Back in the Woods

Enjoying the sounds of silence.

We headed north out of Myrtle Beach, bound for the Outer Banks, but we rarely like driving more than 200 miles in a day, so we stopped off at a small campground called Oyster Point to break up the drive. Oyster Point proved wonderfully isolated and private relative to Myrtle Beach. It was a nice change and there were a few things to do in the area so we ended up staying a week.

I finished up a couple bus projects, added two more solar panels to the roof, but mostly it was just really nice to be back in nature. The woods were quiet, there were only a handful of other campers around and they were quiet. Our campsite was completely enclosed by pines and undergrowth, with a trail that led down to the marsh.

It was good to mainly just hang around for a few days, relaxing in camp. It wasn’t until the second day that Corrinne pointed out the last time we’d really camped like this, off the grid, quiet, somewhat remote, was way back in Colorado in 2018.

Ever since then we’ve either been staying in one place, or at a state park near the beach, both of which generally mean crowded campgrounds. Our next destination is back by the beach, so our quiet, private week in the woods was just that, a week. But it got the hamster in my head turning some wheels.

The only drawback was the biting midges, which were particularly bad after it rained one night. Oddly, there were less of them down by the marsh, which, despite being right at the mouth of two rivers, must have been more salt than fresh water. Whatever the case there were fewer bugs there and a good tree for hanging out in.

One thing I forgot to test before we came out to the woods, back off the grid, was the 12V power on our Engel freezer. Something appears to have happened to the 12V motor (as of this writing I am still troubleshooting it with the very helpful technicians at Engel). I figured no big deal, we have an inverter, it’s inefficient to run it that way, but it’ll work at least.

And that’s when I discovered our inverter had died as well. Sigh. Failures always seem to cascade. The dead inverter was especially disappointing since I think we’ve used it maybe five times in as many years. At least it gave the kids something to tear down and explore for an afternoon.

It was nice and peaceful to be back in the woods, but there was also a bunch of cool stuff in the nearby towns. We spent a day at the maritime museum and some time wandering around the town of Beaufort, which has a long maritime history. We also made it over to the aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, which had a first in our recently resumed travels — a touch tank that was actually open, and touchable.

The only bummer was that this was our last chance to have a campfire for a while (the National Seashore up in the Outer Banks doesn’t allow wood fires). We made the most of it while we could. And really, what’s a campfire without plenty of marshmallows?

So long Oyster Point, and thanks for all the silence.


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