Harker’s Island – everything happens for a reason

sunsetsigns

I’m starting to think my travel posts sound more like a series of unfortunate events than a travel blog lol. Either way, I will continue to share my experiences with you all. Let me start off by saying that we already knew and had been warned by several people that this weekend would not be a good one for a beach trip. But did we listen? Do we ever?

After a 3-hour drive, we reached the visitation center at Harker’s Island, which is where we planned to board the Ferry to get to Cape Lookout. The place was really nice and had a lot of informative displays about the area and the light house. They even had binoculars set up so that you could actually view the light house from inside, across the water.

lookout

We arrived a little later than expected, and had already missed the Ferry rides to the island for the day. Although the lady at the counter informed us that we may have lucked out. The Ferry driver had actually scheduled an extra trip for that evening, and we may be able to flag him down and ask to join the ride. The guy was super nice and helpful, but the unfortunate news, however, was that because of high winds, the Ferry would not be running on Sunday. So unless we stayed an extra day (and missed work) there was no way to make this happen.

So what now? We are 3 hours from home with a car full of camping supplies, determined to find an adventure… and a place to sleep, of course. Thankfully the rangers at the visitation office were very helpful and encouraging. They brought out the ol’ phone book and gave us a few options (“these may be open .. but are probably closed for the winter”)

harkersisland

The first place they mentioned (the closest one) was a privately owned marina on the sound, just down the street. The rangers had already warned us that we may have to do some bargaining wherever we went. When we pulled up, it was a couple of small houses with homemade signs for “office” “bathroom” and “parking.” We entered the building labeled office, which had a small sign on the door “ring doorbell or yell for Rose.” So naturally, my boyfriend opens the door and yells “Mrs. Rose?! Hello !!?” and we hear a faint voice from the back “just a minute!”

The CUTEST elderly woman comes out to greet us, and had no problem with us setting up in her yard. She had a few spots marked for tent, with electric poles. She and her husband also recommended that we set up between the camper (that was parked with a deck built around it) and the fence (which had some trees and stuff grown up around it) to block some of the wind – since we were expecting 20 mph winds overnight.

tent-pano

There was no running water, but there was a small bathroom with a bucket of water Rose left for us to manually flush. She also gave us a small heater to have in the tent – which turned out to actually be a fan lol (thanks anyways). We really were fortunate to be welcomed at the first place we tried — and to meet such welcoming people, at such a nice location, right by the water.

yard

Honestly – Thank God that the whole Ferry thing didn’t work out! There’s no way that our stakes would have been long enough to hold down the tent in the soft beach sand, especially under those types of wind conditions (even though we bought new/longer ones for the occasion). Plus Rose’s place was perfect for watching the sunset!!

sunset

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So long story short- about the night. I waited waaayy too late to bundle up, and ended up getting sick, probably because I had mild hypothermia. Kidding. But seriously, I was dumb for not putting more clothes on until AFTER I was already freezing.

tentview.jpg

Another good “everything happens for a reason” moment that I must mention – the fire! So Rose’s Marina didn’t actually have fire rings, but we still needed a fire. So we set up our logs on the grass and of course I pointed out that it was a bad idea, so we found a piece of wood to set it on (wow .. as if that was any better). It was very windy, as I mentioned before, so that already makes it hard to start a fire, but we found a gas can. YES! Start pouring it all over the logs and adding greenery to help it catch. Nothing is working! Eventually we realize that it wasn’t gas after all and we had poured water (or whatever that was) ALL OVER the firewood. Great.

We then decided to go find a store and get some charcoal for the grill we found. Which ended in us getting lighter fluid, a pizza to cook on the grill, and a few other unnecessary things. But we did end up putting the wood inside of the grill and getting a fire in there after we cooked, which was a way better idea than starting a fire on the grass and burning Rose’s whole yard and marina down.

grilled-food     grillfire.jpg

On Sunday we planned to pack up all of things and find a beach to hangout for the day, until sunset. Atlantic beach wasn’t far and I am familiar with that area, so that seemed appropriate. We got lunch at a Japanese buffet that was SO GOOD (Tsunami Buffet) – only because we saw the huge billboard and it was tempting. Great idea, they had everything! I even snuck out an ice cream cone, which led to me being attacked by birds on the beach, trying to be a fatass.food

Unfortunately, we couldn’t hang til sunset. It was FREEZING, and extremely windy. Even though I had on most of the clothes in my bag – and a scarf around our faces (I learned my lesson the night before.) It was still nice to see the ocean, even for the short time. It was, however, a perfect day for kite surfing, so we got a nice show during our time there.

cold      kite surf.jpg

I’m definitely ready for spring and nicer weather, so taking trips will be easier and more enjoyable. I am grateful for all of the adventures though, no matter the weather. It’s all a learning experience, and by then I’ll be a pro :p

what beaches do you like to camp at/on?

Haley

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