A bit of guilt: Bill Leslie's first vacation during a hurricane

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It was a strange vacation — it began with a bit of guilt. I had just gotten off a plane in Seattle and rented a car. Cindy and I were driving to Mount Rainier on our way to Oregon when my cell phone rang.

It was WRAL-TV asking if I could help cover Hurricane Florence. When I told them that Cindy and I had just begun our long-awaited retirement vacation to the Pacific Northwest, the station said, “Don’t worry about it. Have a great time!”

But I did worry about it. It’s just my nature, I guess. I worried about dear friends and family in the path of the storm. And I worried about the WRAL news team and the incredibly long hours members would be putting in covering the storm better than anyone else.

Bill Leslie: Summer in the Mountains

Gloria. Hugo. Fran. Floyd. Matthew.

I’ve covered so many hurricanes over the years, and I do have a pretty strong knowledge of the storms and how each one was different.

Bill Leslie: Oregon in a hurricane

Former co-anchor Kelcey Carlson even texted me from Minneapolis suggesting I help with WRAL’s coverage. But this was different. I would sit this hurricane out, and WRAL did just fine without me. But next time I’ll be available and more than happy to help.

Elizabeth and Ava

Our vacation was wonderful. It had everything I like — gorgeous scenery, delicious food and delightful people along the way. Plus, the weather was mostly dry.

Using my song “The Boatman” and photographs from the trip I crafted this video titled “Oregon.” I hope you enjoy it.