I had a weird day. I checked off a thing from someone else’s bucket list.
In Chincoteague, my surprise cohort had come directly from the Outer Banks of NC, checking off a long time desire to visit there.
Hearing that, it struck me how I’ve never been to famous Kitty Hawk; one of the few places left in this country. It’s because OBX is a little to the east, when I’m always in a hurry going north or south.
Waking up in Norfolk due to head to Raleigh Durham today, I noticed OBX was just a 2 hour diversion. And using a different path would give me a different perspective on the state of NC, showing me her coastal wetlands and eastern plain.
So oddly, today I checked off someone else’s bucket list.
The geography is temperate coastal wetlands, indiscernible from New Hampshire, New Jersey, Delaware, Chincoteage. For that matter, to my untrained eye, if you added some scrub oak and ponderosa pines, it would be the twin of the Carolinas, south Georgia and half of my own Florida as well.
Today was a chilly day, so no warm musty swampy feel; and the trees gave off a more northern, woodsy aroma. But without labels or GPS tags the pictures I took would be indistinguishable (to me) from the dozens and dozens I have taken, over the years, up and down the east coast.
The green highway sign directing to “Roanoke: America’s first settlement” pointed directly to a some medical suites sitting in front of a blah subdivision. I presume the tent footings, dioramas, and week-end costumed reenactors were a couple miles down the road.
To my (unpleasant) surprise, there was a tremendous amount of ugly new construction; repetitive and right down to the beach. More so, all of it marked with rental unit Internet id#s, for easy lookup and reservation.
In an area touting Trump, freedom from government intervention and the immorality of “spending other people’s money”, all this construction is speculative, income generating, and predicated by the federal flood insurance program, regularly wiped out and replenished by taxes.
Furthermore, it looks like a single individual, or single consortium owns them all, so furthering the imbalance of wealth. But mostly these seaside units are unnatural, and ugly, and put a strain on the natural environment that will be taken back; by hurricane, flood, or erosion. So why build them at all?
And here’s a picture of the obelisk honoring “first in flight”; the NC state motto, shot from the shoulder of the highway, for which I barely slowed down to snap.
Of course that “two hour diversion” dragged out to four, then six, with pictures and lunch and googling. I finally arrived in Raleigh at 8pm, long after dark.
And her comment in Chincoteague was: “I just came from OBX, checked it off my bucket list, but it really wasn’t worth it”. Truer words were never spoken.