Day 73 of a Year Long Road Trip Along America’s Scenic Byways
Today was full of travel. I left Walter’s house around 9am and drove over 360 miles to the Outer Banks. For most of the drive, the day was damp and misty. It was a good day to hang out in VANilla. Of course I needed gas and the dogs needed a break every once in a while, so we stopped twice before reaching our destination, and one stop was a pleasant surprise.
We originally tried going to a park a few miles off the highway that was a point of interest on my GPS. As I drove through the neighborhood, I just kept going and weaved my way along a few side streets right back to the highway. I don’t know if the neighborhood was safe, but it was a little too run down for me to try it out. Not much further down Highway 64, however, we found a rest area. I took the dogs to the grassy area behind the parking lot to find an interpretive boardwalk built around the bog land in the Scuppernong River.
Pocosin Lakes Wildlife Refuge
It turns out the rest area shared space with Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. I didn’t even have my camera with me, as I was really planning just a short stretch for the dogs. I wanted to save time for at least one tourist stop on the Outer Banks before night fall. As a result, we basically raced around the nature walk, partly due to Scout’s uncontained energy. And we altogether skipped a boardwalk stroll to nearby Columbia’s downtown, as we still had some distance to cover to start our scenic drive on the Outer Banks. But overall, we enjoyed a much better setting than the parking lot I anticipated.
Wright Brothers National Memorial
I arrived at Kill Devil Hills just in time to visit the Wright Brothers National Memorial. The memorial is erected where the brothers experimented with gliders and eventually succeeded with the first power driven flight in December of 1903. Before the memorial was constructed and placed atop the sand dune, the dune required stabilization as the constant winds have shifted the hill over time.
Army engineers used grass and a wood mold to keep the dune from moving. The memorial is carved out of granite and is meant to inspire those who believe and accomplish the impossible. In addition to the memorial, the park includes markers that show the distances each flight traveled as well as replicas of the aircraft. Also, a 3D scene depicts their feats.
Black Pelican Oceanfront Restaurant
From the Wright Brothers National Memorial, I drove up the coast to Black Pelican Oceanfront Restaurant for an early dinner. I’m glad I arrived at 6. The hostess estimated a 25 minute wait for a table. Being a single diner, I found a seat at the first come, first served bar. Even better, I sat next to a local for lack of a better description.
Frank previously owned a summer home nearby. He was in town looking at some of his commercial property and was staying at his daughter and son-in-law’s home while they were at the Virginia Tech game. He provided a few tips for sightseeing tomorrow and by the time the evening ended, I had a place to stay for the night! I don’t think the cats appreciated his invitation to me and the dogs, but I did. Can’t beat a bed, shower, and coffee in the morning. ETB
Map of My Road Trip Across the USA
For a summary about my road trip across the USA, click HERE. For the interactive map, see the below link.
Other Articles About North Carolina You May Like
- Day 69 – North Carolina Countryside
- Day 70 – North Carolina Countryside Part 2
- Day 71 – Blue Ridge Parkway (North Carolina)
- Day 72 – Blue Ridge Parkway (North Carolina Part 2)
- Day 74 – North Carolina’s Outer Banks Part 2
Check out the photographic note cards and key chains at my shop. Each card has a travel story associated with it. 20% of proceeds are donated to charity.