So while we were staying in Buxton on the Outer Banks in North Carolina we happened to make the acquaintance of Liz Browning Fox. She was kind enough to let us both record some station identifier spots for Radio Hatteras. This was an incredible thrill, I’m going to assume that when I return to Hatteras I’m going to open my mouth at the local supermarket and someone will say, ‘I feel like I’ve heard you’re voice before.’ I’m going to be a true island celebrity. Have a listen, it’s worth it:
I also sat down with Liz and talked to her about living on the island. I also had a bunch of photos to go along with all this but my camera ate them, don’t ask, it’s still distressing. I hate technology but I love talking to people. Here it is:
Now it feels like a surfing trip and it’s good. Chasing waves is probably the motivation for this whole damn trip, so I guess we’re doing it right, right? Well, it’s also hard work. Moving most days, the endless packing and setting up, never having anything booked accommodation-wise means we can be free but we also spend a lot of time looking at our phones wondering where we can sleep.
We drove around looking for waves but came up with nothing. It is incredibly time consuming looking for waves, we make a decision to only look for waves in places we expect them to be, good plan. Myrtle Beach was a fairly obnoxious place, we drove a long highway that shadowed the ocean and marked our progress by the occasional reappearance of a WINGS beachwear store. I have no idea how this store is so popular. Click the audio below for more insights into this strange area of the Atlantic coast.
Passing through town we spend a little time inside the amazing home of Gaye-Adair, southern belle extraordinaire.
We arrived in Buxton a day early, seemingly we couldn’t wait to get our stationary week underway. A storm was a’coming and on the Outer Banks that means waves. First a dispatch as we arrive on the Outer Banks, not having realized quite how large the islands are.
Our first night at the Frisco Campgrounds, a truly exceptional place to spend the evening. We spot a UFO, for reals.
And…. we live in a house again. Although it’s tough to settle in after being on the road for a bunch of time.
Life on a sandbar. Buxton is our kind of place, people are so keen to surf. I feel like to chill has returned. Listen to the audio below and I’ll tell you all about it.
The weather! The weather! It really did rain an incredible amount.
Here the trip’s focus turns from seeing things to seeing people. In the planning for North Carolina I harbored a secret hope that I would simply fall in love and never want to leave. It has everything that’d I’d want in a place, in theory: trees, mountains, good people, interesting jobs, surfing, and excellent food. It doesn’t disappoint. We camped out in our friends Zac and Dana’s driveway. Another friend, Emily, just “happened” to be in town at the same time. We stayed for three nights and each extra night only made leaving all the more difficult.
Zac runs a design studio by the name of Fehlo, I encourage you to drop by and give it a look. He accepted the risk of having me roam around his shop to produce the highest quality handplane I’ve made yet. Tools maketh the man.
Brevard, North Carolina
Jo-Roxy had developed a borderline obsession with Brevard. It was rumored that Steve Martin lived nearby and I think it was this piece of information that piqued her interest. The town itself was charming in a mountain-town way, but otherwise mostly unremarkable. But you don’t move to the mountains for town, you move for trees and solitude. We found ours at Cascade Lakes Campground where we posted up for two nights. I think the photos tell the story. It was a truly magical time.
Charleston, South Carolina
Arriving at Charleston we had officially driven across the country. From the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic. But first we had to deal with some rudeness at James County Park.
We finally make it from one side to the other. GOOD FOR US.
After this point, we turn our attention to the north and head toward NYC.
The middle of America, the kinda lower middle. Think beef rather than corn. This was the part of our driving journey across America that we didn’t have all that much to look forward to, driving through was simply something that had to be done.
What becomes interesting is when you don’t have any plans or expectations that frees you up to search around, talk to locals and find the things that interest you.
Taos, New Mexico
I had visited Santa Fe previously and knew that I loved Northern New Mexico, but Taos still found a way to blow my mind. If you took all the high desert of Joshua Tree and replaced all the hippies with cowboys, you’d be close. Knowing that Julia Roberts lives in Taos, I had this vision of a heavily wooded, private kinda place. But Taos is open, no fences, no hills, no trees. But you can easily become secluded in this much space.
An overnight between two long drives and we’ve finally hit humidity, the thing that struck me most about the change in air moisture is the noise of bugs. You don’t realize how quiet it is in the southwest due to the absence of insects chirping away.
Taking a delightful detour to visit an area of America that I hadn’t even known about in my planning. The northwest of Arkasas is spectacular, probably the most surprising area of the trip so far. Just for the record, it’s pronounced Ark-an-saw, not Ar-kansas.
Sound quality below isn’t the best as we’re attending a concert for the opening of the Eureka Springs Jazz Festival.
Parkers Crossroad, Tennessee
Another late-night stop as we try to drive long distances to get to NYC. Driving all the way across America is always going to test your love of driving.
Not on the trip of a lifetime, on a lifetime trip. Writer, traveler, gentleman surfer.