Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Yin & Yang of life!

We moved on to a town called "Sealevel (and it was...at sealevel that is).  Staying at Cedar Creek Campground (cedarcreekcampgroundandmarina.com/), 

where we saw some very interesting local residences.  

The weather had taken a turn for the worse, being overcast and rainy.  The rain stopped mid-morning, but it was very windy.  

These conditions created 2 problems:   #1:  the artist prefers to sketch with shadow, which requires sunlight.  But even this obstacle could be overcome if he had to.  The real issue was the wind #2:  the swells in the sound were 10 feet and NO ferry captain was going out under those conditions.  So we had 5 days to cool our heels, and explore the neighborhood.

In the small world category:  On Friday we went to the Cape Lookout Visitors Center (www.nps.gov/calo/planyourvisit/visitorcenters.htm) and ran into a couple we had met last spring, when they visited The Cradle of Forestry, to see some old friends working with us there at that time.  We had a great chat.  It was fun to pick the brains of other people who are doing the same thing we are, and have been at it longer.

 On Saturday we used the Trip Advisor (http://www.tripadvisor.com/)as I do a lot, and stopped at a place for lunch called “The Fish Hook”  
(www.fishhookgrill.com/) The food turned out to be as good as it was rated (5 stars), but the real highlight of our visit there was meeting “Faye”, the 82 year old owner/manager and cook.  It was a real slice of life!  We enjoyed it so much, on Sunday we went back for lunch.  These Islanders who served us so well, many of whom had been residents for generations, made us feel like long lost friends.

Sunday lunch was preceded by our trip over to Cape Lookout Island (www.nps.gov/calo/ ) via a ferry called “The Local Yokel”  (http://www.tourcapelookout.com/) which was piloted by a gentleman named “Ellis” (just like my littlest cousin “Ellis” Neely…who is named after her Grandmother Ann Ellis- apparently this giving children a 1st name from a grandparents last name is popular in the South).  

While Bill sketched, the girls and I wandered to the ocean side of the island and this is where I fell in love with the Atlantic!  The sea oats were bowing to the wind and the waves kept a constant beating of the shore which produced a strangely calming affect to my soul. 


I will never feel the same about the ocean after this experience!  

On our return trip back to Harkers Island, Captain Ellis graciously pulled in close to Shackelford Island (www.shacklefordhorses.org/) at several points, to give us a close-up view of the Islands famous resident wild horses. The horses are believed to be survivors of a Spanish shipwreck of 150 years ago.  This year they number 104 horses on the island.

Upon our return to Harkers Island (wikipedia.org/wiki/Harkers_Island,_North_Carolina) we broke camp and headed off to our next Port O Call via a 2 hour ferry ride from the North end of Cedar Island  (www.ncdot.gov/ferry/)disembarking at Ocracoke Island (www.ocracokevillage.com/).

The campground was a short drive up the road thru a very quaint little seaside town (Ocracoke).  We stayed at “The Beachcomber RV Resort” (www.ocracokeisland.com/beachcomber.htm) for 2 nights, once again due to weather.  

Killing time, we found ourselves at a VERY nice, little, quiet restaurant in downtown Ocracoke called Dajio (www.dajiorestaurant.com/).  It was late and not crowded on this damp, off-season Monday night.  Now, I am sure it was not him, but the guy at a table over in the corner of the dining room, was a DEAD RINGER for Johnny Depp.  My Facebook friends shamed me into snapping a pix, which is not very clear, but I present it to you here, and you can draw your own conclusion.   

The next morning found us walking right up to the base of the  
Ocracoke Lighthouse 
(www.ocracoke-.com/light/ocracoke-lighthouse3.shtml) and Bill sketched happily away.  

While he performed his task I discovered a “cemetery” directly behind the light station.  Given that this lighthouse was already causing some peculiar feelings on my part, being set right in the middle of an island neighborhood, the cemetery

did nothing to put me more at ease, and I sought                                               out close proximity to Bill.  

Upon my return to Bill, I found him in conversation with a feline friend.  An orange Tabby to be exact (his favorite variety), who had come by to examine his work.  

The girls and the Tabby were fascinated with each other.

Another ferry ride to Cape Hatteras that afternoon (a short 90 minute ride this time), led us to lunch at the 1st place we found open…Hurricane Heathers (www.tripadvisor.com › ... › Buxton › Buxton Restaurants).  

The afternoon light was beginning to fade, and we still had the sketching of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse to complete, as we waited for our lunch.  Looking out the window I commented “I wonder how far Hatteras is from here?”  As I said those words I spotted the “Cape Hatteras” (http://www.lighthousefriends.com/light.asp?ID=356) entrance sign, directly across the street.  At the same moment Bill glanced out the window and said (in unison with me) “there’s the lighthouse right there”.  We had a good laugh, finished lunch and headed across the road.  Cape Hatteras is still my favorite! 

We stayed 2 very nice nights at Camp Hatteras (http://camphatteras.com/) which had been all but destroyed last year by Hurricane Irene (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Irene). 

We would have stayed longer, as our planned activities for this area included Kill Devil Hills (http://www.kdhnc.com/) and The Wright Brothers Museum, but The Refuge Campground (www.refuge-roanokeisland.com/) in Waves, NC on Roanoke Island (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roanoke_Island) provided a more central 

location for our activities. 
At The Refuge we were provided with one of the best lakeside sites one could imagine and we found our neighbors to be a bunch of good ole boys with some VERY expensive toys (1962 totally restored Chevy Pickup-my personal fav, a 1967 Mustang, a final edition Barracuda and a 1970 Camero).   It turned out  they were in the area for a Saturday Car Show, which we found ourselves magically drawn to.  The weather was perfect, 60 degrees and sunny.  

We enjoyed the cars, 

and everyone else enjoyed meeting the girls.

But, as life is a gift, every moment to be savored, and be thankful to God for, our plans abruptly changed that afternoon.

(Tim & Lisa Leach)

Bill’s sweet & lovely niece Lisa went home to be with our Lord, and with heavy hearts we made arrangements to return to the Northern Illinois area to say “Vaya Con Dios Lisa”!  

So, this night find us on an 18 hour journey across hill & dale to grieve and celebrate Lisa’s life with family and friends.  We will return in a week and pick up where we left off along the outer banks of North Carolina.


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  2. I Loved The Carolina Coast Too.

    Cape Hatteras Was A Regular "Sea Road" For My Tin-Can (Destroyer) When I Was Stationed Out Of Charleston, SC. The Constant Chop Of The Atlantic Ocean Off Cape Hatteras (On A Calm Day~!) Always Relaxed Me.

    Your Little Blog (A Work Of Art In It's Own Right~!) Is A Blessing To Me.

    Post Early, Post Often
    And Be Blessed Beloved Daughter Of The KING

    Love, Your Brother Joe