I’ve been slacking in my blog due to a journey I recently took. This account is one of many that follows my brief but exciting travel through this great country.
One of the beauties of flying a private plane is traveling greater distance in shorter time,while maintaining the freedom to go where you want. We departed South Florida at dawn for a two-week adventure along the east coast and as far inland as Ohio. The day prior, our Cessna 206 was prepped for the trip and so was my family, house and snorkie pup.
Along our route we spotted a submarine off the coast of Georgia. As I looked at the VFR map, I noticed it was near St. Mary’s and it brought back memories of an unfortunate encounter of flying over this submarine base years ago as a newbie pilot. I received a call from the FAA as soon as I landed. And it didn’t stop with one call. I had several calls and paperwork to file. This time I was well clear of the restrictive airspace.
Our first stop was in hot humid Savannah to refuel our plane and stomach. The air was thick and the food basic. The Savannah airport was busy with Air Force fighter jets training in the area. The pilots were hanging around the airport flight planning in their navy blue jumpsuits outfitted for Alaska, not the sweaty south. The fighter jets got my adrenaline going. How I would love to fly in one of those. Just once.
We jumped back into our single engine and headed towards the Outer Banks of North Carolina. A destination I had been wanting to sample. After three plus hours of flying we were at the northern edge of the banks. Near Kitty Hawk, where the Wright brothers tested their first flight. The hotel strip was a short rental car drive from the airport. At first it looked like any other tourist town lined with mini golf , ice cream shops and restaurants claiming to have the best crabs in town. The vegetarian me looked for any sign of the best salad in town. Of course my dinner decision would be overthrown by the two seafood loving men with me.
The true beauty of the OB lies to the south of Nag’s Head with a series of quaint seaside villages and a National Park. We stopped at the visitor’s center and I walked in while my husband was talking to the ranger.
The ranger turned to me and said, “So you’re and Archaeologist?”
“Yes.” I responded as I looked at the ranger unfolding his map.
He pointed to several areas of the map where we could see sunken ships jutting out of the sea. He talked about some ongoing underwater excavations. I didn’t have any dive equipment or the time to really explore the water with just one day. But I listened attentively. He then spoke of good surf spots and I grinned. I imagined my husband walking up to the man saying, ” My wife’s an archaeologist and my son wants to surf. Where can we go to do both?” I smiled at his effort.
We rented a surfboard in Rodanthe, dropped off our enthusiastic surfer for a few hours and went to visit the majestic Hatteras lighthouse. The largest in the world. Visitors are encouraged to climb the lighthouse but with my husband’s bum foot and my recent fear of standing on balconies higher than a few feet, we opted out.
Our first stop on this east coast journey was a good one. We were introduced to the Outer Banks, a place we have been wanting to visit. I would go back knowing that it’s a peaceful place to stop or hangout for awhile in the right state of mind.