$17.50+ Round Trip to Avon!
Well, as an OBX local residing in Nags Head, I determined that the round trip mileage from my house to the Canadian Hole/Ego Beach in Avon is exactly 100 miles. At around 20 mpg for the 4runner, and gas running $3.50+ per gallon...that puts me at or over $17.50 per trip. Likely the cost will be higher since gas prices continue to rise, and I believe is now above $3.60 per gallon in Nags Head. All in all, chasing the wind now has true fiscal ramifications! This Spring, we have had a number of windy days; however, most all have been "up and down" with short periods of strong wind followed by long periods of lull. I've experienced everything from remaining local and catching juiced 5.3m sessions at Jockey's Ridge (2 min from my house), to driving to Avon and getting skunked. The worst is when you leave wind to find wind, and where you left gets windier! This scenario happened last week when I was hoping to find some side-onshore waves/whitewater on the south side (east facing surf was non-existent) and made the drive to Buxton. The wind never happened on the southern OBX; however, Nags Head sites ripped with 30mph SW conditions! All in all, beyond the time spent driving around to find the perfect conditions, the fuel costs are now a real issue when making the trek. I can only imagine for the visiting crew who drive 100s of miles one way to catch an OBX weekend forecast; which either does not materialize, or is too crazy to enjoy.
I believe I may have to adopt a few road rules:
1) If SW wind is blowing, and the sky is cloudy, remain local.
2) If the ocean is completely flat, and winds are strong in Nags Head, remain local.
3) If strong SW wind but storms are approaching from the west, remain local.
4) If day 1 of a strong NE, remain local.
5) If day 3 of a strong NE and east facing ocean is all whitewater, head south for Izzys, Hatteras Inlet, or Ocracoke.
local = 20 mile radius, down to the Boiler
Well, these rules would be great if I could follow them, but...do I want to miss this...of course not!?! At least once June arrives and the consistent afternoon SW thermals return, Salvo Ramp will be back in the spotlight, and that site is about a 60 mile round trip for me, or somewhere over $10.00!
On the flip side, maybe I should invest in a kiteboard rig, and head south fully armed to catch any wind found!