I was looking for a particular set of headphones. They only had them in one store in Richmond, Virginia, so I took of in pursuit of my prize, isolation at minus twenty-nine decibels.
At some point I got on the phone with my Mom, and I was driving at the same time — using hands free mode, of course — when I went to get back to 95 North to head home to Bean Town, but I’m from The West Coast, so generally when you get on the highway there you head East, or you’re headed right to the ocean. Not thinking, I headed east, but didn’t realize I had gone the wrong way until I saw a sign that said Virginia Beach 52 Miles.
Instead of turning around, which would have been a six hour drive, I decided to just go with it and consider it an adventure. But when I got close to VB, I saw a sign that said, Outer Banks, so I decided to keep driving until I reached the legendary OBX, of bumper sticker fame. I passed through Kill Devil Hills, made it to Outer Banks, but when I got there it was around 5 a.m. and still dark out.
I looked the map and saw that the road extended another fifty miles south so I kept driving. After stopping for a very late dinner, I finally arrived at the end of the peninsula, only to find a ferry port at Hatteras Inlet, where I could take my car out on the ocean and go to a place called Okracoke Island.
It was the first time I have ever been on a large boat before, in a salt water body. I stood at the front of the boat letting the spray from the crashing waves drench me. I noted that pretty much everyone else on the boat seemed to be looking at me, wondering, “What the hell is that guy doing.” To me, I was on a water ride at the theme park and having the time of my life.
When we arrived at Okrocoke I was greeted with an island paradise, a ten mile stretch of road surround by ocean, and then the tiny village of Okcracoke, a place filled with amazing restaurants, bistros, and coffee shops. The entire place, no matter where you looked, appeared to be a perfect image for a post card.
I spent the day there, trekking around, and spent the most time checking out the Okracoke Lighthouse, and then I caught a second ferry back to the mainland, a two and half hour boat ride that was just about the most relaxing thing I’d done in a long time.