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2021 Spring in South East

  • While on a work stint in eastern North Carolina and having not started our seasonal travel yet, we play tourist and visit USS North Carolina, a WW2 Battleship. Tanya says she had the best tour guide! :) I was telling her what all the things are as we walk the ship (if you did not know, I served 22 years in the Navy). There were very few people on the ship and we were able to take al the time we wanted to check out every part of it.

    Tanya likes potatoes and this is a potato peeler. Can you imagine how many potatoes a crew of 2,000 would eat?

    A lot of years spent down in these engine rooms.



    Another weekend free, we went to Kitty Hawk, NC to play tourist. Taking two-lane roads all the way is our favorite way to travel. Along the way we stop at “Mel’s Diner” in Jarvisburg, NC. A wonderfully decorated stainless steel diner, and another customer (us and one other were the only ones there because the diner just opened) mentioned to the waitress that she had just ordered another set of bees. Curious, I started a conversation with her, and we learned so much about bees.

    Bees “talk” to each other, you can hear a hive humming and it changes sound as they either get worked up over something or are busy working on pollen, babies, honey management. Like human households and neighborhoods! Each hive has its own queen, and those queens are not friendly toward each other and will kill another if they have the opportunity. This lady really came alive while sharing her knowledge, for this is her hobby, and her voice changed as she described different events. I asked her what was the most memorable experience with her bees, and she told us a story that was quite entertaining. Her husband was checking the hive one day and, having early Alzheimer’s, took many of the frames out of the hive instead of one at a time. The wife told him about it, and he began replacing the frames. Suddenly, they heard a sound, like a person in their death throes – a high pitch scream slowly tapering off! They had killed the queen! She said the entire hive suddenly went silent and stayed silent for the whole day.
    There is so much information about bees’ personalities, living and feeding habits. Some bees create their hives in a very organized manner, and some are so haphazard that , when you pull the frames out to check on how they are doing you can see this - layers of babies together or scattered throughout the frames, same with honey or pollen. You see different colors based upon the plants they are getting their nectar or pollen from.

    I commented that our lifestyle would not be conducive to bees and her response was that when we stop, the bees would fly straight up and mull around to get their bearings and mark the location of their hive, the scouts would then fly off 3-5 miles to find food for the hive, then the hunters would go out to collect food. Hmmm, I wonder how that would be received in a campground?? We also learned that bees would fly up and touch you on the face to warn you that you are close enough to the hive. If you continue your approach, you would definitely be stung. They do recognize people, so after getting to know they would “allow” you to go right up to the hive and pull the frames out. I remembered once I asked my dentist how I could make the Blog better and she suggested for more stories about the people we meet. This person was truly an interesting individual and we enjoyed talking with her.

    Traveling on Hatterras National Seashore there are sand dunes alongside the road and often there are parking areas so you can access the beach. A few spots allow OHV to drive on the beach with a permit of course. We stopped at Hatteras lighthouse and the lighthouse itself was closed for off season, we inquired and they did confirm that last year the light house was closed due to Covid19. The tour through Wright Brothers Museum showed how “thinking outside the box” can lead to innovative ideas and have a major impact.


    The National Park Ranger noticed my Route 66 hat and began a chat about different parts of Route 66. She had lived many years in the southwest and loved traveling on Route 66. Also when she was young she remembers her parents having an Airstream trailer and the trip on Route 66 for a teenager meant burgers and fries in the middle of the night!
    There is a free Ferry over to Oracoke Island the end of the road. Tanya is so excited about the ferry ride! This is the largest boat she has ever been on!

    Tom is having a good time too, he made soup and had lunch during the ferry ride. Wow, we love traveling this way!

    SO, we have traveled the entire Cape Hatteras Shoreline, meeting interesting people, seeing interesting things along the way. Even during working stints, we are able to find interesting things to see and do.

    For the overnight stay, we were lucky enough to find a boat ramp that did not have “no overnight” posted, so we stayed the night there. Nice quiet part of town, birds singing in the morning woke me up ?. Breakfast where Yelp said “locals dine” was interesting, food was so-so, but the atmosphere was interesting. Local men talking about fishing was the topic of the day.

    Theatre for “The Lost Colony” was not open for the season yet, so we toured a National Historical Site – Fort Raleigh. Very interesting displays covering the history of the expedition to the Americas. Artifacts and displays were well done, well worth the visit. Another nearby local attraction was Festival Park. It was closed during our visit and we did not get to see it. It is reputed to have shipbuilding displays.

    As we are driving back to the working world, the GPS locates “Tallest replica of the tallest Lighthouse and metal figures of sea creatures”. Quick drive by is all that’s needed for these. Once again, we are refreshed from our travels and look forward to the season’s travels out west. We plan to connect with my brother and tour National Parks along the northern US.

    Work ends in North Carolina, and before leaving we get our 2nd Covid vaccine!!!!!! Yes, we are so happy!!!!! Perfect timing, for we are headed to the Rialta Pre Rally at Fort Pickens, FL! The thought was to begin travel on Thursday after getting the vaccine in the morning, but the location we were getting out shots at was only open on Friday that week. This results in our leaving a day later than planned - which means we drove 500 miles in one day of a two day trip of 800 miles…. UGH WAY TOO MUCH.

    Ft Pickens, Florida. Tanya, Tom, and our friend Pat go for a walk on the beach – oh so nice to feel the warm ocean air, sand between your toes, watch dolphins feeding near the shore. We also spent time catching up with friends from past rallies and we are happy again! This is our element!

    Tanya stayed the week at Ft Pickens and Tom flew to Casper, WY (work through April). Tanya was able to see the Navy Blue Angels practice flying over the water next to Pensacola Naval Air Station. WOW, WOW, WOW!!! She says it is absolutely worth making a trip to Ft Pickens just to see the Blue Angels, in addition to enjoying the site itself and the beach.

    Tom arrived on Friday at the airport, and we drove over to Foley, AL to attend the Spring Rialta RV Rally! Catching up with more old friends, making new friends, we had a wonderful time. The Rally was canceled last year due to Covid-19 so that made this year very special, for we have not seen friends in 2 years!

    For both of those 2 weeks Tanya had to work and only had a short time each evening to visit with friends. Tom of course only had weekends to visit but it was worth every minute! Did I mention new friends? There is always a turnover in RV ownership and friends come and go, so it’s especially nice to have friends that formerly had the same RV type and continue to come to the Rally to visit with friends.

    Tom has work until the end of the month before starting our annual RV travels across the US, and Tanya will be able to do her first SOLO RV trip to meet up with Tom in Casper, WY. Following the Rally, she headed out for her solo trip. When she called me the first night of the trip, she was so excited that she did all of the functions to travel, break camp, locate a place to stay, break camp in the morning and head on down the road.

    Of course, she has done all these things before, but I have always been with her and she would only have to ask and I help out. This is the first time completely on her own to do every step of the RV travel! WAY TO GO HONEY, GREAT JOB!

    On the 2nd day, Tanya stops in South Carolina to visit my son, then a long hard trip to DC, 500 miles in a day is just too much. Taking care of some errands - and she is off across country to pick me up!