Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fording our Way to a Sharp Weekend


We have this thing about getting safely off Hatteras Island in November. The last time we were here it was a ferry ride with high winds and waves and this time we awoke on our departure day to a coastal flood warning that Highway 12, the only road, could be under water at several places. The first few miles were fine but at the north end of Rodanthe, where the house from the movie used to be, we encountered the first over wash. This was mainly a lot of sand and just a bit of ocean "salt" water, but still very passable. The sheriff there told us that the water was deeper on Pea Island at the "S" turn near the Bonner Bridge but the road was still open. We felt we were committed at this point so we pressed on with the next few miles being high and dry even though we could see several spots were the waves had destroyed the dune and water was rolling through on to the ground along the road. With the bridge in sight we came upon a long stretch of road totally under water. It was shallow enough that we could see the lines to guide us so we did not get into the soft sand on the shoulders. Around another bend we encountered a break in the dune with sand and sea water pouring across the road and one car stuck in the sand with its occupants standing on high ground. Oh well, no turning around now, so we pushed on into deeper water. At least there was a car in front of us so when the lines disappeared we had someone to follow and hope they did not get stuck. All this was three hours before high tide so we knew the water would be getting deeper. Where the road reappeared a park service truck was making all south bound traffic turn around so we were the last vehicle to get through. We were very relieved, but knew we had to get the salt water washed off the rig and car. Fortunately, the rest area on route 64 on Roanoke Island had a dump station so we hooked up the hose and sprayed the salt water off. I am writing this in Myrtle Beach where we gave both vehicles a very thorough scrubbing.
This is the road in Rodanthe. Top right is a wave breaking above the dune. Top left is a break in the dune where the house from the movie, Nights in Rodanthe, used to be. There were waves breaking under several houses along this stretch.
Here we are fording through the water on the north end of Pea Island. This was a little scary, but at least the road was straight here and I could see the lines on the road.
This is the ocean pouring across the road. The car on the left is off the road and stuck in the soft sand. A back hoe was coming to its rescue. The car on the right was the one we slowly followed through the flooded area.
Here is were the south bound traffic was being turned around. We were really happy to be done with this adventure.
Our destination when we left Hatteras was to spend the weekend with Brian & Lori Sharp and their two sons. We watched Brian grow up in WashPA and were here three years ago when we helped them move into their new home. This time we parked in the driveway and had a couple of great relaxing days catching up with what has been going on in their lives. On Saturday we took the ferry to have lunch in Oriental, the sailing capital of North Carolina. We had a wonderful visit and were very happy to be able to spend some time with Brian and Lori and their family.
Andrew and Benjamin. Andrew was only six months old on our last visit and Ben had not been born. They are great kids who just go and go and go.

The Sharps, Brian, Lori, Andrew and Benjamin along with little "Earl" (Grandpap Sharp's chosen nickname) due early next year.


Brian Sharp said...

What a handsome family that is!!!

It was great seeing you guys again and we really enjoyed your visit. The boys are still talking about the air horn! Stay warm...

Doing It On the Road(Part II) said...

What a scary post! Was it high tide when you drove through?