Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Our Outer Banks Adventure - Part 1


We use to travel fairly often, but not anymore. We keep our travels rare. And because of that, we are fascinated at details we see when we do.

We left for our trip Friday morning, driving up the I-85 through the Georgia, South Carolina, and partly up and across North Carolina, until we reached Raleigh.

On the news we heard of a chemical explosion or burning near Raleigh at Apex, NC. The news said something about a chloride or chlorine cloud looming over Apex and the citizens were told to evacuate. We were headed straight to that poisonous cloud, according to the news.

Being that we live in a modern world with modern gadgets Anna called AAA on her cell phone and asked them about an up-to-date travel advisory for that area. The lady told us that it apparently was safe, no keep away advisory had been suggested – so, stay on course, which we did.

Near Raleigh we were to take to 40 or the 440 or both, which I think is their perimeter, and turn off of NC State Hwy 64.

I remember Hwy 64, we are old friends. Earlier this year we drove from just north of Young Harris, Ga., to Franklin, NC on Hwy 64.

So, we went around the loop and did not see Hwy 64, but did end up on a street with a lot of savory characters standing around. I turned around to head back to about where we got on the 440 or the 40 and somehow ended up in downtown Raleigh. We went into a Day’s Inn and a lady Indian (Eastern) got us a local map and highlighted the way we should go from there… she said turn right out of the parking lot, turn left, and then turn left again. And then she said, wait! Here is better way, turn left on that street, but instead of turning left on that street turn right, then up to some numbered hwy and turn left.

Wait! Wouldn’t that put me going the exact opposite direction that her previous instructions. “Yes!” She nodded happily.

As we were getting in the car I told Anna I should have asked her can we bring her back anything, because we were surely be back confused.

Then Anna studied the map the lady had given us and figured out how to get to the 440.

And we took a little driving tour of the Wake Forest College-town area. Rocky had a friend that went there, and I had a first cousin’s future son-in-law to go there on a basketball scholarship.

It was pouring down rain from the time we arrived at Raleigh for the rest of the evening.

We were going down Highway 64 East I saw a new light on our new car’s dash I haven’t seen in action before: It was saying we were of out of gas.

Anna navigating studied the map the Indian lady gave us and figured if we turned on the next exit and went about two miles there is a business area, and a business areas should have a sparkling new big many-pumps convenience stores right?

Wrong!

It has an old unpainted shack with two antique Pure gasoline pumps. It had nothing electronic about it. The numbers rolled a little wheel and there was no slot to put your credit card. It had been a long time since I dealt with a pump like that it took me a while to get it going… I had to give the card to the big man behind the cash register.

When I finished I went inside to sign the charge. I stood in line behind 3 or 4 black workers and one tanned blond with tight-ass designer jeans on. Boy, she had a deep voice! By her talking to the big guy behind the counter, the way he flirted and so, I figured she was a waitress in a bar. She bought a pack a cigarettes – that accounted for her deep voice. All the black men bought cigarettes too. Cigs were his best selling item.

We drove as far a Rocky Mount, NC. We got a room at a Holiday Inn and walked next door at Texas Steak House for dinner.

At Texas Steak House we were told there was about a 15 minute wait. Okay, that is fine. In the waiting area were two couples talking. I figured out the two men like to fish and they had a lot to talk about, fishing around the Cape Hatteras. They also went to the same church. Then two couples left, one couple a few minutes before the other couple. They too went to the same church. Must be a big church.

The younger man of the two were telling the other man about somebody retiring at 49 where he works. He said he was retiring with 30 years service. They young guy said, “Imagine that! That means he worked there since he was 17!”

I looked at Anna. Later we said we hoped he didn’t work in the accounting department or a cashier.

Another installment soon.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Suzanne said...

What a crazy adventure! Glad that you were able to get gas (both for the car and something to laugh over).

10:35 AM  
Blogger ET said...

Suzanne,
But at the moment the little yellow light came on we failed to see the humor in the situation.

1:32 PM  

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