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  • Writer's pictureA Bloke and a Blue

Early days

D-Day (Departure day) has arrived. All the waiting, planning and preparing are behind us as we leave our good friends Alex and Tavia’s house. Finley ever watchful in the backseat could sense it, that feeling of excitement and trepidation that courses through us as we start a new adventure. First stop was the CAT scales to make sure we were legally within the weight capacity of both the truck and camper. Had we packed too much? Probably. Had we forgotten anything? Probably but too late now we are on the way!! CAT scales said we were a bit porky but within specs so as the French say “on y va!”

You will be shocked to learn that our first stop for the night was at a vineyard. In a previous life I had co-owned a wine shop and had the pleasure of meeting Ken Gulian of Round Peak Vineyards in Mount Airy. Back then Ken was just starting out and I liked the wines he was producing and the vision he had for the future. So I was very pleased to see that Round Peak was a host member for Harvest Hosts a sort of club that allows RVer’s to stay overnight at host members. I think this is an excellent program and I will write a post about my experiences once I have stayed at a few locations.

The tasting room at the vineyard was closed but Ken met me there and gave me a private tasting of some of his back vintages and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and character of his wines. In particular I thought his Nebbiolo and Nero D’Avola were outstanding! The vineyard is beautifully sited atop a hill with 360 degree views of the surrounding mountains. In the summer months there is an outside patio for tasting al fresco with a view over the vineyards. Definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.

I tottered back to the camper, fed Finley and fell into a vinously aided slumber. That night temps dipped into the teens but we were kept toasty warm by the Propex heater. The Pro

pex was an item that I had researched and specified for the build and it was gratifying to see and feel it work well. I will do a separate tech review of the Propex and other items once I have given them a full workout.

We left Mount Airy for our second destination, yes you guessed it, another winery. This time a visit to A Secret Garden Winery in Pikesville NC. It was a bitterly cold day and they were closed so I was unable to taste their wines but I could tell they were primarily sweet varietals which are typically not to my taste.

The next day we continued our eastward direction all the way to the Outer Banks and the sparsely occupied Oregon Inlet Campground. This is where our journey really begins in my mind and though I have not yet dipped my toes into the frigid Atlantic Ocean, I will before we leave to head west. Once you leave the commercial Nags Head region and head south the true Outer Banks reveals itself. A line of sleepy villages dot this narrow island all the way down to Hatteras. Oregon Inlet is best known as the base for a world famous offshore fishing fleet that leave the inlet and prowl the warm offshore currents for white and blue marlin, sailfish, tuna, dolphin (mahi mahi not Flipper) and many other species of fish. I have fond memories of many fishing trips with friends here and fighting these magnificent creatures out on the ocean. (All billfish were released, other fish were caught for the dinner table.

Our two days at Oregon Inlet passed too quickly but we were beginning to slow down and that was just fine with me. Finley loves playing in the surf and playing catch with his frisbee. Something about being by the sea seemingly alters time allowing one to relax, breathe and think.

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