Coconut Times - Ocean City Maryland
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DumbFounded
Written By: OC Fotoguy
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    I ended a rainy day driving through the Smokey Mountains and ended up in Monroe, N.C., to watch the NCAA Basketball Tournament Final Game.  I was in Duke’s home state!  I’m kind of a Mike K fan since the Terps left the Atlantic Coastal Conference.  I found a place that had a TV, an Irish Bar, near MegaMart, my overnight spot where I parked my nest (slide-in camper on a pickup truck).  I got into the game, but at halftime the bartender gave me my check and said they were closing at 10pm!  I went to the restroom, came back to pay my check, and was told that the people who had been several seats away had paid my check.  Amazing I’d never spoken to them or them to me!?
    I went up the street to the Road House steak place, sat down, and got interested in the game again.  Mid way through the second half I was given my check and told they were closing at 11pm!?!  I got out my credit card, but the bartender said, the person who’d been across the bar had paid my check!!??!!  Again, I’d never said anything to him or him to me!  Amazing!!!  No wonder I call this an Adventure; I never know what’s going to happen or when!  This may happen in Bible belt, where that effects alcohol laws.  I went outside, but could not see any other place that was open, where I could watch the game, so I walked back to my nest rather dumbfounded.  The next morning I found out Duke had won.
    Well my Adventure XVII is winding down.  I just selected my overnight locations for the next couple days and that only leaves one more, my condo in Ocean City.  My GPS told me that it’s only 670 miles by the fastest route home.  Of course I’m not going that way; I still have a couple more things to check out.  The carnivorous plants have my interest including Venus Fly Traps that grow in The Nature Conservancy’s Green Swamp Preserve near Wilmington, N.C. They may be blooming, having a feast for me to watch. My last event will be checking out the Outer Banks, but if it rains, which the radio guy says is supposed to happen, I’ll be in O.C. having a Margarita at HH sooner.
    I had trouble finding them.  I remember last year I saw them off this side of the trail.  This year there’s nothing.  Sometime since then there’s been a fire, maybe a planned burn.  Maybe that took care of last year’s remnants.  Lots of the plants have a thin tubular structure and fire would’ve consumed them.  I’m here a week or so earlier than last year, but it’s been much warmer, so I thought maybe I’d see the dastardly deed.  I combed the area, close to the trail head - nothing; so I took the board walk over the wet underbrush, and went off the trail again and searched - nothing.  Then about a hundred feet ahead I saw a round yellow something.  Maybe that’s one.  I walked there.  Yep, that’s one!  The flower was getting lots of sun and was beginning to open.  I walked farther searching the ground, then I looked back and there were two little short pitcher shaped plant structures.  That’s another!  Then, I was amongst a bunch of long tubular plant structures from last year’s growth.  There were a few small ball-like structures that were this year’s flowers to come. I was glad I’d found what I’d come here for, as last year I was too early to witness the deed.  These plants trap and eat insects!  Other than the sign at the trail head, this woods looks like any other.  Who would know carnivorous plants are here!  I’ll have to come back later to see that.  (Note:  I came back in September found the plants, plus Venus Fly Traps, and fed one a fly, and it snapped it up!  My Oct. 2nd article tells about it.)  As I walked back to my nest, I got interested in the yellow flowers of a vine that was climbing everything.  They were gorgeous.
    The sky got blue and I was too warm in a sweat shirt and jeans.  Hopefully I’ll bring the sun back to Ocean City!!!  Here comes my shorts and T-shirt.  Later I decided to check out the little town of South Port near the coast, that was close by.  The town was crowded and had a lot of traffic leaving it, so I decided to find a spot to park overnight rather than deal with that traffic; then I walked around.  There were about a dozen trucks that had all kinds of lighting and sound equipment, so I asked someone what was going on.  I was told that the filming of Under the Dome, a TV show, was going on.  I’ve never heard of it and went on to find a restaurant.  There were several right on the South River’s mouth.  I chose one, called Fishy Fishy.  Lots of locals were there and I ordered the Carolina Boil - WOW, delicious.  I got shrimp, clams and mussels, over a dozen of each, a piece of sausage and an ear of corn all cooked together and a mound of mashed potatoes.  Plus, I watched a gorgeous sunset as I ate.  I asked several locals about the Outer Banks.  Each said I had to do the ferries and drive the National SeaShore.  I’ll do that someday and check out the carnivorous plants again, maybe during one of O.C.s Noise Weeks this summer.
    The next day I drove to the south end of the Outer Banks, where the ferry leaves from Cedar Island that goes to Okracoke; the next day I’ll do the NagsHead end and Saturday or Sunday I’ll be back in Ocean City.  After driving to Cedar Island I overnighted in Beaufort, found the Fins Grill, and had their special of the day, Sheepshead Fish.  Yummy!  The next day the weather guesser was right.  It poured rain by the buckets.  I took a quick look at the northern Outer Banks and made a bee line for Happy Hour in O.C. in time to beat the Norfolk/Virginia Beach afternoon rush hour traffic.  My Adventure XVII was over!  I drove 9,681 miles in 130 days and loved it.  I was ready for summer in Ocean City.
    On the down slide and lovin’ it!  Ask me about a free photo.
 
Bob R  o.c.FotoGuy
more photos @ picasaweb.google.com/o.c.fotoguy2009
& facebook.com/OCfotoguy
PHOTOSAsYouWantThem.biz
articles @ coconuttimes.com
 
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