Travel and Tourism

A world of waves

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Yesterday I drove up to the Eastern Regional Beach Access on Emerald Isle. I purposefully left around 4 PM so I would get caught in traffic on the Emerald Isle bridge.

It is just one of the things that I do to get pictures like this one which is taken from near the middle of the bridge looking East.  I also captured this one looking west across the marshes.

I think that I missed the peak of the traffic because it only really stopped twice on the bridge.  It did take almost eight or nine minutes to get through Emerald Isle.  That gets a moderately congested rating from me.  read more »


Six minutes to cross the Emerald Isle Bridge

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I have been known to stop on the Emerald Isle Bridge when there is no traffic coming and take a picture.  It drives my wife crazy.  So finding enough traffic down here that it slows to a stop on the bridge is my idea of a good thing.

In fact it was such a good idea, I went across once and got back across Highway 24 and did a U-turn and got back in line to go across again so I could take more pictures.

It might sound crazy but the view from the Cameron-Langston Bridge to Emerald Isle is one of my favorites.  Anytime I can stop even briefly and enjoy the view is a great thing.

I know all the visitors are frustrated and want to get to their destinations but really it did not very long today even at noon.  On a normal day it takes about three minutes from the stoplight at Highways 24 and 58 to the stoplight at Coast Guard Road on Emerald Isle.  Today it took me six minutes. 

So for three minutes I was able to gaze on Bogue Sound.  Actually the top of the bridge might be the only safe spot given some of the boat and personal watercraft traffic that I saw.  read more »


Spectacular Day for a Beach Walk

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One of the great advantages of living here on the Crystal Coast is that we do not have to pay attention to the weather forecast.

I am sure there are folks in Raleigh who looked at the cloudy with chance of thunderstorms forecast and decided not to come to the coast for the weekend.  Even I thought that I might be doing some rainy day chores.

About 9 AM this morning I decided the weathermen were all wrong and that the chance showers today was less than minimal.  I stuck a cooler in the back of the car and headed off towards the beach.

I made a quick stop at the automatic ice machine on Highway 58 and at a convenience store on Emerald for a cold soda.  Then I headed down the beach.

I was pleased to see that the extension of the bike trail east along Highway 58 is pretty well finished except for some minor cleanup.  According to my odometer the bike trail extends about two miles east of the town offices.  There were plenty of people out taking advantage of the new trail.  read more »


One of the great things about the Crystal Coast

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One of the things that I like the most about living along the Crystal Coast is that you can easily go get a breath of fresh mountain air if you need it.

One magical summer when I was a college student, I spent most of my summer alternating between the NC coast and the NC mountains.

I am guessing it was forty years ago this summer.  I fished the Point at Emerald Isle, camped on Ocracoke, and when I got enough sun I would fill the cooler with shrimp and flounder, then head home to Mount Airy, NC.

We would cook the shrimp as soon as I got home.  The flounder ended up being dinner the next night.  Then I would go camping down the Blue Ridge Parkway or Pisgah National Forest.

I did not need much but gas money since I kept raiding the refrigerator at home.  I still remember camping by a small lake and catching enough trout for my dinner.

While it has been several years since I camped on the shore, I still enjoy that occasional trip to the mountains.  It just makes coming home to the shore even more special.   read more »


Up the river

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I try to provide great service for my clients. So when one of them asked if I would show him and his wife some property from the river, I said yes.

However, rivers are not quite like roads, so I asked a friend of mine to ride up the river while I explored the area where my client wants to visit.  I would rather have all the surprises when I am with someone who boats with me regularly.

River Oaks Plantation is actually not far from Bluewater Cove where we live.

We go up the river and are in the general area often, but we are much more interested in finding fish than in examining the dock at another subdivision.

I checked the tides and forecast before I went to bed.  I decided we would try at around 11:30 AM on a rising tide.  I topped up the gas tank before my friend arrived and performed the other checks that we do before we leave the dock.
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A quick visit to Beaufort

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Yesterday I had a closing in Morehead City.  We needed to wait around until the deed was recorded so we decided to make a trip to Beaufort.

We had actually been in Beaufort on Monday when we showed some friends the Crystal Coast.  Since we were with friends, we deferred to what they wanted to do.  When we left Beaufort Monday afternoon, we still had a few things that we wanted to do.

The chance to come back to Beaufort was welcome. First we went for lunch at Spouter's.  Their clam chowder is wonderful, and I always enjoy having lunch with a water view.  The only problem is that I had a few spoonfuls of my chowder, and the I saw an opportunity for a neat photograph of a small sailboat.

I walked out on the outside dining deck and snapped a few photos.  When I got back to my bowl of chowder, most of it was gone.  My wife had taken advantage of me.  She really enjoyed my chowder.  What I had was exceptional.
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Heron Squabble

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It is always nice having some entertainment at breakfast.  I normally get up first, check my email, and have a couple of cups of coffee.  Usually things are pretty quiet here on our little gut which runs out to the White Oak River.

This morning was a little different.  First I noticed a great egret wading and fishing in the open water of the little swampy area in the vacant lot next to us.

A few minutes later, a blue heron showed up to challenge the white heron for the tiny pool of open water.  I have never seen herons fight for their territory.

While the birds did not actually fight, they were very aggressive towards each other.

The blue heron is a very large and impressive bird.  That did not seem to matter.  The great egret did not back down when the blue heron tried to chase him out of the water. 

The blue heron is also very skittish and camera shy, and he might have seen me taking pictures through the window, but for whatever reason, he backed up and flew away.
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