Wednesday, October 11, 2017

September 20th: Off to the OBX!

Mark and I had a week off in September, and while most of our recent vacations have been overseas somewhere, this time we decided to slow down and stay a bit more local. We've wanted to take the dogs to a beach for a while, so we figured it would be fun to go spend some time in the Outer Banks. We booked rental houses in two different towns, packed our bags, and...had to wait to leave because Hurricane Jose was just offshore and the main road down the Outer Banks (NC 12) was flooded and closed. Oops.

The road did open up again a bit later that day, and Mark left just a few hours later than he had originally planned. I really wanted to fly down, so I decided to wait until the next day when the weather would be a bit better. I said goodbye to Mark and the dogs, and a little while later, Zach got to our house. He was going to be coming to NC with us, so we hung out for the rest of the day before heading to bed so we could get an early start the next morning.

The alarm went off fairly early the next day, I grabbed some breakfast, got Zach on his way (he was driving himself down), wrapped up the house, and headed over to the airport. Finally, time for vacation!

Maybe it's a good thing I was flying down by myself; with all of the random odds and ends I was bringing down in the plane, there was barely room for another person!

The weather was much better with the hurricane further offshore, and it was a nice smooth ride at 2500'.

Even better, I had a huge tailwind from the hurricane! I held a 20+ knot tailwind almost the entire time.

It didn't take very long to get down to NC with winds like that. This was right near the VA/NC border; there really isn't much down there when you're a little bit inland.

I made a quick stop at Currituck (ONX) to top off, since there isn't any fuel available at some of the smaller airports in the Outer Banks. I was in and out in less than half an hour, and aside from a random C182 that came in and made a VERY ugly landing, I was the only one flying around.

The flight gets a lot more scenic the further south you fly. I flew past First Flight (FFA), where the Wright Brothers first flew; I still need to actually land there someday.

I kept following the coast south; it was a really pretty flight. This is Oregon Inlet; some of the worst flooding on the road was just south of there. I looked down at one point and could see cars throwing up huge plumes of water as they drove along the parts of the road that were still a bit flooded.

It was neat to fly over the small towns along the way.

Ta da! On the ground at Billy Mitchell (HSE) on Hatteras Island, after a nice long straight in approach and a sweet landing. It only took 2.5 hours of flight time, even with the stop for fuel. I texted Mark to come pick me up, unpacked and tied down the plane, grabbed the stamp for my NC airport passport book (my first one for the state!), and waved goodbye to my plane for a couple days. It only took a few minutes to drive to the rental house, which was less than a mile from the airport. Not bad for only being 1pm; there was still plenty of day left!

After the crazy morning of organizing and packing and flying, this sandwich hit the spot. It was nice to just sit for a few minutes.

I made sure to say hi to the doggies, too; they seemed right at home. Zach got to the house a little while after I got settled in, so we showed him around and got him all set up, then...

...took the doggies for a walk on the beach.  :)

It was pretty funny to see them walking along and getting splashed by some of the smaller waves. We took them pretty far down the beach; they were pretty popular with some of the other people. (There was only a little barking.)

We eventually wandered back to the house. Turns out wandering all over the beach is a really good way to tire out the doggies. We hung out at the house for a while, then drove down to the store to pick up some random stuff and grabbed a couple pizzas on the way back.

The sunset was pretty; you can see a little bit of the Pamlico Sound on the far right side of the picture.

It was pretty nice to have a lazy day to just hang out. Wembles was STILL tired out, which was pretty impressive since she usually takes a quick nap and is instantly fully charged.

Mark and I ended the night with a little Yahtzee. Not a bad roll!   :)

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