Sometimes it really isn’t more than the eye can see

Tuesday was River Dunes Day.  River Dunes is cool.  Hell, we might move here.

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img_7789Seriously.  Although the place does feel more than a little like where Truman was the unsuspecting star of evil Ed Harris’ reality show until he figured it out and busted through to the outside.  Or maybe one of those Legoland dioramas.  Pretty much picture perfect.  The wives might all be robots, but who cares?

We even rode bikes over to the sales office and chatted with the realtor.   Which  means we’re on a list.

The closest town is Oriental.  Jeff and Terri (Change of Pace) are from Oriental.  We think of them as cosmopolitan, so we kind of expected more.  But hey, Lip Synco de Mayo is this weekend.

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Dana has spent years channeling Milli Vanilli and watching The Lizzy McGuire Movie to prepare for this very moment, but sadly we need to move on.

Oriental also claims to have had the “First Motorized School Bus.”  Ok now, that’s pretty big.  We don’t see a bus from 1917 around, but at least we can photograph the  commemorative/boastful sign.

Wait a second here.  There’s fine print: “inNorthCarolina.”*  Plus, it was the first North Carolina “service,” not actual bus.  Hmmm, well now that’s a letdown.  That means there could’ve been thousands of school buses—with motors—criss-crossing school districts from coast to coast in every state not named North Carolina before the good folks in Pamlico County decided to retire the old system of walking to school, uphill, both ways.**

But we still loved River Dunes.  Dinner at the Clubhouse was cool, even though Doug had to drag out something other than shorts and a t-shirt.

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But alas, we had to leave.  Fortunately yesterday we woke up to blue skies, warm temperatures, and no wind.  That means just one thing: it’s a great day to cruise.  Wait.  Actually it means two things.  It’s also a great day to drone.

Then off to Belhaven.  Mostly it was just easy.

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There were spots in the dreaded Pamlico Sound that we could’ve skied on, if only we could coax another 20 knots out of Misty Pearl.  And had a ski, and a ski rope, and an observer, and an orange flag, and the core strength we had 30 years ago.  But we enjoyed the water anyway.

There’s a phenomenon known to all boaters, which we may or may not have mentioned before.  No matter how calm things are while cruising, the second the dock comes into view the wind starts howling perpendicular to whatever direction the boat needs to go.  Of course, it happened again at Dowry Creek Marina.  Fortunately we still were able to take on fuel and jimmy our way into our slip.

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Most of Dowry Creek’s amenities—including a bar, a restaurant, a hot tub, and a pickleball court—still are in the planning stage.  To compensate they let us take a car into Belhaven, where the ACE hardware has been in the same family since 1938.  Robin (The Lower Place) alerted us to what really makes this ACE special.

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Nope, it’s not the wine selection on the left.  There, on the right, are bags of Dot’s Pretzels.  Best pretzels in the land.  Life-changing pretzels.  We discovered them in Ludington, Michigan, and have been ordering them from Amazon ever since.  Who knew North Dakota could deliver such deliciousness?  We bought a bunch.

So why no blog post yesterday?  Because we’ve no cell service and the Dowry Creek WiFi tower blew over.

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But we made do with some stored up episodes of Survivor at sunset and another awesome sunrise this morning.

img_7813-1Most of today was the Alligator River-Pungo River Canal.  This was the last piece to complete the Atlantic ICW, so for a hot minute Belhaven sort of was the Promontory Point of east coast boating.  We found the canal eerily like the Erie.

Past the bridge into the Alligator Marina.  Hmmmm.  That’s all there is?

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Yup.  It’s basically a truck stop.  But they put us on a wall, which is great for the boys.

Other Loopers drifted in as the afternoon passed.  Gammel Dansk.  Bella.  Knight’s Kingdom.  Sigrid.  Knot Ready.  Aurora.  

A group of Loopers means docktails.

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Tomorrow most of us are heading to Coinjock Marina.  Sadly the condition of The Dismal Swamp makes us unwilling to chance it.

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* Demonstrating clearly why small signs shouldn’t use fully justified text alignment.

**We shouldn’t make light of our parents’ hardships, real or not.  But you know who really had things tough?  The Four Yorkshireman, that’s who.

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