April seems like a long time ago now. I write this entry after a very busy few weeks of travel that saw us visit Seattle and Dallas for Linux conferences. At both of these I gave a talk on Home Automation using Linux, more to come on this topic. An exciting new project is in the works that I can't yet reveal the details of. In fact, right now I'm on a plane bound for Las Vegas with my sister about to embark on yet another epic road trip! How did I get to live such an amazing life?
Anyway, back to Mum's visit. Pleasingly both Archie and Cat were able to come with us for part 2! As you might have read in part 1 the mountains were now behind us and we set our sights on a weekend at the world famous North Carolinan Outer Banks. Spring was well and truly springing and we'd entered what the locals affectionately call 'pollen' season. It was my first experience of it and I must say it was quite something.
As we stepped once again out of the Raleigh bubble whilst ordering dinner we were quizzed "you folks aren' from round here are ya?". Truly NC is a different place to the Triangle. We arrived to our accommodation late after work around 11pm and settled down for the evening. We chose Kill Devil Hills for this trip home of the Wright Brothers memorial.
It's a pretty fun little bucket list item to visit this place which is the location of the first flight.
A recently renovated visitors centre included some pictures of the area before it was the (over) developed holiday destination it is today. Nothing but dunes for miles. It certainly isn't that today!
Our Airbnb was only a few hundred feet from the beach where Archie could let his ears down for a while and chase waves like a lunatic. And birds. Birds are fun.
Our afternoon consisted of a trip North in an attempt to go and see the wild horses that frequent this part of the coastline. They are supposedly Spanish stallions marooned from shipwrecks over the last few centuries that have taken up residence. I wonder if they filled out the right immigration paperwork!? Unfortunately I hadn't realised to get close to them I'd need a 4x4 as part of the road is literally the beach. So next time we'll have to come back a more suitable set of wheels!!
We therefore turned South and spent a lovely half hour or so wandering around a park by one of the many magnificent Lighthouses along the coast at Corolla. Dinner was a short walk from our Airbnb where the remainder of the evening was used to relax and play board games. In order to lubricate the evening we stocked up at a drive through convenience store!
The next day we planned to head South all the way down the thin strip of land that forms the outer banks, take a ferry (or two) to Ocracoke Island before heading home.
We didn't quite make it that far, stopping at Cape Hatteras.
But we did end up instead having time to stop and watch the Pelicans off the coast scooting along the tips of the waves just above the Dolphins. I flew the drone around and chased a ferry, that was fun. But the Pelicans really were something to behold diving into the water at break neck speed. Fantastic.
This part of the coast is littered with lighthouses. They're all painted differently so that sailors can navigate by their pattern. Thought that was pretty neat!
And sadly that was the end of that. We headed back over the magnificent bridges linking the outer banks to the mainland and before we knew it we were dropping Mum off at the airport to go home.
It was a fantastic trip, both parts 1 and 2. We drove almost 2000 miles in a little over a week and it was the sort of trip you find yourself constantly referring back to weeks / months later. I'm sure there'll be more in the future, but I think we've pretty much covered North Carolina! Coast to mountains indeed.