13 Hours to Ocracoke, The Edge of Madness

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Ocracoke Island

Flag of United States  , Florida
Friday, July 23, 2010

I am Free.  I left all my worries behind.  My 16 year daughter didn't need me anymore, I retired from my 20 year career as a Lieutenant/Paramedic with fire and rescue, I loaded up my 2004 Aztek with my sea kayak, mountain bike, fishing pole, hiking shoes, new I Phone 4 camera, my computer and all other essentials and took off. I removed my rear seats and cleared out the back of the Aztek and put down a comfy mattress and bought a cigarette lighter adapter to charge my computer and run a fan at night when I slept.

My plan is to start my adventure with three things in mind; Fitness, Adventure, and Nutrition (FAN) every day.  I will go to all the places I wanted to go and in the process get back in the shape I want to be in as well as documenting all of the outrageous things I encounter along the way. 

I have traveled extensively previously but have never properly recorded my missions.  With this new technology I am now able to do so.  Some of my entries may not be politically correct.  I took one on one classes with an Apple guy named Benjamin, who was great.  I learned much of the things about today's technology that has brought me to attempt to do this.  Not too bad for a 51 year old.  I will tell my story as it happens, the good, the bad, and the fantastic.

My trip started off a little rough.  I am behind and am at a McDonald's in Roanoke Island, NC on day 2.  Day 1 was brought me to the edge of madness.

All photos and videos are done on the I Phone 4.  You will see some shortcomings with the quality.  I am adapting.  Hopefully, things will get better with time. 

I left my house in Orlando at 0430 am with my daughter sending me off and taking my first photos and video.  I couldn't sleep very good that night.  I slept about 2.5 hours and popped up.  I drank a Monster, finished my packing, kissed my daughter and left. 

About 4 hours into my drive I started to get sleepy.  I drank another Monster.  I was fighting to stay awake.  The excitement of the drive wore off and pure tiredness kicked in.  I took a detour into Surf City, NC and took some photos.  Mistake. That set me behind. I had to be at the Cedar Island, NC Ferry by 5:30 pm.  I drove like a maniac so I didn't miss it.  I arrived at the Cedar Island Ferry exactly at 5:30 pm.  13 hours and 740 miles.  I had 4 Monsters in me by then.

I had made it.  I talked to all kinds of nice people and met the guy who started the business of selling horse back riding on the beach.  He told me he had a friend at Ocrakoke named Bubby.  Bubby ran a camping ground near town.  He called him and set me up.  Things were working out perfectly. 

The weather was fantastic on the ferry.  Shrimping boats and sailboats were passing by.  The sun and the moon were setting.  I got some great photos.  Two hours and 15 minutes later we arrived in Ocracoke. It was dark and hot.  Like.... real hot. 

I found this camping ground called Teeters, shoulda been called squiter's, and saw Bubby.  The campground was nasty and had no breeze and mosquitos were out in force.  Bubby was hammered and gave me a spot to park my car.  I backed it in and layed down on my mattress, ready to download some pictures and write in my blog.  No AT&T service and his WIFI didn't work.  I was dead in the water.  Verizon worked but not AT&T.  The heat got bad in my car.  It was 110 heat index that day.  I cracked my window and hundreds of blood thirsty bugs flew in.  I popped up and ran outside.  There were boy scouts hanging out by the filthy showers.  They were kayaking for some badges.  They had been there for three nights and told me to get out if I had the chance. 

I slithered into my Aztek and turned on the AC full blast.  My neck had knifing pains running though it, my mind was clouded, the night was pitch dark.  I drove down the roads looking for a room.  NO Vacancy signs were everywhere.  What would I do?  Why did I come here?.  I could be at home with my 60" high def TV, my AC, my king sized bed. 

I saw a vacancy sign.  I would have paid anything.  The women told me she had one room.  It was $125  and I gladly gave here my MasterCard.  I would have paid more.  Much more. 

I showered, changed, walked to the closest restaurant and ordered the only non-fried food, delicious, freshly caught lemon shrimp.  A girl named Brandy sat next to me.  She had a fight with here boyfriend and needed space.  She ate the fried stuff.  She was from Texas but was in the selling beds business.  We got along very nicely, and we shared the days turmoil together.  I took her photo and a short video and crawled into bed.

I slept soo deep that in the morning I didn't want to get up.  I would have stayed another day but there was no rooms available except $300 suites.  No internet and no phone service clinched the deal.

I walked through Ocracoke and took some nice photos.  It is a great place.  I will let my photos tell the story of just how cool this place is.  Come back with reservations.

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