Vacation in the Outer Banks, NC

I haven’t posted much for a few days, but I’ve been on vacation!

img_20160610_162157167.jpgThought I would post what I remember from the trip here since I have a terrible memory and want some kind of record of it.

***Be warned, this will be a long post!

(But don’t worry, there will be a lot of pictures, too, so you can always scroll down and just look at them. :P)

13453095_10154174176120610_1622201492_oDestination: Frisco, NC on Hatteras Island in the Outer Banks. (Cape Hatteras National Seashore!)

Length of Stay: 2 Nights. Leaving a few days for travel, etc. So…4 days.

I did not expect all the cornfields. There’s a lot of farm land driving on down from Virginia to the Outer banks, and its a great combination of rural landscape and the ocean in the background.

We arrived at Frisco Campgrounds in the afternoon on Friday, and the ranger, who’s grey-haired and a bit stooped and brown from the sun, hands us a campground map and says in that laid-back southern way:

“Well, here’s how it works: you go around and pick out two or three sites that look good to you and then you come back to me and tell me which one you want. Some look like they are empty, but they’re not, so you got to pay attention.”

13453479_10154174165540610_1034518977_oThe first site we picked out, I got stung by a hornet as soon as we went to move the picnic table. (Looks like they were building a nest, and we were not allowed to help!)

At the second, while setting up our tent, I stepped on one of the small cactus plants which were scattered amidst the grass and sand like prickly, evil minefields. Oh, and did I forget to mention the fire-ants? (although, they didn’t really bother us.) And the mosquitoes? And the wind that nearly blew our tent away the second night?

But despite mother nature getting the better of us, we were able to get our tent set up and got to see this view:

img_20160610_171711575.jpg

img_20160612_091725798.jpgThe beaches were mostly empty as they were used primarily by the campground and there weren’t that many people staying that weekend.

img_20160610_171635529.jpgThis might also be due to the fact that the board walks used for access to the beach were flooded from the recent tropical storm. See all that water there in between the dunes and the shrub-like trees?

Yeah. That’s not supposed to be there.

img_20160610_171639339.jpgMost of the campsites had some pools of water tucked into the corner somewhere. In one campsite, the picnic table was surrounded by a nice lake of water, and one of the bathrooms and showers was also surrounded (this also added to the mosquito problems) but despite this, we still had a good time.

Imagine all the colors possible in mother nature…let them fill your mind and breathe them in and hold them close to your heart, like a feeling that you’ve stumbled upon an accidental paradise; and even though, it’s not perfect, it feels like it is because of the way the sights and the sounds and the smells assault your senses.

img_20160610_171655268_hdr.jpg

Walking through it, the water was like the color of cherry juice with a hint of rusty-brown at the edges. But glancing out over the flooded land, the sky made it look the bluest of blues, as the grass and sea oats swayed in the breeze and the water rippled, caught by the wind.

Large, black tadpoles swirled around your ankles as you walked through the water on the boardwalk. There’s the gurgle and splash of the water as you step through and the sun is bright and makes everything sparkle.

At the end of the boardwalk there’s the climb through soft deep, warm sand to the top of the dunes, and then there’s the intake of breath and this view:

img_20160610_171705896.jpgNothing to see but ocean and no one around for miles, but for a few people. Here on the beach if you have ORV, feel free to drive them down by the water, which I thought was kind of neat.

For dinner that night we went to Dirty Dick’s Crab house (no lie, that was its name!) and got this platter for two:

13410720_10154174173440610_660206797_o(1)It was full of crab, shrimp, clams, potatoes and corn. So, so good!

That night it was star-gazing and listening to the chorus of frogs and insects hum and croak and drone through the campground…the noise was really quite impressive.

13467543_10154174166340610_1375642821_oThe next day, we climbed the lighthouse at Cape Point, and got these views:

13446092_10154174166020610_915295096_o 13445900_10154174165830610_11397569_oSee this water here in the above picture? Yeah, that’s not supposed to be there either…it was the campground we were first supposed to stay at, which got flooded from the storm.

13441739_10154174165900610_29198612_oMike, the other half was quite funny when he was taking these pictures…he had a hard time getting close to the railing as he was afraid of heights! Meanwhile, I’m hanging my head over the side like a loon, but I did get dizzy walking back down the swirly stairs.

13441863_10154174165780610_2062672348_oIt’s the tallest lighthouse in North America and pretty impressive.

I got all sorts of sun burnt that day, though, and that night we had problems with the wind blowing at our tent, so the next day it was packing and the drive back home.

We got stuck in traffic for a few hours on 95 coming through Virginia somewhere around Richmond. It was 100 degrees at some point, so thank God for AC!

On our way to find food and a bathroom in Williamsburg, VA, we accidentally drove through historical WIlliamsburg, which was a treat.

Passing through Maryland, we saw a car on fire on the side of the highway and then driving through Pennsylvania on 81, I got car-sick.

But I have to remember these little oddities and that’s what makes a vacation as special as it is sometimes:

13446312_10154174176320610_2080884460_o 13460763_10154174176370610_1774136575_oSeeing some of the annual kite festival as we were driving through Kitty Hawk on Friday.

13442010_10154174165530610_394978242_oThis adorable little deer which hung around our campsite for some time that last night, and only ran away because our tent flapping in the wind scared him.

img_20160610_182449115.jpgSea turtle nesting sites…

img_20160610_155745190.jpgWalking in the surf…

img_20160610_202107193.jpgAnd a good sunset to end a busy day.

I’m ready for our next beach time adventure! (I do have a new beach umbrella and kite to try out!)img_20160613_120439217.jpgI didn’t go too crazy on the souvenirs as we really didn’t have the money, but I did get me a new key-chain to add to my collection. And anyway, a picture is already worth a thousand words.

Now there’s the question:  Where to next?

Happy Writing!  (And Traveling!)

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