Around the World... One Journey at a Time. Around the World... One Journey at a Time.

Across the U.S.: Day 30

by Kathy 18. August 2009 21:17


<< Days 28 and 29: Rock Hill, South Carolina  | Day 31: Cape Hatteras >>

Rock Hill to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina


We left early this morning to drive to a campground along the Outer Banks, which consists of a string of narrow barrier islands off of the North Carolina coast. Some of the islands are connected together with bridges, and the area has an array of beautiful beaches (many undeveloped), marshes, plants and wildlife.

My parents would be joining us for a few days, staying in a small cabin at the campground.

Even though we had almost 400 miles of driving today, we tried to stay off of the freeways whenever possible.

North of Charlotte, North Carolina, we found a road that alternated between 4 lanes and 2 lanes, over gently rolling hills covered with dense forests.

We passed the "Simply Styling" Hair Salon:

An old home nestled on a bright green field:

J&J Custom Paint & Performance (nice sign . . . the building, however, could use some some sprucing up):

We crossed the Yadkin River.

The road stretched out before us:

The name of this restaurant, “Huddle House,” made me wish that we had enough time to go inside and get all cozy.

One of the many Baptist churches that we would pass today:

A house with some personality:

We drove past a few “gun & pawn” shops, which seemed like a curious combination. I grabbed my camera in time to catch this shop across the street:

An interesting barn:

A pretty farm:

Sometimes the small highways we drove would have more than one number—indeed, as many as 4. At times, we would come to a junction and have to quickly scan all of the numbers to see which way we were supposed to go. This task would be particularly confusing if the highway line on my map had an east-west direction, and the signs gave me a choice of “north” or “south”. The signs below were not too confusing but provide an example of what we often saw.

A Methodist church with a cemetery:

We passed through the small town of Pittsboro, which was founded in 1787. This building was beautiful, but the bright eastern sun washed out the photo colors.

Other buildings in and near Pittsboro:

The rocks in the Haw River were challenging us to a game of stepping stones—but we didn’t have time to stop today.

Jordan Lake looked like a peaceful place to relax and fish.

One of the benefits of traveling off of the interstates is the wonderful absence of continuous billboards.

The land flattened out east of Rocky Mount. Farm land surrounded us.

We saw our first tobacco fields.

We also saw some peanut crops.

I only learned last week that peanuts grow under the ground. (What?!) While I knew that peanut plants looked like small bushes, I had always thought that peanuts grew like other nuts and could be picked from the outside of the plant. Silly me! (Am I the only one who didn’t know this?)

On the east side of Jamesville, a shop called “Mackey’s Gun Store” flashed a sign that read, “If You Don’t Buy Your Guns Here, We Can’t Eat”.  These are hard times indeed.

A small marshy pond:

This home had a collection of old tools and other items on the front porch:

An old fire engine decorated the side lawn here:

We stopped for a lunch picnic in the welcoming town of Plymouth, where we found a small museum and a park along the river.

Entering Plymouth:

The museum:

My dad on the side of the museum:

The historical marker outside of the museum stated that this was the site of the Plymouth battle in April 1864, in which the Confederate army fought the Union army to regain control of Plymouth and won. (The Union army had controlled Plymouth since 1862.) The success of this battle was due in large part to the iron-clad vessel CSS Albemarle, which sank 5 Union ships.

Just three months later, in October 1964, the Union army regained control of Plymouth and sunk the CSS Albemarle.

A small replica of the CSS Albemarle had been constructed recently and was floating in the river.

In front of the museum was a replica of the 6.4 inch Brooke Rifled Canon from the CSS Albemarle. This was considered to be the “finest canon” on either side of the war.

The river was very pretty. Along the bank was a patch of lilypads.

Two turtles were sunning themselves on a log.

Genevieve and Sebastian found this very interesting bug:

They were horrified--and fascinated--when they returned to check on the bug and found a big dragonfly on top of it.

We weren’t sure if the dragonfly was feasting, but the big bug underneath did not look healthy.

The river had benches nearby to sit and enjoy the surrounding beauty. My dad and Sebastian:

The museum also had an old caboose:

Here is a side view with my parents:

My mom and I walked across the street to visit Grace Episcopal Church and the adjacent cemetery.

Some of the headstones looked very old.

Here is the headstone for Charles Haughton, who died in 1869.

The babies’ graves always touch my heart.

Here are more homes that we passed on our way out of Plymouth:

Continuing on our journey, we saw a long row of buildings along the river.

We thought that perhaps they were tobacco drying sheds.

This was a happy bug!

One last farm house (I just can’t help myself!):

The Scuppernong river:

We were now in the Tidewater area of North Carolina, with low, flat ground and many bodies of water that connected with the Atlantic Ocean.

We crossed the wide Alligator River to the Alligator River National Wetland Reserve.

This old house in the Reserve area looked as if it might have been abandoned, perhaps for the newer modular home in the background.

The barrier islands were reached by leap frogging onto Roanoke Island, which lies between the outer islands and the mainland of North Carolina.

Leaving the mainland behind.

The bridge to Roanoke Island was quite long. Sebastian noted that it had a “bump” in it.

The southern part of Roanoke Island was flat with tall grasses.

The eastern shore of North Carolina has a restaurant called “Dirty Dick’s”. I may not care for the double entendre in the advertising slogan, but I have to admit that their ads are memorable.  (However, we never ate at that restaurant.)

We crossed another bridge to get from Roanoke Island to the Outer Banks.

Once on the first island in the Outer Banks (Bodie Island), we turned south and entered the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

I hadn’t visited these islands for over 25 years, but my initial impression was that they were still as beautiful as I remembered.

The barrier islands are extremely skinny strips of land that stretch down through the coastal waters. Our campground was about half way down the next island, Hatteras Island. To get there, we had to cross another bridge.

Views of Hatteras Island:

Among the miles of deserted beaches are pockets of homes.  Many of the houses are vacation rentals.

Our campground had a pool with two enticing water slides. The children had their bathing suits on before we even arrived at our RV site.

Genevieve, hitting the water first:

Sebastian, making a splash:


My parents and I went for a walk along the beach. The coolness of the Atlantic Ocean felt good on my toes. The waves were a bit strong tonight. We had to be careful to avoid the occasional small clear lump of jellyfish.

Me and my mom:

Our campsite was right next to the sand dunes. While Ben was BBQ-ing, he met the family camped next to us—they are from Montreal, Canada, and they come here every summer for a month.

My dad and Ben:

We were lulled to sleep tonight by the sound of crashing waves.  Ahhh, heaven.


<< Days 28 and 29: Rock Hill, South Carolina  | Day 31: Cape Hatteras >>

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Places We’ve Been, w/Quick Links

   Bumthang Valley
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   Paro Valley
   Punakha Dzong
   Sangdrup Jongkhar
   Wangdi Phrodrang

   Janko Marca
   La Paz
   Laguna Colorada
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   Salar de Coipasa
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   San Pablo
   Santa Rosa
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   World’s Most Dangerous Road

   Banff National Park
   Battle Hill Nat'l Hist. Site
   Boya Lake Prov. Park, BC
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   Canyon Sainte-Anne
   Dawson Creek
   Eastern Townships
   Fort Nelson
   Jasper National Park
   Kluane Lake, YK
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Costa Rica
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   Manuel Antonio
   Poas Volcano
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   Venado Caves


   Amazon Rainforest
   Chaquiñan Bicycle Trail
   La Mitad del Mundo
   Napo Wildlife Center
   Papallacta Hot Springs
   Proyecto DCR
   Yasuní National Park


   Baja California
   Frida Kahlo Museum
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   Mexico City
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   San Agustin
   San Martin Tilcajete
   Santa Fe de la Laguna
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   Studio of Jacobo Angeles
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   Dead Vlei
   Elondo Village
   Etosha Nat'l Park
   Hippo Pools Camp
   Hoba Meteorite
   Khowarib Camp
   Moose McGregor's Bakery
   Mowani Camp
   Ngepi Camp
   Nkasa Lupala
   n'Kwzi Camp
   River Dance Lodge
   Seisriem Camp
   Treesleeper Camp

   Cañón del Pato
   Cerro de Pasco
   La Oroya
   Machu Picchu
   Nuevo Jaén
   Tingo Maria
   Yungay Memorial


South Africa

   Rock of Gibraltar
   Santillana del Mar

United States National Parks
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   Badlands National Park, SD
   Bandelier National Monument, NM
   Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
   Cahokia Mounds (UNESCO site), IL
   Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM
   Canyon de Chelly Nat'l Monument, AZ
   Cape Hatteras National Shoreline, NC
   Capitol Reef National Park, UT
   Civil Rights Memorial, AL
   Death Valley National Park, CA
   Denali National Park, AK
   Devil’s Tower National Monument, WY
   El Morro National Monument, NM
   Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C.
   Glacier National Park, MT
   Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
   Grand Tetons National Park, WY
   Great Basin National Park, NV
   Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI
   Joshua Tree National Park, CA
   Kaloko-Honokohau Nat'l Hist. Park, HI
   Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks, NM
   King's Canyon National Park, CA
   Martin Luther King Jr. Nat'l Hist. Site, GA
   Mesa Verde National Park, CO
   Montezuma's Castle Nat'l Monument, AZ
   Monticello, VA
   Mount Rushmore National Memorial, SD
   Mt. Rainier National Park, WA
   Olympic National Park, WA
   Petrified Wood National Park, AZ
   Pinnacles National Monument, CA
   Pu'uhonua o Honaunau Nat'l Hist Pk, HI
   Pu'ukohola Heiau Nat'l Historic Site, HI
   San Antonio Missions Nat'l Hist. Park, TX
   Tuzigoot National Monument, AZ
   Walnut Canyon National Monument, AZ
   Washington Monument
   White Sands National Monument, NM
   Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, AK
   Wright Brothers National Memorial in NC
   Yellowstone National Park, WY
   Yosemite National Park, CA

United States, Cities and Places
   The Alamo, TX
   Alaska Wildlife Conservation Cntr.
   Alpine Loop in CO
   Anchorage, AK
   Antares Junction, AZ
   Arctic Circle, AK
   Barrel Oak Winery in VA
   Biloxi, MS
   Bottle Tree Farm in CA
   Calico Ghost Town, CA
   Canfield Mountain Trail System, ID
   Cape St. Vincent, NY
   Carson City, NV
   Carter Caves State Park in KY
   Chappie-Shasta OHV Area, CA
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   Circle B Chuckwagon Show in SD
   City Museum in MO
   Cody, WY
   Corn Palace in SD
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   Custer State Park, SD
   Dalton Highway, AK
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   Discovery Place in Charlotte, NC
   Dry Falls (Sun Lakes-Dry Falls), WA
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   Gallup, NM
   Goffs, CA
   Grand Canyon Caves, AZ
   Grand Canyon Skywalk, AZ
   Grave Digger Monster Truck in NC
   Great Salt Lake, UT
   Hackberry General Store in AZ
   Hannibal, MO
   Hatteras Island, NC
   Hawaii (Big Island)
   Hickison Petroglyphs, NV
   Holbrook, AZ
   Hole in the Rock, UT
   Homer, AK
   Honey Island Swamp Tour in LA
   Hoover Dam, NV
   Hyder, AK
   Jim Gray’s Petrified Wood Co. in AZ
   John’s Peak OHV Area, OR
   Kailua-Kona, HI
   Keepers of the Wild Nature Park in AZ
   Kennecott, AK
   Kennecott Copper Mine in UT
   Kingman, AZ
   Lake Havasu, AZ
   Lake Tahoe, NV
   Las Vegas, NV (winter 2010)
   Little Brown Church in IA
   London Bridge in AZ
   Loneliest Road in America, Hwy. 50, NV
   Los Angeles, CA
   Lost Colony Show on Roanoke Isl., NC
   Lowe’s Speedway in NC
   Mardi Gras World in LA
   Mark Twain Museum in MO
   Meteor Crater, AZ
   Million Dollar Highway, CO
   Minnesota Zoo
   Mitchell, SD
   Moab, UT
   Moab, UT (dirt biking)
   Montgomery, AL
   Montpelier, ID
   Navajo Nation, AZ
   Needles, CA
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   New Orleans, LA
   Niagara Falls 
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   Oatman, AZ
   Old Faithful Geyser in WY
   Omak Stampede, WA
   Painted Desert, AZ
   Park City, UT (summer)
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   Portage Valley, AK
   Portland, OR
   Prospect OHV Trail System, OR
   Resaca, GA
   Riverside State Park, WA
   Rock City in TN
   Rosa Parks Library and Museum in AL
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   Salt Lake City, UT
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   Silverton, CO
   Sonora, TX
   St. Louis, MO
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   Talkeetna, AK
   Telluride, CO
   Route 66
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   Virginia Beach, VA
   Washington D.C.
   Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park in IL
   Williamsburg, VA
   Winom Frazier OHV Area, OR
   Winslow, AZ
   Zion National Park, UT

Planning Our Adventures

For us, each journey begins with the initial heart pangs to venture to a certain part of the world. Then the ideas start coming together . . . ahh, the possibilities . . . and the dream evolves gradually into an actual plan. But, oh, the joy of the dream!  Click here to learn more about how we plan and prepare for our journeys.

Where Are We Now?

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Words for the Heart

“. . . and then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

Anais Nin