Because BroJoe loves Lake Mattamuskeet so much, I have been reading to learn more about it.  Even though we grew up in the same small city in eastern North Carolina, he is far more knowledgeable than I about the coastal counties of the state.   The greater Alligator River Wildlife Refuge looks swampy and snaky enough to repel me but is a magnet for BroJoe, perhaps for the same reason.

After all, he has snake boots.

When I was a quite young, years before BroJoe was born, my mother and her youngest sister were taking my two cousins and me for a drive on Hwy. 94, which crosses Lake Mattamuskeet.  The 72-mile long highway had been completed since 1942, well before we were born.   Nevertheless, my aunt  (who was driving that day) yelled at us to be absolutely quiet because, she said,  we were going over a huge lake on a bridge which didn’t yet have sides to it and it was so dangerous that cars often went into the water.   She issued rapid-fire instructions that we were to sit statue still and not say a word or she’d be unable to concentrate and that would make her drive off the road and kill us all.

There was no way my two whiny cousins could go five minutes without irritating each other.  We were doomed.  I was so terrified  by that realization that I feared I’d throw up, thereby causing more distraction to my aunt and hastening our demise.  I slid down to the floorboard and put arms over my head, waiting for the inevitable.  Huddled on the floor, I imagined the dark water swirling far beneath us, although from that vantage point, I never actually saw what was out there.

My lifelong fear of bridges began during that ride.  Ironically, it has only been since I have been looking at BroJoe’s photos and reading about the area that I have come to realize that my aunt omitted two key points of information:  There had never been any intent to build “sides” to the bridge because it wasn’t even a bridge.  There had been no water swirling beneath us.

The second omission?  The lake water was only two to three feet deep.

Wouldn’t you think she might have mentioned that?

Take the drive for yourself.  You’ll be looking out the window instead of lying on the floor.  Had I done so at the time, I’d surely have enjoyed the ride.

After watching that video, I felt like this:

Not dead in the water… I mean that I felt like an ass.

Are these guys shy, or are they doing a water ballet?  Looks like synchronized swimming to me.



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