2008 Keys 2 Canada travel blog

flooding on Highway 12

bridge over Oregon Inlet

turtle nest at the Visitor Center

Canada Goose with babies

mom and dad on guard

red winged blackbird - with a white throat patch

entrance to the nature walk

turtles hauled out on the bank

turtle posing for Madolyn

a beautiful speciman

and look at that paint job!

these guys just posed . .

and posed . .

and posed

windblown trees

make stirring abstracts

and frame our baby waiting patiently in the parking lot

depth gauge

another red wing


a passing egret

little blue heron

keeping one eye on us as he sneaks up on a fish

Canada geese


the nature walk

the ponds

view from the observation tower

top of the tower - looking east toward the Atlantic

and west toward Pamlico Sound

still crazy after all these years

charter boat catch

not beautiful in death

but in life they were something to see

and all these boats do this every day

from our campsite we can see Bodie Island Lighthouse

our home in the dunes

this way to the beach

the campground looking west toward the sound

sand paintings

the everpresent sanderlings

looking for dinner

Movie Clips - Playback Requirements - Problems?

(MP4 - 1.47 MB)

Goose and Goslings

(MP4 - 983 K)

One Turtle

(MP4 - 2.25 MB)

Two Turtles

(MP4 - 835 K)

Two More Turtles

(MP4 - 2.21 MB)

A Bunch of Turtles

(MP4 - 1.84 MB)

Little Blue Heron

(MP4 - 1.13 MB)

Snow Geese Flying

Pea Island Wildlife Refuge and Oregon Inlet - Friday, May 16

Check out time at Ocean Waves is 11:30. We spent the morning doing on-line chores, then checked out right on the dot. We never know when we’ll get WiFi again.

From Waves we drove to Rodanthe to fill our propane tank, then continued north on Highway 12 toward the end of the island. We came to the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge and were tempted to stop, but it being Friday we wanted to get a campsite secured before we went sightseeing.

Immediately past the Wildlife Refuge there was a “High Water” sign, and just past the sign we came to more flooding on the road. The road here is not exposed to the sound, and there hadn’t been enough rain to cause flooding, so the source was a mystery until a woman at the Visitor Center later told us she thinks it is a form of ground water that seeps in under the dunes. Another subtle sign of how tenuous and fragile these islands are.

We drove slowly through several ponds and finally came to Oregon Inlet - the channel that separates Hatteras Island from the mainland. Oregon Inlet is named for the first ship that traversed it after a hurricane opened it years ago. The National Park Service has a nice campground just north of the inlet, and we found another nice site just over the dunes from the ocean. What will we do when we leave the coast and don’t have the surf to lull us to sleep at night?

Once we had the space nailed down we headed back to Pea Island. It took us an hour and a half to walk the half mile to their observation tower and back. On the way we saw Canada geese with their babies, red winged blackbirds, turtles, egrets, cardinals and an elegant bird we decided must be a little blue heron. Visiting wildlife refuges has become a favorite activity when we’re on the road, and Pea Island was no disappointment.

Just north of Oregon Inlet there’s a marina, and a sign that says ‘Fishing Center’. We turned in, hoping to find some fresh fish for dinner, but it turned out to be a charter fishing marina and not a commercial one. The boats had just come in and there were lots of fish - but none for sale.

We scored some NASCAR ice cream bars in the bait shop and while we ate them we watched a couple of the charter boats unload their fish. All were dolphin fish - big, beautiful yellow and blue fish with high foreheads. In California they’re called Dorado. Seeing them lying there like so much cord wood I couldn’t help thinking of California and the Cordell Banks - how greed and stupidity have ruined this rich sea nursery and closed the bottom fishing there for the next eighty years! If I was a betting man I’d say this place is destined for the same ending.

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