The afternoon of the day we decided to leave the Jeep behind a ranger stopped by to tell us they were closing the campground the next day due to a large storm front that was headed our way. Winds were expected to be in the 50 MPH range, with gusts even higher. We’ve sat out a storm with winds like that in New Mexico. It wasn’t fun, but we’re still here. But that wasn’t an option this time. Fortunately we were planning to leave the next day anyway.
We crammed all the backpacking gear and misc stuff from the Jeep in the back of the bus and hit the road the next morning. We cut inland and headed south for somewhere to sit out the storm. Driving the bus in the rain sucks and I wasn’t about to do it with everyone on board.
I also wasn’t crazy about camping anywhere with pine trees when the forecast was for days of soaking rain followed up by high winds. Unfortunately nearly every campground on the Carolina coast is full of pines and oaks. I’ve seen too many trees come down in too many campgrounds to risk it when I don’t have to. We found a hotel south of Wilmington and booked two nights.
The storm came on slowly. The first morning not much happened. I decided we probably had time to check out the nearby battleship North Carolina before the brunt of it hit us. The kids and I grabbed an Uber over to the battleship. We had the place to ourselves, which was fun. We wandered around below decks for a couple hours, getting hopelessly lost a couple of times, but having fun nonetheless.
By the time we came back out the parking lot was starting to flood and I was a little worried about getting a ride back. It took a bit, but eventually we found someone as nutty as us and made it back to the hotel safe and sound.
I alternated between hanging out in the hotel, taking the kids to the indoor pool, and checking on the bus. Just to the south of us North Myrtle Beach took a beating, and up to the north of us Wilmington flooded. The Outer Banks had plenty of overwashed roads and high winds as well, but nothing nearly as bad as had been predicted. Curiously, where we were, other than a good steady rain for 24 hours, nothing much happened.
The next day we hit the road again bound for Edisto, winding our way through Charleston and then the marshland to the south.
Two days later Elliott turned nine and I turned forty-nine.
It was a very revolutionary war themed birthday — army men, books, costumes, anything at all related to the revolutionary war. His sisters carved him wooden figures as well, two British and two patriots. The only non-revolutionary war gifts he asked for were bacon and chocolate.