Joan Randall a Woodstock resident set out on a journey to “Discover America” she has agreed to share her stories with the readers of the Vermont Standard. These are her stories.
Blog #6 –
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Last night I camped for the first time in 30 years. That was quite the adventure! A two-person tent is really not a two-person tent. I should have realized this when I went to buy an air mattress and a double was too large for the tent. Bode took one look at the tent and gave me an expression that surely implied I lost my mind. We spent the first six nights of our journey in comfort and now I am asking him to squeeze into this little pup tent. Hmm, now I know why they were nicknamed “pup tents”. Well Bode is no fool. He went straight for the end of the air mattress and not the back corner where I had wedged in his dog bed. Bode took up 1/3rd of the space. I was feeling guilty at this point in the journey since Bode had not run free since arriving in the Outer Banks where they have strict leash laws. You can’t have a dog chasing shore birds and that is exactly what he would do. Bode would run himself into an exhausted state of a drunken fool thinking this time he will get lucky and catch a bird. We all should have half that determination in life. So he won out and I squeezed myself into the remaining tight quarters listening to the howling winds and the waves crashing on the beach. Even I was questioning my sanity at this point!
The ocean was just a short walk over the dunes from the tent site. The early morning light was amazing on the dunes. How could I have forgotten my camera!
Not a soul was in sight for miles upon miles of beach. Bode kept looking back at me, trying to figure out what he had done wrong that I would not allow him to run free. The look got the best of me, so I decided to take my chances and let him have some fun. He was one happy pup, soaked by the waves and high from running free. He had a smile so bright, I was proud of myself for taking this chance. After he tired himself out we headed back to camp to pay for our site. The woman at the desk reported that there were predictions of severe thunderstorms coming in over night and to make sure I take precautions. Later back at the camp I approached a maintenance crew to ask about the impending storm. The man who appeared in charge spoke for the crew and at the end of our conversation he looked over at my site and stated it was the first to be flooded out. I will never know why it took him so long to state that fact. That was all he needed to say to change my mind. As he spoke those words I had visions of the rain coming through the tent in the middle of the night. So much to Bode’s delight our camping was shortened to a mere 24 hours.
After organizing the Jeep and miraculously fitting everything in, we were off to find a safe port for the evening. There was a striking Inn overlooking the harbor called the Anchorage Inn. I was sure it would be well over budget, but decided to take a chance and ask what the nightly charge was and more importantly whether they were dog friendly. The owner was extremely pleasant and he loved dogs. He quoted us a great rate and that was all I needed to hear. We checked in and the room was comfy, on ground level and only two doors down from the main office. Bode was thrilled, he was able to be off leash at the Inn and acted as the ambassador greeting the arriving guests. Bode soon discovered that every time he visited the office a treat was in the offering. This journey may come close to dog heaven.
It was mid-afternoon and my stomach was telling me I had not eaten for a while. I asked the owner of the Inn if there was a spot where Bode could accompany me for lunch. Without hesitation he told me of a restaurant named Dajio, which is within walking distance. We were seated at a lovely outdoor patio, surrounded by lush plantings. Soon Bode was a star amongst all the dining guests and he was off leash going table to table soaking in all the attention and love that was offered his way. The owner, Doug, was the chef, and he came out to chat for a bit. His wife’s family lives in Orange, Vermont and they were well aware of the snowy, relentless winter we had this year. Doug said that the weather just turned warm two days ago on the island. They too had been having a cold spring. It was hard for me to believe this since it was in the mid 80’s and my third beautiful day on the Outer Banks.
After the delicious lunch, we sent out to explore Ocracoke Village on foot. It is a lovely, quaint village and the locals are very protective of keeping it that way. We toured the lighthouse and strolled the back roads before heading back to the Inn. We had an invitation to join Joe and Archer on board Ciel Bleu for dinner this evening. It was Joe’s turn to cook and Jambalaya was on the menu. More “war stories” were told; a lot of great laughs and then the rain began, well only for five minutes. We took that as a sign we should get going before the real storm arrived, but later learned those storms rarely materialize on the island.
All Bode’s Well.