Westward Ho … and final day at Outer Banks

After wanting to make it there for years, we’re finally at the home of Dale’s brother Dan, near Clyde (near Asheville) in far western North Carolina. It’s great to catch up with Dan, BJ and daughter Dana.

In the last two days we’ve travelled from about as far east to as far west as one can travel in North Carolina. We’ve gone from watercourses and inlets and sounds here, there and everywhere … to now being at the edge of the Great Smokey Mountains.

Yesterday before we checked out of our Outer Banks base camp, Dale and I drove north to the seaside community of Duck. Craig, a good friend had recommended Evans Crab House there, but alas, no longer existed. What did exist was a misty but beautiful view out on Currituck Sound. See below.

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We sipped on fairly nasty coffee and overly sweet donuts while we gazed out on the Sound. Earlier I just had to check out the Wright Brothers National Memorial again, so I did; walking to the spots where that first “Flyer” made it’s oh-so-short flights, as well as to the hill where a year or two earlier, they had conducted hundreds of glider flights.

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By midday we were on the road, heading west to Raleigh, in the middle of NC and the capital. In fact we made it a bit further to the university city of Durham. Once again, we stayed for a really good rate (breakfast & wifi included) at a Comfort Inn. Unfortunately Dale didn’t have the best of nights. It did remind us of our thoughts about 20 years ago of doing postgrad study at Duke University.

By nine the next morning, we’re off again – to our destination of Clyde. Lots of traffic for the first hour of our travels, but by lunchtime we were well and truly approaching the foothills of the Smokey Mountains. Some really beautiful highway – side flowers growing.

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Dad encouraged us to checkout the Biltmore Estate – 8000 acres, largest home in the USA (or is that the world?!), built in late 19th century by Vanderbilt family, 1 million tourists a year and built like one of those huge, sprawling European mansions. Well, we drove in to the visitors centre (among beautiful landscaping) to be shocked with the unfortunate news – and we only wanted to drive around – that it would cost us $59 each. No thanks! So the best we can offer this blog is this Googled picture!

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It’s Friday. We’ve done two of our big travel legs now. Sunday morning – back to Dad’s home at Garrettsville, via Pittsburgh.

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Cheers,
David

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