Ocracoke - Henry's 70th

From left to right, me (in the new terminology tommy), Karen, Middle Henry, Big Henry, and Grace whose bicycle suffered an encounter with another bicycle. The occasion was Big Henry's 70th birthday on Aug  5, 2014. Middle Henry came over from Boulder. Karen and I drove from Belmont across on Highway 27/24 along a southerly route (we got badly lost in idyllic town called Clinton. Allie and Little Man stayed in Boulder. Henry has got  a 100 mile race coming up - I am going to Canada. Henry and Grace remain in the Republic of Acrocoke. Karen returns to Sister, family and hearth and home.

Father and son. Middle Henry and Big Henry - although these days the terms big and middle don't exactly apply.

Big Henry and Middle Henry. These are the only family pictures in the post, I screwed up. The rest of it is mostly Karen's and my travel log. I have gotten a little slack in my family blogs.

In Beaufort. Cemeteries are always photogenic - but I don't think poor Karen shares my interest.
Behind Hampton at Morehead City. People inside sat on stools at a long table laughing and tossing dice. Then some of the people came out and we all marveled.

Sunset at same Hampton. A big dog waded out into the water, happy, splashing. Then he hunched over and shit. I don't know what to make of this. Did it spoil the moment or make it?
Karen on sandbank near Cedar Island to Ocracoke ferry. She loved wading in the shallow water and seeing the miles of grass covered marsh land.  Walking back to shore our feet pressed through thin layer of sand leaving black tracks from the silt beneath.

Sand castle constructed by two French speaking boys. Comparing the regular pattern of sand castle to seemly random patter of sand pipers scurrying for food - it struck me that the sandpaper movement was random, complex and regular. 

Old cemetery in Beaufort - consort?

Some graves dating back to 17th century.

Me on sandbar.

Another cemetery on one of Ocrocoke's myriad back roads wandering across the island.  A linear thinker could not survive here. There are no patterns - only the random interchange of humans.

Trailing the ferry back across the sound headed home. There is no good way to get here - only different ways. Henry calls it the Republic of Ocracoke.  

Middle Henry's tattoo's. I am thinking about getting them too. I think the broken one means peace and the other the opposite. Maybe it is a Buddhist thing. Henry does a 100 mile ultra marathon next month. Just to stay in shape  he did normal marathons every day he was here. Both Middle Henry and his father fixed meals - their skills are beyond just good.  We talked about family - stories that had not been heard by all. We traced family history and tried to understand the mysterious one who is gone.
Missing a turn we got badly lost in Clinton - a pretty little town with no road signs past the perimeter. Panicky, Karen and I discussed ways to go when we stopped circling the square.  Getting out was luck and cell phone GPS that we could barely read. 
Excited, Karen told me about statues of soldiers kneeling toward US flag and a black flag.
We had two meals at the harbor front Sanitary restaurant - maybe in Morehead maybe in Beaufort.  The food was good. The restaurant got it's name to distinguish it from previous place which was not sanitary.  However the current Sanitary restaurant has only a 90 sanitation grade.   
 (When I was growing up in Shelby there was a place called the sanitary lunch.)
In Beaufort we sat under a gazebo to get out of the drizzle while eating lunch (breakfast?) that Karen had fixed when she saw a horse standing in the water across the bay. We later learned that a herd of horses live on the little island. Typically Karen saw things before I did - including stop signs.
Going up Cedar Island on highway 12 we passed through a community with a road sign that said "Autistic Child Area".
When we arrived, Ocracoke  has gotten three inches of rain in the last few days. There were deep puddles on all the roads. We had to wade through many, while avoiding the horde of bicycles, golf carts, cars and big pick ups.
Getting ready to go to the fancy restaurant across the street, Karen got mad at me because I would not trim my unruly goatee.
Big Henry and I managed not to have any of our passionate but friendly fights (about food, politics, whatever). It occurred to me that although not related by blood, this guy is one of the few family members I have.
On the three nights we got together, there were good stories about the lives of Henry and my mysterious sister.