On Saturday morning I gathered together the registration certificate for my 1994 Ford pickup truck, my driver's license, and my checkbook, and headed to the National Park Service building to get my beach driving permit. All of the rangers there were pleasant and cordial. I asked about responses to the new regulations. I was told that the Park Service has issued about 100 permits so far, almost all of them annual permits. Of course, some people complained about the fees, but apparently everyone has been civil.
With my permit affixed to the windshield, I got David and Lachlan, and we went for a scud down to South Point. It was a perfectly beautiful winter day with colors that seem to appear only on chilly, windy days. We saw only two other vehicles -- one neighbor, and a couple from Virginia, bundled up for protection from the wind, doing some surf fishing.
Back in the village we stopped at the Post Office to check our mail. That's where we met Tom Wright who has restored a 1929 Model A Ford, and who drives it around the village. He offered to take us for a ride. What a fun time we had. Tom showed us how to advance the spark, choke the carburetor, turn the key, then press the starter button. The engine jumped to life and we toured the village. Tom blew the horn for us, showed us the gauges, and propped open the windshield (1929 air conditioning, he called it). On the way to the air strip we managed to accelerate to 45 mph, but we could hardly hear each other talk because the engine was so loud.
Back at the Post Office Lachlan thanked Tom and pronounced the adventure "awesome."
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the Civil War on the Outer Banks, Josephus Daniels, Jr, Secretary of the Navy during WWI, and his connection to Ocracoke. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news022112.htm.