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Farewell, OBX

We’ll be leaving the Outer Banks tomorrow.   I have a pretty satisfied feeling about our visit here.   We ended up spending eight nights, which gave us time to see a lot of the area, and yet we’ve left a lot of exploration for the next time.   Most of the people I’ve talked to about the Outer Banks tell me they come again and again, and never seem to get tired of it.   So we can look forward to another visit someday.


Almost definitely we will camp in the National Seashore again, and we will also be likely to come in the ‘shoulder season’ before Memorial Day or after Labor Day.   The mosquitoes began to arrive with the humidity yesterday, which convinced us that we don’t want to be here with either of those things if we can avoid them.

The Outer Banks have also been good for our budget.   Our eight nights at the seashore cost us a grand total of $160, or about the cost of one night in a local inn. This is one of the reasons why most full-timers come to realize that being “on the road” is cheaper than staying home.   With some courtesy parking next week, and a few inexpensive state and national park campsites, we should be able to offset higher fuel costs and continue to save money.

Interestingly, I keep running into surveys and other indications that RV owners are not shying away from travel this summer.   State parks seem to be as busy as ever.     People I talk to say they are going shorter distances, and in some cases, driving more slowly, but they aren’t staying home.   It’s still a lot cheaper for a family of three or more to travel by RV for their vacation than to fly and get a hotel, as long as they aren’t going thousands of miles.

We would have continued on today but for two reasons.   The weather   forecast indicated a strong likelihood of thunderstorms during the day along our route of travel, and I had a lot of work to do.   We took the day to get caught up, which included Eleanor doing heaps of laundry up in Manteo. Now we are ready to hit the road on Wednesday, and complete the final twelve days of this phase of our travel with clean clothes, sheets, and towels.

As I write this, thunderstorms are rumbling overhead and huge bolts of lightning are striking nearby.   We’ve often talked about what thunderstorms mean to us, in the Airstream.   Mostly our concerns are tornadoes and hail, both of which are spawned from severe thunderstorms.   The current thunderstorms are producing neither, which means we can relax and watch the light show.   If a bolt of lightning were to strike the trailer, we would be well protected by the “skin effect,” which causes the energy to travel on the outside of the metal shell down to the ground.   Because of its aluminum construction, an Airstream is an excellent lightning shelter, much safer than many other structures.

So mild thunderstorms like we are having at the moment are no big deal.   We don’t even have to worry about power outages. It’s a nice change from last week when we were wondering if the trailer was going to fly to Oz without us.

Tomorrow these storms will be only a memory, and we’ll hitch up for points north.   In the next twelve days we have six stops planned, so we’ll be hopping most of the time.   A lot of details are still unresolved, but that’s part of the fun of it, isn’t it?

2 Responses to “Farewell, OBX”

  1. Derin Says:

    Rich –

    I can affirm your comment about State Parks being busy and people staying closer to home. At least that seems to be the trend here in NE Wisconsin. We made our season opener on Mother’s Day weekend to Point Beach State Forest, some 30 miles south of us. The park was nearly full even though the weather was not perfect. A quick tour of campsites showed that most people there were from within a 50 mile radius. I’ve also heard news reports about our state parks booking up faster this year. We’ve tried to reserve space in a couple other nearby state parks in Door County and have not had any success.

  2. Rich Says:

    Six of ten (59 percent) Americans who are currently planning a trip with their car, truck or SUV this summer will not change their travel plans even with additional increases in the price of gas, according to the closely watched travelhorizons survey co-authored by the Travel Industry Association (TIA) and Ypartnership.

    “The data confirm, once again, that vacations are a non-negotiable part of contemporary life, even in challenging economic times,” said Peter Yesawich, Ypartnership’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

    Among the 41 percent of respondents who stated their plans would change if gas prices rise further, the greatest percentage would simply drive a shorter distance to their vacation destination.

    Other expected outcomes include people taking fewer trips and spending less money on other aspects of vacations as revealed below:

    — 38 percent would drive a shorter distance;
    — 36 percent would take fewer trips and/or cancel a trip;
    — 30 percent would spend less on souvenirs and shopping;
    — 27 percent would spend less money on meals/restaurants and/or less on entertainment;
    — 23 percent would spend less on hotels;
    — 21 percent would spend fewer nights away from home;
    — 20 percent would select another vacation destination.

    (Source: Travel Industry Association, 05/07/08)