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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Elisabeth City,NC…The Largest Coast Guard Base in the US!

Onslow Beach!... Marines in Action!
Leaving Camp Lejeune fairly early, we encountered a column of marching Marines on the side road to Onslow Beach. I could tell they had been marching from the main part of the base some ten miles away. It was already in the mid-seventies. They were sweaty, but in good spirits! I had pulled over to let them march by. I talked to them making encouraging comments!
Approaching the Main gate, we were warned that the traffic inbound would be heavy. Well let me tell you, the cars were backed up for fifteen miles! I was sure glad were we going the other way. Jacksonville and the Marines are putting a four lane highway and a major bridge to alleviate the traffic problem.

Redneck Marine With His Tank
On His Snow Machine Trailer
20 Mile March!
The road north on NC 17 is a good road for us to be on. It wasn’t an interstate, but we could move right along. The road took us into farm country, small towns and such. I like seeing how people live in the countryside. Today’s target was Elizabeth City, NC. A fellow camper at Camp Lejeune told us about a campground at the US Coast Guard Base. It only has about 20 sites. We gambled and drove in. Got a full hookup site. Real nice sites with concrete pads, lilac trees, waterfronts, sandy beach and of course a runway just yards from the campground. So far, only four aircraft have come and gone. We had originally planned on making it to Virginia Beach, but the distance and the weather would change our plans. The weather for tomorrow is for thunderstorms and we really didn’t want to ruin our first impressions of Virginia Beach. Now, I’m told by another camper that I might not be able to get on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel because of wind restrictions. Plan “B” will go into effect. We will go to Virginia Beach, s
tay a while and than head west on I-64 to I-81 North. What this will do for us is put us in the Gettysburg area. I will continue my hands on education of the battles of the Civil War.

Back in Elizabeth City, we spent the afternoon downtown in a large museum. It was very hot today (96*) and the AC in the museum did the trick. Interesting thing about the museum is the history of the locals. They were split in there loyalty between the Union and the Confederacy. Many joined and became guerillas in their areas to harass the other side. The war here was not pretty!
After the museum, later in the afternoon, we explored the downtown waterfront district. We sat in the park and watched sailboats come in and docking. To us non-sailors, it was interesting to see the husband navigate the boat and the wife manhandle the ropes. Whoops, that should say woman-handling the ropes!
The grill came out tonight for our evening meal. The wind picked up after dinner and for the first time, I extended the camper jacks to ground for added stability. In the event of really severe weather, I am told that the security forces would notify us to move to the gym. After all, who would know more about the weather than the US Coast Guard. They probably will have to respond to a rescue situation at sea!
That is what we did and saw! 

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