Monday, November 10, 2014

Weekend on OBX, Part II

The next morning began with a simple yet beautiful sunrise on the Atlantic.
Many Midwesterners are familiar with the sand dunes found on Michigan beaches, but Jockey's Ridge State Park on the Outer Banks features the East Coast's highest sand dunes. I was thrilled to find out they are not as tall and intimidating as many of the dunes I've seen in Michigan, plus the weather was far more forgiving than on hot humid summer's day. I enjoyed climbing the dunes, spotting the ocean on one side and the sound on the other, watching kids roll down, and observing people taking hang gliding lessons.



Yes, if you have ever wished to try hang gliding, Kitty Hawk Kites offers three-hour long lessons for $110. On the day I watched, it seemed that the kids (aged approximately 10 - 12 years) were more successful than the adult students in getting off the ground for slightly longer periods of time. 



Another area worth exploring is Roanoke Island. A visit to Fort Raleigh National Historic Park means being left to wonder, "What really did happen to the Lost Colony?" In case you are not up on your early American history, the Lost Colony of Roanoke is one of this nation's oldest unsolved mysteries. In 1587, a group of slightly over 100 English colonists settle on Roanoke Island. Later in that same year, John White, the governor of this new colony, returned to England for more supplies. However, he was unable to sail back to Roanoke quickly due to a naval war that broke out between England and Spain for which Queen Elizabeth needed all available ships. When White finally did cross the ocean three full years later, in 1590, he found no one on the island. The only clues left behind were the word "Croatoan" carved into a log, and the bones of one individual. To this day there are numerous theories regarding what happened, but nothing is known for certain.

Located in the park area are the Elizabethan Gardens, which are a tribute to the first English Colonists in the New World. Admission to the Gardens costs $9 per person, and they were quite lovely in October, although are likely even more beautiful in the spring and summer.


Again querying a local for a restaurant recommendation resulted in a nice dinner. Fisherman's Wharf Restaurant is located right on the water on the north side of the island and features a variety seafood dishes. Be forewarned, however, that some of the dishes might not be prepared in the most healthy manner - I had not expected my "Captain's Trio" of scallops, crabmeat and shrimp to be swimming in butter. I did greatly appreciate the fact that the vegetable of the day was a step up from what many such restaurants offer, as the offering of squash was sauteed with red peppers, onions, and white wine.

A gorgeous sunset afterglow combined with a rising crescent moon finished off the day.

Before heading back to DC, an excursion to the northern parts of the Outer Banks was warranted. A stop at Currituck Lighthouse and strolls along two nature trails proved that the Corolla area of the OBX is also worth visit.


The weekend was well spent, and I am glad that I chose the Outer Banks as the place to see on my inaugural visit to North Carolina.

Only fifteen states left!

4 comments:

  1. They told me the kids were having an easier time as there wasn't enough wind and it was moving around too much for the adults. Fisherman's Wharf was a huge meal.

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    1. True, the portions were very generous!

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  2. Mmm, butter. And don't kids weigh less? I love the shot of the orb weaver!

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    1. I suspect their small size had something to do with it! I can only take credit for a few photos, and that's not one I took. :)

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