Follow by Email


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

POST 521 - DAY 315 / 59: SALVO, OUTER BANKS, N.C.

OUTER BANKS weather has once again turned cold. Using a caulking gun and adhesive backed THICK aluminum,\ tape, I have made SPIA about as weather tight as can be. The overhead skylights have been sealed off with thick foam. Will Velcro micro-fiber blankets to the inside walls / windows to finish off my efforts to stop all drafts...leaving cross ventilating sliding windows accessible.

Reported to the Food Bank at the 8:30 am appointed hour. No one being up and about, I set into cleaning the front entrance and the Food Pantry in preparation of displaying food well as furniture and clothing...for today's customers.

Both Storage Sheds were opened, disgorging bedroom sets, tables & chairs, small kitchen appliances, and cleaning materials.

Food Pantry Tables were loaded by the many volunteers.

Kitty Cat supervising.

Shopping Bags and boxes were provided for customers to fill with their selections.

Betty was busy handing out frozen foods from the two freezers.

Please say HELLO to Betty.

...with Daughter, Melinda's help..

Please say HELLO to Melinda.

An initial rush slowed after a while...the Food Pantry remained open - unsupervised - all day.

There were many choices.

The Food Bank repeats offerings every Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday.

As it was bitter cold this morning, I did not police SR 12.

I took the opportunity to use the Food Bank ladder to reach the top of SPIA. The caulking between Side Panels and the Roof had dried and cracked, letting rain water and night time condensation seep in. Using adhesive backed aluminum tape, I sealed all edge connections and hand rail mountings. May not look so great, but should stop further leaks.

Completed "The Angry Hills"...was a good Historical Novel. Now into "Luciano's Luck"...a story of particular interest to me. Living in NAPLES, ITALY from 1957 thru 1960, I lived across the street from Lucky Luciano.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Today was a "drizzly" the Pacific Northwest, we would call today's OUTER BANKS rain "liquid sunshine".

At daybreak, the garbage collectors rumbled up and down the local streets, emptying - mostly - the trash cans. There was a stiff breeze blowing, causing loose papers in the top of the trash cans to blow away across the neighborhood as the cans were rotated by the automatic truck lifting system into the truck bin.

Much of my previous hard fought policing was destroyed in seconds...SR 12 is once again beset by papers flying about.

At daybreak, before the "collectors" arrived, I walked South on SR 12 for 3/4 mile and proceeded to police a rather wide area of litter. The heavy equipment had removed the majority of trash, but they left behind a mud filled field littered with trash...plastic, paper, metal, and distorted lumber. I spent over 2 hours putting all that "stuff" into my plastic bags or piling it neatly for easy pick-up.

It started raining rather hard, so I put on my the process, unbeknown to me, my cell phone fell out of my pocket. An hour later, walking back "home", I first noticed it was missing. I walked back to my work area(s) and scoured the mud for another half hour...alas, no cell phone.

I quickly walked back to SPIA, exchanged my "work clothes" for walking duds, and drove SPIA back to the morning work area. For the next 30 minutes, I searched in a "grid" pattern, the entire area I had worked in. At the very Southern end of my work zone, there it cell phone lying half covered in mud...having been rained upon for over an hour.

I picked it up. It was turned off. I clicked the "start" button. It booted. I blew and blew the key pad which was drenched in water. The phone booted all the way up. I selected my Sister, Carol's number...we chatted for a half hour. Cell phone is as new. Carol has a Neurologist appointment this afternoon - to check her Parkinson's news yet - is now 5:30 pm, local.

Pleased as punch to find my cell in operational condition, I stopped at DEJA VU and HAPPY CLAM, which had empty trash bins. I filled up all four bins for Friday's garbage collection, took a hot shower, and promptly napped for 3 hours.

Arising, had a bite and drove SPIA to the Food Bank in SALVO.

Pastor Steve and Betty cancelled their going away trip, so I was invited to spend the rest of the afternoon helping install accessories - curtain rods, bathroom fixtures, etc in the newly renovated living quarters. It was well after dark when I finally drove back to HAPPY CLAM.

In the morning, I will again do some SR 12 policing. At 8:30 am, I have been invited to return to the Food Bank to help set up for the offerings to the Public. It will be my first experience, so am looking forward to participating.

In the meantime, am finally using my new Kindle, which I purchased before leaving BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON on January 12. 2011. Am currently well into WAR AND PEACE, and flying through THE ANGRY HILLS by Leon Uris.

Monday, November 28, 2011


8:30 am yesterday morning, I reported for work at SALVO Food Bank. I was met by Pastor Steve as I backed SPIA into a spot out of the way of the parking lot.

Ready for a cup of coffee, asked P. Steve...You bet, I replied, following into the private quarters still being built in the back of the building. Coffee was served together with a plate of French Toast by Betty, P. Steve's wife.

Betty met me a few days ago when I first walked into the Food Bank. I have spent two entire days working along side the family...not once have I seen Betty take a break or sit down. Betty is every where, at every conceivable task, including waiting on everyone from a glass of water to a turkey dinner.

Working along side Betty cleaning and stocking the Food Pantry for today's customers, I missed half of Pastor Steve's Service.

Daughters Melinda and Mandy (with guitar) provided music; P. Steve, afflicted with Polio, looked on from his wheel chair.

Pastor Steve delivered a low key sermon "Old Time Religion" bringing chuckles from his small congregation.

Please say HELLO to Pastor Steve.

Next week, daughter Melinda, will provide Food Bank leadership and Services in the absence of Betty and P. Steve.
From across SR 12, SALVO Food Bank hosts Sunday services to 12 vehicles of visitors.

In addition to daily "drop off" donations, a local Supermarket donates food including hot Chickens, pastries, desserts, and canned goods three times a week: Sunday attended primarily - but not exclusively - by the Congregation. Wednesday and Friday mornings, the Public is invited to the Food Bank. Formal hours are from 10:00 am "til the last person leaves. In actual fact, folks can stop by anytime someone is on hand to open up the Food Pantry.

The Food Pantry.

In a locked cupboard are two freezers filled with frozen meats and prepared foods. Veggies, hot dishes, and packaged / canned goods are taken as desired from stocked shelves, table tops, and yes, even from the bed of the delivery truck.

Everyone helps themselves to fill their own needs.

Some folks were waiting in their cars for the Food Bank to open, which out of consideration to all, was closed until Sunday Services were over.

I must add...P. Steve built the Food Bank Distribution Shed(s), two of which are locked up at night. Next week, P. Steve starts work on a second floor living area for daughter Melinda, Husband, AJ, and their four children. In addition to being Betty"s Right Hand Madam, Melinda leads the youth group, and conducts many of the Church Services. She will start Seminary School shortly.

Selecting from the Food Cuke at a time.

Please say HELLO - again - to Dean. We met Dean on Post 499 as he headed to the beach, surf board under arm.

The recently renovated Dining Hall. It was under 3 feet of water during Hurricane IRENE.

On my first night of volunteering my help, I enjoyed sharing the Family after-Thanksgiving dinner at these tables.

After four days of evading me, the local stray kitty cat has finally made friends with me.

Today is Monday, November 28, 2011. Early on, I cleaned another few blocks of SR 12. I must admit to extreme fatigue from all the bending and lifting trash. After 2.5 hours, I walked back to HAPPY CLAM, loaded a fourth Trash Can with IRENE "stuff" form DEJA VU, washed up, ...then fell into bed where I slept soundly for nearly four hours.

Tomorrow, the Garbage Collector empties the trash cans. Will refill them with IRENE's trash from HAPPY CLAM and DEJA VU...then Police a few more blocks of SR 12.

On Wednesday, will help Melinda with the "Public" Food Bank distribution.

On Friday, have accepted Karen's invitation to visit the family COLUMBIA home for the weekend.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Before continuing, I must emphasize that I am not a Doctor and have no special training in medicine or the body. I have, however, learned a few things during Christiane's (my wife) fight against Cancer that I am convinced are not only desirable for immunity, but absolutely critical.

Cri was diagnosed in February 1991 with Breast Cancer, having far too many lymph nodes "shut down" by cancer cells, and given only months to live. Cri died January 12, 2001, 10 years later.

For the first 5 years, I treated Cri for 5 hours a day - every day -...primarily using reflexology to stimulate the Lymphatic System. In 1995, Cri asked me to leave her and our home, which stupidly I did. She divorced me that same year. I suffered not only a heart attack but more importantly, Cri received no more muscle stimulation to ensure efficient function of her Lymphatic least, not from me.

I would refer at this point to:; and

GOOGLE: "lymphatic system", which contains numerous sub-titles, including: Understanding the Lymphatic System.

I will say three things about the Lymphatic System:

1. Of the many folks I have spoken to, nearly NO ONE even knows our bodies have such a system.

2. Whereas the Heart powers the Blood Circulatory System transporting nutrients to the body and returns "processed" fluids back into the "system", the Lymphatic System is a one-way system returning fluids from body extremities back to the Blood Circulatory System...

Lymph Vessels pass Lymph fluid through Lymph Nodes which identify, filter, and Kill Antigens - bacteria, virus, fungi, some types of Cancer cells -.

3. The Lymphatic System DOES NOT HAVE A "PUMP", and relies on muscular action to "squeeze - push" fluids through the vessels of the Lymphatic System.

i.e., The Lymphatic System cannot function properly without EXERCISE, limiting the effectiveness of this primary system which - among many other things - creates immunity controlling white blood cells, monitors and KILLS invaders to and within our bodies, and "drains" excess fluids from our body extremities.

Strictly from my "Layman's" perspective, physical exercise such as WALKING / SWIMMING, and Reflexology produce the muscle actions required to keep the Lymphatic System functioning properly. PT - Physical Therapy - does much the same...but at a bit higher $$ investment.

I trust I have stimulated some interest in the Lymphatic System...perhaps such that some might delve further. I trust, also, that I have not bent any noses by sharing my story.

I know it works for me. I know it worked for Christiane.

Many have said I look and act like a person much younger...I attribute that in large measure by listening to my body and trying to treat it with respect and consideration. My walking is key to functioning of my Immune System at a keen level.

My Lymphatic System is key to that.


A glimpse at a small piece of the SALVO, OUTER BANKS, NORTH CAROLINA Food Bank. Not only is food given free to all, but all sorts of necessities are available free of charge.

Pictured above are several left-over Disaster Clean-up Buckets. Each bucket includes tools and cleaners to attack just about any clean-up project. Certain items in the buckets are in great demand, with much of the rest discarded. So, the Director, Pastor Steve, opens the buckets and sorts the items into bins. That way, visitors can take only the item(s) they want/need.

I spent a good number of hours opening the buckets this morning...there are many hundred to be distributed to "after-disaster" needy folks.

Jeffery, the volunteer Carpenter, was busy all day building cabinets and shelving to replace that which was damaged in the recent flood. I spent another goodly number of hours painting the wall trim boards and shelving.

Another volunteer, David, was busy building a new fence around the back yard, replacing the one destroyed in the flood. I help David for a bit at his task.

All told, I reported for work at 8:30 this morning. Except for 15 minutes out for a Turkey Sandwich, I was busy until 4:30 pm...and then only because it became dark.

During the day, at least 15 vehicles - many with trailers - delivered all manner of items for re-distribution. Numerous shopping bags of groceries were deposited. Complete living room sets were dropped off. A baby crib, small appliances, hanging pictures, kitchen items such as complete china settings with cutlery, were brought in.

A place had to be found to put it all away. I got the job to squeeze a yard full of donated items into a 10 x 10 foot shed...already over half full of prior donations.

On Wednesdays and Fridays, the public is invited to inspect and take away any items they may need...including food of every description. There never is any charge.

On Sunday, tomorrow, at 12:00 noon, the public is invited to an open-table buffet., the food being supplied by local Super Markets.

Being the newbie, I know little of what really goes on. From that "little", I am impressed by the continuous stream of donations. I have yet to witness the "picking-up" of items by the public.

I drove the four miles back to HAPPY CLAM as it turned quite dark. I was again grimy and tired. Headed right for the shower, followed by a bite to eat.

A day of good honest work. I look forward to reporting again at 8:30 in the morning to do my bit.

Friday, November 25, 2011


Another day with no photographs...not that there are none...just that they are of trash and we have seen enough of that.

Did grovel around in the local ditches for 3.5 hours, filling another 6 bags & piling up lots of wood.

Tomorrow, SR 12 must get on without me. I have volunteered - and have been accepted - to work in the local SALVO Food Bank a.k.a. Dining Hall a.k.a. Church.

Staffed by members of a single family, the food bank receives food donations, which they offer to all in need. They also prepare meals a few times a week, free to any in need. They also offer religious services.

Hurricane IRENE destroyed their personal homes. One daughter lives with her infant Son in a FEMA trailer; a second daughter, together with Hubby and four children to 11 years old, rent; the parents have cleaned up the flood damaged Food Bank / Dining Hall / Sanctuary enough to resume helping folks in need...they have moved into a back room as they continue repairing the facility.

The Father, partially paralyzed from a medical condition, leads the family members and citizen volunteers to continue repairs and operation of their free community services.

I have volunteered to join the cast of helpers, starting at 8:30 tomorrow morning.

I will continue SR 12 clean-up. I will continue Storm clean-up of DEJA VU and HAPPY CLAM. I will continue my planned local walks. In short, I have just about filled my calendar pending my early February 2012 walk to the ST LAWRENCE River and West to Vancouver, B.C.

Awesome what has happening...since I got off the couch, took a bit of a walk, shook a few bushes, peeked around corners and over hills along the way.

Much remains before the mission is complete.

As all true Sailors will tell...completion is not the goal; the trip is the important part...completion is simply an interlude in between...

P0ST 516 - DAY 310 / 53: RODANTHE. OUTER BANKS, N. C.

Please say HELLO to Margaret and (Woody?).

During morning - Thanksgiving Day - policing of SR 12, Margaret stopped to chat.

Entertaining friends for the Holiday, Margaret was out for her regular walk. We chatted for many minutes about the importance of walking - and swimming - to stimulate the Lymphatic System.

I have been VERY reluctant to blog subjects I am keenly interested being the crucial importance of walking or swimming to engage muscle action, without which, the center of the Immune System cannot function properly.

Enough of that - for now !

As the Sun rose out of the Atlantic Ocean into a cloudless sky, I was already picking up left-over trash from SR 12. Most of the time was spent on hands and knees pulling lumber scraps, beer bottles and cans together with disintegrating boxes and bags from the canal-size roadside ditches.

I discovered a way to lean far out over the waters without falling in: Using a 5-foot stout 2 x 2 inch board, I pushed one end securely into the bottom or far side of the canal. Feet firmly planted on the waterline under me, 2 x 2 centered in the palm of my - thick rubber gloved - hand, I leaned into the board, forming an "A Frame" out over the water.

With my free hand, I could reach down to retrieve the trash. Giving a mighty shove on the board, I pushed my self back onto my feet. For nearly 4 hours, my gravity defying system worked, during which I scarfed up 8 - 30 gallon trash-bags of stuff.

Yes, perhaps a bit slip & I was swimming in filth.

Completed policing to the Convenience Store. Filthy from head to toe, slowly trudged back to
HAPPY CLAM, where I indulged in an hour-long soak in hot water.

Is now 4:00 am. Daylight in 3 hours. Friday Garbage pickup this morning; after which I will refill the trash cans of HAPPY CLAM and DEJA VU with Hurricane IRENE generated stuff.

Then, it is back to SR 12...still 3.5 miles of policing waiting.

Planned to drive up-island today to walk the Northern OUTER BANKS. Have decided to complete SR 12 policing first.

CNN this morning carried a news bulletin / video of a young - pretty British woman into her 7th month of a 30-month planet circumnavigation by rowboat, kayak, and bicycle.

Sara Houton's high tech adventure can be followed on her web site

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


A look back a few weeks to reflect on the destruction of Hurricane IRENE on RODANTHE, OUTER BANKS.

Arriving two months after the event, I walked in on the final "clean-up" phase.

SR 12 was still lined with trash removed from water damaged properties...this process continued until a couple days ago, when further deposit of trash on SR 12 was prohibited.

Heavy equipment, such as front loaders, clam shell bucket cranes, and trash hauling trucks have removed the majority of trash from SR 12.

Left behind are roadside ditches and berms - including some vacant lots sitting behind the ditches, containing small items not recoverable with the heavy equipment.

This is the clean-up which I have taken upon myself.

I have volunteered to "Police" (clean) SR 12 in the three villages of RODANTHE, WAVE, and SALVO.

Much of SR 12 has been policed already by businesses and home owners. A much larger portion has not been cleaned...mostly bordering properties apparently owned by absentees.

These sections are my objective.

Yesterday I policed the portion pictured above and in the pic below.

Much of what I find is pictured below...piles of trash thrown into the roadside drainage ditch, apparently household "garbage", along with myriads of "litter", often wind-blown into bushes and yards some distance from the roadway.

To reach this garbage, I don boots, rain gear, thick rubber gloves with long cuffs...get on my hands ans knees and dig in.

Not that I expect or desire participation from others, I chuckle at folks sitting on high balconies sipping beverages... watching me retrieve garbage from the filthy ditch in their front yard...I wonder what they must be thinking...

Not that it makes a whit of difference. As with my walk, removing an eyesore from their lofty perch is my silent way of trying to set an example...I feel good at my efforts...what others think is not my problem.

It rained ... the wind kept blowing my plastic bag shut as I tried to fill it...My Jeans got filthy and smell awful. I am not comfy using HAPPY CLAM's washing machine, so this evening I heat up some water in SPIA's teakettle and hand wash my clothes.

Tomorrow, I will be back on SR 12. Only 3.70 more miles to go.

Chatted with my younger Sister, Carol, this afternoon. She wished me Happy Thanksgiving...I had no idea tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I will take a few moments, however, to reflect on some of what I have for which to give thanks. I know many who would gladly trade places with me - if only they could.

Carol is in a Nursing Home under 24-hour care in DEKALB, ILLINOIS. Among other serious ailments, Carol is well on her road of suffering from Parkinson's Disease...her recent room mate, also afflicted with Parkinson's, lost her battle a few days ago.

One reason I chose my current route to the St LAWRENCE RIVER then West across the top of America back to my Vancouver, B.C. starting point, was to make my way to DEKALB. Carol and I are in near daily communication after many years of near estrangement.

I am somewhat of a challenge for Carol to hang in there...Carol is my challenge to continue my walk...not too fast, however...don't wish to make it too easy for her...another example I try to make: have my very long range goal, knowing full well reaching that goal is the sum of striving for and reaching the goal set for today.

Some have asked me: ...what is the most important moment of your walk? which I truthfully reply: ...this one...sitting here, chatting with you.

Since Carol had reminded me that tomorrow is Thanksgiving, I walked to the local Convenience Store (LIBERTY Convenience Store) to pick out a treat...was late, not much left to choose from, but did come home (back to SPIA) with a bag of miniature chocolate donuts.

En-route, rain clouds once again closed in overhead nearly blocking out this evening's Sunset...almost, but not quite. The weather front, moving in from the North West, brought plummeting temperatures and high winds. SPIA is rocking on her ruined springs and cold is seeping in around the door and the three over-head hatches.

Half way home, the clouds burst open rinsing me off pretty good before I popped into SPIA's crookie door...crookie because in the California Redwoods, someone bent SPIA's door trying to break in...the door held, but is permanently badly bent. I sealed up the top and bottom gaps with thick adhesive-backed foam insulation strips. So far, it has worked OK.

...and so it goes...Happy Turkey Day, as Cri use to say.

I am uploading a video I shot a couple weeks ago of the Atlantic Ocean Surf doing it's level best to undermine the many RODANTHE Beach Homes now sitting a ways off shore. I have been told that not long ago, it was quite a walk from these homes to the beach.

The video reminds me to say HELLO to Phyllis and Ann Marie, whom I met at that spot.....HI, you two !

Video upload ran for 10 hours and did NOT upload...must find a solution as I wish to share videos from time to time.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Walked nearly the entire day today and never got out of RODANTHE.

Yesterday, left four piles of "stuff" I picked up from SR 12. Not knowing what to do with the stuff, I simply left it in neat piles on the side of SR 12.

Last evening while surfing Brian's (HAPPY CLAM) TV, the local DARE COUNTY Department of Public Works put up an announcement that it is illegal to leave any more trash on SR 12...the time for clean-up from Hurricane IRENE has been closed by FEMA.

As with most notices from "authorities", the announcement carried a reference to a $200.00 fine for violation of the clean-up rule.

Not knowing how to continue, I walked to Bonnie's Realtor offices to ask guidance. Bonnie was not in, but her Mom, Martha, was. Explaining to Martha that I simply wanted to volunteer to help clean up SR 12, she interrupted me, picked up the phone, got Andrew on the line. Andrew, Director of DARE COUNTY Department of Public Works just happens to be her Cousin. I now have a written authorization to "police" SR 12 from RODANTHE on the North to SALVO on the South - a distance of about 4 miles - , leaving trash bags for Andrew's crews to pick up at some later time.

Guess it isn't every day someone walks clean across the USA to volunteer to help clean up after their disaster....I responded it is the least I can do for the kindness extended to SPIA and I to hang out until February.

Walking back to SPIA, I went right to work. Cleaned out another section of DEJA VU's yard - from the "stuff" piled high by IRENE...then started in on SR 12.

I have completed the Northern entrance into RODANTHE...must say it looks kinda nice to see the litter and trash gone from SR 12.

Have only 3.85 miles more to police.

Re-reading this update, I realize that it must be boring as heck...SAM & ME advertises an old guy walking the USA, not picking up trash.

I ask consideration for me to make a good dent into cleaning SR 12 the next three days 'til Friday. On Saturday, February 26, I plan to drive SPIA North on SR 12 to OREGON INLET and walk for the next 5 or 6 days to and beyond KITTY HAWK...then take the bridge/causeway to visit villages on the Island of ROANOAK.

That will take us into December. I will put together a December itinerary to visit a number of villages on the mainland, posting to SAM & ME as we walk.

In explanation of the "Subject" line of each blog update:

POST = the number of Posts made to Google and Facebook since SAM & ME began POSTS.

DAY = the number of days from January 12, 2011, the day we started on our present journey.

/ --- = the number of days since leaving LAKE CITY, FLORIDA on our current walk to the ST. LAWRENCE RIVER and beyond.

I realize the "DAY" count is not accurate, but it is close enough for Government we use to say way back when !

As an aside, I have been engaged by a few locals in conversation about the degradation of our Country as regards jobs (or "no" jobs), discord among our leaders, and instability regarding the outlook for Mr. & Mrs. (and Ms.) America. Folks are not pleased. Folks are concerned. Folks are becoming angry. Introduction of "violence" in the OCCUPY endemic is quite upsetting.

I attempt to avoid Politics. I attempt to avoid Religion . I attempt to share what I find among those I meet across America. I am not altogether successful.

Monday, November 21, 2011


Today, not a single photograph was taken.

Today, not a single step forward was taken.

Today, I dedicated to the OUTER BANKS.

I am a Workaholic. Given a tough assignment is akin to a double Chocolate Sundae...nose to the grindstone 'till the last bite.

Four hours, I groveled around in mosquito infested grasses reclaiming mounds of stuff deposited in the yards of HAPPY CLAM and DEJA VU...not a single mosquito bite.

Taking a break at noon - local - three trash barrels were filled awaiting pick-up in the morning. In addition, HAPPY CLAM has A L L remaining trash piled awaiting emptied trash cans, which will be topped off in the morning for Friday's pick-up.

Likewise, DEJA VU has one trash can full awaiting morning pick-up; and, three big piles awaiting empty trash cans. DEJA VU was hard hit with trash from IRENE. There is still 20 or more trash cans of stuff awaiting my gathering up...surely to take another few days...then I start in on water damaged furniture...sanding and refinishing.

Returning to SPIA for a bite, chomping on the bit, I could not just sit with so much cleanup waiting in RODANTHE, WAVE, and SALVO...not to mention the rest of the OUTER, instead of taking the planned siesta, I drove SPIA to the AVON Grocery Store where I picked up a couple boxes of three-ply 2.5 mil reinforced Trash Bags.

Returning to HAPPY CLAM, I once again donned my work duds, applied plenty of JUNGLE SPRAY, and walked out to SR 12, the main highway of the OUTER BANKS.

I have walked 1.5 years...taking from little back. I decided it was my step up to help locals recover from the mess still littering Highway SR 12.

The next two hours saw me scarfing up block after block of small trash left over after DOT removal of huge piles of "treasures" destroyed by Hurricane IRENE.

Four miles or so remain to be "Policed". I intend to keep at it until SR 12 is pristine.

Not being use to such labor, a few muscles, I treated my body to a 1-hour soak in HAPPY CLAM's bath tub, opened a bottle of GALLO SONOMA CHARDONAY wine, which I am sipping as this blog is created.

Tomorrow and the next few days will be dedicated to SR 12, HAPPY CLAM, and DEJA VU.

Feels good to be useful again.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Today was the day I planned to walk to 6-Mile Bridge. Twice before I tried and failed.

All the trash has been removed from SR 12. DOT crews have built new "berms" (high piles of sand intended to be a wall against Atlantic Ocean waters from entering and flooding RODANTHE) along SR 12.

The lake in front of this home use to be a front yard and parking lot - before Hurricane IRENE sent walls of PAMLICO waters crashing their way through the above neighborhood, eroding away concrete driveways and sand all the way through SR 12 and on to the ATLANTIC OCEAN.

On the ATLANTIC OCEAN side of SR 12, DOT has built a new berm BEHIND the row of beach homes. All four of these homes recently had a long way to walk to the beach...because of IRENE and years of erosion, culminating in IRENE, ocean waters have taken massive amounts of sand away leaving all four homes sitting well off shore...

Karen's previous Summer Home was swept off this same beach a few years ago by the Atlantic Ocean...the waters simply gobbled up her entire home; i.e., the name of her present Summer Home "DEJA VU".

Meanwhile, back on the PAMLICO SOUND side of SR 12, the flood waters are receding, leaving nearly a dozen homes inaccessible...all the "land" once surrounding these homes having been washed out to sea...this section was cut completely through to the ocean, causing SR 12 to be rebuilt. The rebuilding was completed before I arrived on the scene.

How, one may ask, can so much destruction happen so far, I will explain:

Looking at a map of the area, one sees the OUTER BANKS are a good 20 miles off shore from the mainland. When Hurricane IRENE arrived, the "EYE" travelled along the shore of the mainland (20 miles West of the OUTER BANKS).

Karen's "Family" home - the one I visited last week - is in COLUMBIA, which took a near direct hit from the EYE of IRENE...everyone in COLUMBIA was evacuated...many properties, including Karen's, were flooded.

As the EYE moved North, it's winds spinning COUNTER CLOCKWISE (see Wikipedia "Coriolis Effect"), the waters were sucked out of shallow PAMLICO SOUND... driven far inland over the mainland. As the EYE churned past, the winds changed direction, sucking the waters from the flooded mainland, sending a wall of water...not unlike a Tsunami...crashing ashore on the OUTER BANKS 20 miles to the East.

The OUTER BANKS, about a foot or two above the normal water level of PAMLICO SOUND, have NO DEFENCES ON THE PAMLICO SOUND SIDE. The Tsunami-like waves broke over the entire island, cutting through to the ATLANTIC OCEAN at RODANTHE and at 6-MILE BRIDGE, leaving standing water at DEJA VU 5 feet deep.

The RODANTHE "Cut" was, unfortunately directly under the above homes.

I took the above photographs as I made my THIRD attempt to walk to 6 MILE BRIDGE.

The morning was calm (no wind) and clear (no clouds). I made good time the first two miles. Then disaster struck.

Up from roadside ditches rose clouds of mosquitoes. My clothing covered every part of me except my face and part of my neck. I fought them for another 2.5 miles, and was losing. They attacked in squadrons...6 or 7 at a time, biting my face time and time again.

1.5 miles short of 6-MILE BRIDGE, I surrendered and turned around, heading back to RODANTHE. Under constant attack, I finally put out my thumb. The third vehicle stopped...I jumped in and slammed the door...even so, three or four critters followed me in.

Allen, my rescuer, said there is only ONE Insect Repellent effective on the 1/2 inch mosquitoes of the OUTER BANKS..."JUNGLE FORMULA", which was available only at the ICE HOUSE in BUXTON. I knew the ICE HOUSE from my walk to BUXTON two days ago.

I thanked Allen...a DOT employee, as he let me out at WIMBLE SHOALS, DEJA VU's street. I immediatele drove SPIA the 22 miles to BUXTON...only to be told>>>...

by the Owner, Steve Groves, that he was totally sold out.

Please say HELLO to Steve.

Steve agreed with Allen; only JUNGLE SPRAY was effective on local mosquitoes, which is the only spray used by local Linemen - guys who work up on those telephone poles.

Explaining to Steve my dire need for an effective mosquito spray, Steve said, "Perhaps I can come up with an overlooked a can " he got out of his store side chair and disappeared into his store. A minute or two later, Steve returned with the can in the above photo, explaining..."...several guys know I have this one can, but I was saving it for myself. You need it more than I do, so it's yours"...handing me the treasured can of JUNGLE SPRAY.

Having made one more friend, I eagerly paid the $10.00, thanked Steve, took his picture, jumped into SPIA, rushed back to HAPPY CLAM, parked, dressed, applied a liberal amount of JUNGLE SPRAY to my face and clothing, and set out once again for 6-MILE BRIDGE.

An hour and half later, having moved along at better than 4 mph, I walked into the above scene...6-MILE BRIDGE.

As I under stand it, before Hurricane IRENE, this was a narrow stretch of island, but without any water passing from the ATLANTIC OCEAN to PAMLICO SOUND. The following photos tell a different story.

As with RODANTHE, the break was in more than one spot. The Southern portion of the break was back-filled., with a new section of SR 12 paved over to form the approach to the new bridge.

The main break is large with a swift current flowing back and forth as the Ocean Tides change.

The bridge appears to be a "Bailey" - or similar bridge, which is only temporary.

The bridge is NARROW, decked with 3 by 6-foot steel plates securely bolted down.

The sides are lattice construction using treated (galvanized ?) steel beams. The construction is good. I walked across the bridge two times. Passing vehicles did not make the bridge move.

Not visible to vehicles, the view is quite nice.

Looking at the bridge from the North side. The sand on the left is a back-fill behind steel plates interlocked together in Coffer Dam type construction...GOOGLE "Coffer Dam".

Not much room between lanes.

I had a kick walking across facing oncoming traffic.

Please note the aluminum CARRIER on the front of the above vehicle.

Every third vehicle on the OUTER BANKS has such a carrier, which are manufactured locally. A number of designs are available costing from $100 to $300, Trailer Hitch not included.

I would dearly love such a carrier for SPIA to carry a spare Propane Tank and can of Gasoline for the up-coming crossing of America on US 2, where it is desolate and will be COLD.

On my tippy toes, got this shot over the bridge side girders. The view clearly shows both banks of 6-MILE INLET and folks out on the ATLANTIC OCEAN beaches.

Trying his luck under the bridge, I asked:..."hows the fishing?" which he replied..."Fishing is great...catch'n is not so hot, tho...".

And, so it goes.

The South side of 6-MILE INLET washed away great swaths of sand and paved areas.

I walked nearly 14 miles out and back with nary a mosquito bite. Arriving in RODANTHE, I removed one glove and was instantly bitten by two of the critters. One - or perhaps two - mosquitoes sneaked into SPIA. Creating this blog, I have received bites on my neck, shoulder, back and left foot...and I must sleep with those vampires lurking...waiting for my exposed nose, foot or hand.

OUTER BANKS are nice, but . . . . .

Saturday, November 19, 2011


A word about this photograph:

Evening Sun is still fully 5 degrees above the horizon.

Camera is set at minus 20 Contrast...looking directly into the fire ball.

Interesting: Foreground is in darkness (even tho it is actually still blinding bright) leaving a vertical shaft of sunlight reaching down to the surface of PAMLICO SOUND. Sure wish I could receive some camera-operation instruction to learn what I was doing...

While taking the one picture, a swarm of mosquitoes attacked me. Wiping my face. my hand came away bloody from the critters biting me. The swarm followed as I ran back to HAPPY CLAM. There is still at least one mosquito inside SPIA with me right now, at 8:10 pm local EST.

This morning greeted the Sun with a cloudless sky. Folks were walking SR 12 in shorts and T's...I wore a hoodie trying not to shiver as I walked the mile or so to Bonnie's - our Realtor - to return her set of keys to HAPPY CLAM...yesterday while in AVON, I made a duplicate key.

To warm up, I donned my work clothes - boots, jeans, long sleeve T, ear warmer sweat band around my neck, a thick woven hat with ear muffs which tie under my chin, and Welders Gloves - to attack the first of my assigned projects: clean up the front yard of HAPPY CLAM from the piles of grass and trash left behind by the five-foot deep flood waters of Hurricane IRENE.

Tomorrow I start in on DEJA VU's yard.

The grass / trash goes into large trash cans which are picked up on Tuesday and Friday. It will take at least three weeks before it is all carted away.

While working, mosquitoes plunged their needle noses through my T, leaving too any bites to count on my back ...spent the day scratching like a dog against the house stilts...could not reach the bites to scratch with my finger nails..

Enjoyed an afternoon watching football games on Brian's TV...AND a long HOT shower...

Weather forecast for next week is mostly warm and sunny. I may drive North for a couple
days / nights to start my walks to the Northern Outer Banks.

Feels strange not to be walking forward. It does, however, have its rewards.

I have accepted Karen's invitation to return to COLUMBIA two weeks hence for their yearly Holiday Craft Show and Parade.

I will drive SPIA, as Karen will have a house full of visitors for the events. On the way, I plan to visit more ROANOAK ISLAND and mainland villages...and, of course, do more walking.

Oh, Yes...Googled FIREFOX refusal to open. Others have experienced the same problem. One kind soul gave the "fix":


Presto...FIREFOX opened like magic.

I know...any five year old can do it.

Problem is, I ain't no more five years old !

Friday, November 18, 2011


As promised, this morning drove to AVON, OUTER BANKS, NORTH CAROLINA, and parked at the Ace Hardware.

Bought a wide-tine pitch fork to clean up the yards of DEJA VU and HAPPY CLAM..then walked to BUXTON, 6 miles South on SR 12.

Leaving AVON.

Last home in AVON when travelling South.

The walk to BUXTON was uneventful, walking with the ATLANTIC OCEAN 100 meters on my left and PAMLICO SOUND 200 feet on my right.

Buxton is the location of the HATTERAS LIGHT HOUSE...the Tallest Light House in the USA.

It is another 2 miles South and East, a bit removed from the village.

As it was noon local time, stopped in at the SHIPWRECK GRILL. I was served the B E S T Bagel sandwich ever...two fried eggs, two thick slices of local cured ham, smothered in melted cheese...Yum Yum.

SR 12 as it passes through BUXTON. The HATTERAS LIGHTHOUSE is a couple miles to the right.

Bit of History

SR 12 approaching BUXTON from the North.

On my return to AVON, came across some wet-suit clad "Kite Surfers"...this is Bix, just returning from hgh speed dashes to and from Kite of the best Kite Surfing waters in the World - or so I was informed.

Please say HELLO to Bix.

Bix and I chatted for some time...he demonstrated how to change to naked and back to street clothes while on a public beach, using a "gown" expressely designed for the purpose. I stopped in at the KITTY HAWKE KITE SHOP to check the gown out, but they were sold out.

Please say HELLO to Huy...from Viet Nam, now living in LOS ANGELES.

Huy uses a board without foot holds while kiting. Huy says it takes some years to become expert enough to Kite Board with a foot-holder-less board.

The design is the flag of the State of Hawaii.

Huy took a pic of me with his board...sure is tempting to take some lessons. The KITTY HAWKE KITE SHOP in the village of WAVE - next door to RODANTHE has all the equipment and gtives lessons. It is advertised that anyone can quickly learn after only a couple lessons. A set of equipment and lessons can be purchased for a meager $2,000.00 or so.

Even so, I am VERY tempted !!!

Vic on the fly from Kite Point. Vic is the friend of Bix.

Around the corner from this point - Kite Point - is Canada named for the hundreds of Summer Canadian Wind Surfers who come to the OUTER BANKS to play.

Please say HELLO to Vic.

Vic is holding the "Control" assembly for his kite: the contraption is spring loaded with four lines leading to the NASA developed canopy.

Pull back bends both sides of the caopy which is akin to stepping on the accelator.

Pull back on the Right hand side pulls in the right side of the canopy which causes the canopy to turn right. Pull back on the Left hand side turns left.

Let the control handle spring full forward collapses the canopy and it stops pulling you.

Sounds simple enough.

The entire assembly is attached to the safety belt around Vic's waist with a quick disconnect.

Tonight is going to be another COLD night. Some folks I met this afternoon are expecting Snow this Winter...a not altogether unheard of event for the OUTER BANKS, but not common either.

Tomorrow and Sunday I will do yard clean-up.

FIRE FOX still dows not boot up, so I am using Windows...what a pain in the Tush !!!