Dec. 28-30 2008

Rail crossings on divided highways aren't totally unheard of, but they are uncommon. This is east on US 64 entering Dardens, NC. US 64 is not a freeway here, but it is divided.

This is 13 minutes east of Dardens, looking south from US 64. The terrain flattens out, and much swampland lurks behind this field.

Just after that, this is some of the swampy area in question. This must be near Roper, NC (named after the landlord on Three's Company, no doubt).

US 64 crosses the Scuppernong River entering Columbia, NC.

Columbia is the county seat of Tyrrell County in the lowlands of northeastern North Carolina. This is looking east on US 64 in Columbia.

US 64's North Carolina portion is about 600 miles long. This is 7 minutes east of Columbia.

Continuing through Tyrrell County, this is the swamp.

Looking back at an eerie, gated path off US 64, probably near the unincorporated village of Alligator.

A video of US 64 crossing a drawbridge over the Alligator River. This span is so long that it takes up most of this clip (over 2 minutes). We also enter Dare County. I guess it's called that because they dare you to bring in fireworks by posting a sign on another bridge saying, "ALL FIREWORKS ILLEGAL."

It appears as if we're still on the same bridge minutes after the clip. This is looking towards the marshy, lightly populated Dare County mainland.

US 64 on the mainland of Dare County, near the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge.

US 64 picks up US 264 and goes over another long bridge - this one over Croatan Sound to Roanoke Island.

Going over the peak of the bridge. Over, Grover.

From the bridge's peak, looking south at Croatan Sound - towards the much larger Pamlico Sound.

Descending the bridge to Roanoke Island, you'll notice that it curves.

US 64/264 is about to cross another bridge - this one over Roanoke Sound to Bodie Island. Bodie Island, which is part of the Outer Banks, contains the bulk of Dare County's population: It has the communities of Nags Head, Kill Devil Hills, and Kitty Hawk. It's also the island where there's an Allowed Cloud against fireworks.

"Girl, I want your Bodie...You know I love your Bodie...Girl, I need your Bodie...Won't you come home with me now..." Ascending the bridge to Bodie Island!

Looking south at Roanoke Sound.

Descending from the peak of the bridge to Bodie Island. After the road arrives on the island, US 64 finally ends. (It runs all the way from Teec Nos Pas, AZ, Navajo Nation.)

Still on the Roanoke Sound bridge, this is looking southeast towards Bodie Island or some of the smaller islands surrounding it.

The section of the US 64 causeway between Pond Island and Cedar Island, which are like tiny satellites of Bodie Island. (Cedar Island in fact is a peninsula of Bodie Island.)

After the end of US 64, Bodie Island went on like this for miles. This is going north, paralelling the Atlantic coastline. Nags Head is built up with homes that are mostly just for the relatively well-off.

Finally! International waters - or as Homer Simpson calls it, "the land the law forgot"! From around Nags Head, this is the Atlantic Ocean! Actually, international wa begins 12 nautical miles from the shore. Although the beach is public, it was hard to find public access to it, because private homes monopolize so many access points and because they try to make public access points hard to find.

I guess it's just the international waters pumping through my veins, but I had to get another photo of the ocean. It was cold, so nobody was using the beach.

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