Before our final stretch of driving for this leg of the trip, we enjoyed a hearty breakfast at Cracker Barrel in Staunton, VA. After breakfast we made our way to the Walmart nearby to pick up our groceries (see yesterday’s post) and then headed off. Talk about efficiency…groceries straight from the store into the fridge and pantry. For anyone who has used this service before you likely know they ask you to let them know which pick up spot you are parked in. There wasn’t any option for “all of them” but our big rig was hard to miss so they found us just fine!
We were initially worried about boondocking in June because of the heat, but the weather held out in our favor. The camper was a bit warmer than we’d like since we couldn’t run the A/C but it wasn’t too bad. The Cracker Barrel lot was clean, lit and flat so we really couldn’t ask for better. We slept pretty well – until around 11:30pm when Nick and I woke to quite possibly the loudest train I have EVER heard in my life. Had we realized there was a track down in the valley immediately next to us, we might not have been so startled, but we had no clue! What was even more shocking than the train itself is that neither one of the boys even flinched and remained asleep the entire night. After the initial shock we were able to return to an otherwise uneventful night’s sleep.
Flash forward a few hours…here are our “fresh” faces getting ready to begin today’s travel.
Despite what my hat says, we definitely aren’t in Indiana anymore. Today we covered 317 miles in about 7 hrs. Our pace was much slower than yesterday since we traveled through more populated areas and left the interstate for the last few hours of our trip.
So where are we? We are about half way down the Outer Banks in NC. This place is a first for all of us and the first visit to the ocean for the boys. We first told them yesterday that we were going to see the ocean so the destination for this trip was a surprise to them.
Below is a picture from part of our drive down NC-12 on Pea Island. The Atlantic Ocean is on the left just over the dune and the Sound is just over that grassy dune on the right.
It is really wild to be camping this close to the ocean. After dinner we took the boys to see the ocean for the first time and hung out a little while. They loved it! The waves. The salt water. The sea shells. It was getting late so we didn’t get any pictures at the beach today but we will before we leave.
The skyline is so dark here once the sun sets. Since the island is so narrow there isn’t a lot of opportunity for city lights to cloud the sky. Tonight is pretty clear with a decent amount of stars. Nick took this picture of the campground. Despite it being completely full, it’s pretty quiet and fairly dark as well.
Another first for us today was driving in a tunnel under the ocean. Interstate 64 near Hampton, NC on the way to Norfolk, NC crosses a body of water using a combination of a bridge and a tunnel. The boys (including Nick – haha) were really excited. Ok I was excited too. It was a neat experience. It’s hard to tell much in the video but we did capture our trip through the tunnel and you can hear the boys’ reactions.
In the last two days, we added three new states (West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina) for us as a family of four. On the map below the states colored green represent states we have all four visited. Purple is three of us. Orange is two of us. Red is one of us.
The weather is unbelievable. As I’m finishing this post, it is 81 degrees with clear skies and a constant breeze. Although it was humid earlier today, it isn’t anymore and almost feels chilly with the wind. And with that I’m going to log off and enjoy the rest of this beautiful evening. Good night.