Today was our last day on Pea Island. Not just working there, but being there...at least for the foreseeable future.
Ya know the saying "You don't know what you've got till it's gone."? Dan and I are kind of feeling that way now. When we closed up the Visitor Center tonight and headed to drive out of the drive way, you look to the right and can't see around the curve, but you look across the road at that expanse of sand dunes and know that on the other side of it is the ocean in all it's glory and/or fury and the shore birds that you have just finally started to be able to identify, or at least ya THINK you can.
You look to the left and you can see a long way down the road headed north towards the mainland and sand dunes obviously banking along that road too. The ponds of the Pea Island Refuge are visible almost the whole drive back to the Oregon Inlet, so that makes the birds visible to you as well....birds that we won't see again for a while.
It isn't just that this was our last day on Pea Island but Dan and I have made the decision to leave Alligator River NWR on Tuesday, January 12th, IF the weather cooperates.
While it may appear that we didn't have the fun, warm time that we had hoped to have had while here, we really are fortunate and grateful for all that we experienced, all that we learned, all that we saw and heard (the red wolves howling early this morning for one thing), all the wonderful people we have met, so we are extremely thankful that we had this opportunity and we would do it again....hopefully in a season when the U.S. isn't in a deep freeze!!!
But with the extremely cold temps, the fact that we had a couple of days with no water at all due to a pump in the refuge's pump house and that we decided yesterday to winterize our 5th wheel, we are planning on leaving January 12th, weather permitting. By that I mean if the wind isn't howling sideways...which happens a lot here. We still have to work the next two days so I might not be getting much done online.
So, I've got a LOT of things I want to post before we leave because once we are on the road I don't know when I will be able to get back online again. We asked the Army Corp of Engineers if it would be OK if we arrived at our job early and it wasn't a problem for them so we have to keep them informed of our progress too.
Hopefully between this post and when we leave bright and early (we hope) Tuesday morning, I will be able to finish up about the lighthouse and post some more photos of various things we've seen the past week or so.
AND that WAS a very large, very healthy female bobcat. Abbey was able to collect her the next morning and put her in the freezer. The bobcat will make a wonderful addition to their new office/learning center that will be built hopefully this spring/summer.
For the Record Book
5 days ago