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The history of The Outer Banks goes back some 300 years.During this time, over 2,000 ships have been lost along this treacherous coastline, giving The Outer Banks the distinction of being known as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic.” Indeed, the waters here are some of the most treacherous in the world.The day is warm, the trees budding, the beautiful azaleas, their bright, multi-hued show in full swing.What an historic spot to begin a cross-country trek, and what a fine day to depart, a day to mark tribute, for today is seven months to the day that those brave Americans died for all of us.Here is the tallest lighthouse in the United States, standing at 208 feet.Just a few miles up the road there’s another very impressive light on Bodie Island.The tarmac is lifting and dancing before me, like a desert mirage, a literal frying pan.

Sluffice to say, and perhaps you can imagine spending over an hour wedged in a two-foot wide slot, hoofing it along between the bridge railing and the grilles, wheels and boxes roaring past your elbow as both lanes of oncoming traffic go whizzing by at sixty-plus. Well, I said two prayers: one as I set foot on the bridge, and one at the far end. Toward evening now, just shy of a thirty mile day, and in the rain, the little tornados constantly slamming me from the oncoming barrage, my prayers are answered once again. But the sign on the door reads “No Vacancy;” bummer number two, but I knock anyway. After greeting me, she says, “You’re in luck, just had a cancellation.” Whoohee!

I know that soon I’ll again get in the right mindset for this lunacy, but today I’m questioning my own sanity.

Ahh, dear folks, it takes a different breed of long distance hiker to come down out of the cool, protected green tunnel of the mountains and the woods–and take to the open roads–a different breed.

Sunday–April 14, 2002 Trail Day–4 Trail Mile–105 What a blessing to be away from the crushing traffic of busy US168.

This four-lane highway handles all the traffic coming and going to The Outer Banks.

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