Cleaning up and moving on

By Molly Harrison | Tuesday, September 6, 2011
The Outer Banks Triathlon needs volunteers this weekend.

Schwwooooo. I'm beat. I've just spent eight solid days pitch-forking marsh grass out of my yard, bleaching things that should never have to be bleached (yesterday I mopped walls) and picking the most random flotsam you could imagine out of the bushes (a cashmere sweater, kitchen utensils, several unbroken antique china tea cups), thanks to Hurricane Irene. * Fortunately, my husband and I are close to being done with the cleanup from this hurricane, but many others aren't so lucky. Many west-side dwellers on the Outer Banks (and river dwellers inland) will be cleaning up from this hurricane for months to come. And Hatteras Islanders, God bless them, will be cleaning up and trying to recover from all the lost income for years to come. Yes, Irene gave us a beating...

But from Nags Head through Corolla, Labor Day weekend was kind of like any other: The ocean was warm and swimmable, the beach was deliciously sunny and most all of our stores and restaurants and businesses on the northern beaches were running at full speed...

Hatteras Island got the worst of Irene, to be sure. Three new ocean-to-sound breaches formed on Pea Island, preventing any vehicular traffic to the island. Residents are being ferried over by way of Stumpy Point, but N.C. Governor Beverly Perdue announced this week that a temporary bridge over the largest breach will get traffic flowing along N.C. 12 in less than a month. The other breaches will be filled. So that's good news for the islanders...

It's been great, but not surprising, to see the way the locals have come together to help those most in need. Want to help out the Outer Bankers affected by the storm? The best compilation of ways to help I've seen so far is here: http://obxcommongood.org, They've got a comprehensive list of what is needed and reliable sources for making donations...

Meanwhile, while everyone is cleaning up from Irene, Hurricane Katia is headed toward the East Coast. The latest forecast is that Katia, at this writing a Cat 3, is going to be pushed out to sea by the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee, but it skirts by our coast, pushing in a good swell and causing nasty rip currents. It looks like it's going to be a wet week on the Outer Banks...

No matter... we've still got lots of fun things to do...

One way to brighten a day is with art. Stop by ARTspace Gallery in Southern Shores Crossing to see their latest exhibit, Abstract. Call (252) 261-2787. * The Dare County Arts Council building in Manteo had flood damage during Irene, but they've relocated to a temporary space in Kitty Hawk - 3708 N. Croatan Highway, Suite 2, between Spa Vogue and Trio. They're hanging an exhibit of watercolors by Rosemary Ferguson in the new space. Call (252) 473-5558. * Roanoke Island Festival Park is exhibiting the Art of David Eichenberger, a Raleigh artist who paints highly unusual fantasy works that blend nature and figures. Call (252) 475-1500...

Most of the big summer events are over by now, but the Whalehead Club still has some good stuff going. Their Wednesday Wine Festival, from 3 to 7 p.m., features wine tastings, live music by Kim Kalman, food and more for only $20 admission. * On Thursday at 2 p.m., see the N.C. Marionnette Theatre's presentation of Tom Benn and Blackbeard the Pirate. It's a great show for the little ones. * On Thursday night, starting at dusk the Moonlight Legend, Lore and Ghost Tour is a must-do. Tour the club by lantern light and hear tales of pirates, shipwreck victims and ghosts. * Call (252) 453-9040 for information about the Whalehead Club programs. * And remember, it's easy to spend an entire day in Corolla - take in the Whalehead Club, the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education, the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, the Corolla Wild Horse Museum and Corolla Village, a wild horse tour or kayak tour, a superb meal and a little shopping and you'll need a day off to recover...

Another wine tasting opportunity: the Wine Specialist in Kitty Hawk has free wine and cheese tastings every Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m. Call (252) 715-1717...

My recommendation, if the weather cooperates, is to visit The Elizabethan Gardens this week. The gardens in all their late-summer loveliness are open, and touring them is a great way to spend a couple of hours. Children love the gardens too!...

On Thursday, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Outer Banks is hosting a Community Yoga Class at 6:30 p.m. It's a multilevel class for all ages and skill levels, taught by Michelle Dorer of the Ashtanga Yoga Center in Nags Head...

On to the weekend: A big event is the Outer Banks Triathlon. Hundreds of athletes will converge on Roanoke Island on Saturday and Sunday to compete in swim-bike-run events of three different lengths. Get on board, if you want, there is still room. You can register online by Tuesday at midnight, or you can register Friday afternoon between 2 and 6 p.m. or the morning of the event. Registration and packet pickup are in a tent across from the aquarium and next to the airport on Airport Road. If you're not racing but want to help out, volunteers are needed, especially course marshals. Call (252) 255-6273 or go to www.obxtriathlon.org...

Saturday, be sure to head over to downtown Manteo for the Manteo Farmers Market. From 8 a.m. to noon you'll find booths with produce, sweets, crafts, art and more...

In Currituck this weekend, it's the 8th annual Currituck Wildlife Festival. This event showcases all forms of wildlife and wildfowl art, such as paintings, prints, carvings, decoys, photography, taxidermy and more. Exhibitors come from all over the East Coast. The festival is Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Currituck County High School in Grandy. Admission is $5 per adult (kids free) or $4 with a canned good donation for the Food Bank...

Sunday is 10th anniversary of 9/11. Hard to believe it's been 10 years. I bet you remember the details of that day as if it were yesterday. Be sure to fly your American flag all day on Sunday...

On Sunday at 1 p.m., there's a Vietnam Veteran Tribute in Kill Devil Hills. The tribute is at the Kill Devil Hills Veterans War Memorial at 1 p.m. For information, call (804) 222-6711...

Keep looking around our site for more fun things to do. There's a lot more, from live music to fishing adventures to exercise classes...

Finally, here's a little post-storm happy fact: When the Corolla Wild Horse Fund did a post-storm count of the Corolla wild horses they discovered that all 128 wild horses were doing fine after the storm. They accounted for the 14 foals from the spring and discovered something else: five new foals they didn't know about. Life renews itself...

About the Author Molly Harrison
Molly Harrison is managing editor at OneBoat, publisher of OuterBanksThisWeek.com. She moved to Nags Head in 1994 and since then has made her living writing articles and creating publications about the people, places and culture of the Outer Banks. When not working she practices and teaches yoga and spends as much time as possible outside and in or on the water with her husband and two children.