dad bought my first car for me, the front end and Omni, the back a Horizon. Both wrecked, then welded together to create my Omni Putter, as I liked to call it.
The radio lights glared, and “Danger Zone” blared from the speakers as I realized I had an accident.
“My dad’s going to kill me!” I said to the officer who pulled me from the car.
“He’ll be glad you’re ok.”
“He’s dead!” I still feel bad for yelling at the officer. God bless him for his kind and compassionate heart and for dealing with a hysterical teenager.
Danger Zone always takes me back to that moment.
When you don’t have children, you don’t hear the sound of their laughter. Camping lets us enjoy the sounds of kids enjoying life. We watched them play for over an hour, running after each other, giggling, and having fun.
Eventually, a storm blew its way into the campground. The lightning created a spectacular light show in the clouds. North of us, the storm didn’t impact us, just brought entertainment. However, the line behind these clouds poured water on us through the night, leaving a small pond where the kids once played. When we left on Sunday, water still stood in the once dry ground.
“Is it always this light?” Ron asked the attendant onboard the Elizabeth II.
“It’s changeover day. We were busy this week, but everyone’s going home today. We’ll be busy tomorrow.”
After trying unsuccessfully to go to Duck for Ron’s work, we decided to head to Manteo for some sightseeing. “Change Over Day” describes Saturdays in OBX, the name given by the locals who endure the massive amounts of traffic coming and going from the beach. Saturday morning ushers out all of those whose vacation ends, while the afternoon brings in those just beginning their leisure time.
“Fifty men lived on this boat for three months,” our guide said as I strolled onto the boat.
Sixty-nine square feet of boat doesn’t leave a lot of places for the men. The captain’s quarters contained a bed and small table; directly beneath him, two lucky officers shared space, the rudder dividing their area. Three decks carried the men and their supplies on three different voyages between England and Roanoke Island. A replica of one of the seven ships used ins Sir Walter Raleigh’s 1585 expedition; the Elizabeth II makes me grateful for modern conveniences.
Roanoke Island also pays tribute to the Indians who once lived here. Primitive huts made from animal hides provided shelter for the natives. The chief’s home, separate from the rest of the village, had multiple rooms, unlike the villager’s tents. A dancing circle, tall stones standing in a sphere, sat in the middle of the village.
Just down the path, a replica of the English settlement stands, giving us a taste of two different worlds meeting. The sound of the blacksmith rang out as soon as we stepped into the small town. With a high of 82 degrees, Thomas had an endless job.
“1000 nails per house,” he said when we walked up to Thomas in action. Going right into his routine, we didn’t know the blacksmith would hand us the perfect souvenir in a few short minutes.
After our tour, we headed to the Lost Colony Tavern for lunch. Manteo’s quaint waterfront with shops and restaurants makes for a lovely afternoon stroll. Poor Richard’s Sandwich Shop sits has waterfront seating but no alcohol. In search of an afternoon beverage, we headed to the tavern.
“Go down to the bottom of the steps, open your beer and pour it in the cup, throw away the can. You’re allowed to drink anything you want out of the plastic cup but can’t drink it out of the can,” said the store clerk.
So we did.
On the way home, we picked up shrimp at Billy’s Seafood Market, a must-have for us. Steaming on demand, you can’t beat the price or the service. Not hungry after our ice cream cones from the Sugar Kingdom, we let the shrimp chill in the fridge while we enjoyed an afternoon nap with the pups.
With a temperature in the upper 70s and a slight breeze coming off the water, we watched life in the campground unfold. Families returning from a day at the beach had rosy skin. Dogs in need of a walk; we said hello as campers walked by with their furry friends. One little girl walked over to the pond created from the previous night’s shower, dipping her tiny croc into the water’s edge.
“Don’t do it,” Ron said, not wanting her to get her toes wet in the muck.
After cooking steaks and corn on the grill, we waited for the sun to disappear before heading into bed. Ron snored quickly as I watched “Uncoupled” on Netflix before falling asleep beside my love.
“We can go to Bob’s, or does that bring back memories of Cody?”
“Since I’m tearing up thinking about it, probably not.” Ron’s sensitivity never ceases to amaze me. When my nephew died, because of his love for Bob’s Grill, they put his fuzzy-haired hat on him in the casket. Their last family vacation happened with a spur-of-the-minute decision to head to OBX for the weekend, one I’m glad my brother’s family got to share. The memories will have to last until we meet Cody boy in heaven.
We went to Stack ‘Em High Pancakes right beside Cody’s beloved restaurant. The sayings around the door frames gave us reading material while we waited for our food.
“Live your life so that you would not be afraid to sell your parrot to the town gossip,” painted over the doorway into the kitchen, made me smile. Ron loved the “quote” from Benjamin Franklin.
Worshiping with our friends at Nags Head Church always makes me smile. Finishing a message series on David, Pastor Nathanael Stevens highlighted God’s faithful role in our lives and history. Teaching on David’s Song, he refreshed and renewed us for the week ahead.
Once again, we attempted a trip to Duck, but two accidents and stalled traffic made it impossible. Taking us 45 minutes to go the few miles back to the campground, we hooked up and headed home.
“It’s just that time of year,” Ron said as we hit traffic on and off during our journey home.
Yes, it is. Thankfully, we don’t have a long drive home.
Until next time, God bless you on the journey!