Thursday, June 7, 2012

North Carolina


We recently got back from a trip to North Carolina, specifically the outer banks. It's a beautiful state. There was even wildflowers and landscaping along the roadsides. On the coast of North Carolina the towns blend together on the long wisp of land, with ocean on both sides. It has different feel from somewhere like Florida, though today it’s just as hot as it would be down there. My fair skin stands vulnerable to sunburn in I stay out of souvenir shops for too long. Colorful warehouses selling t-shirts and bikinis, ridiculously overpriced shrimp dinners advertised on billboards, and a mix of old and new hotels line the main drag. Beach-umbrella colors, airbrushed surfboards, and lighthouse figurines adorn the shops.

Popular sports of the area seem to be surfing, hang gliding, fishing, boating, and parasailing. The water is no where near as nice and warm as it is in the Gulf of Mexico though most don’t mind- very few wear diver’s suits.

The style of the cities and shores are less parrots-and-palm-trees, more of long-docks-and-lighthouses. Many of the side streets are flooded with inches of water, but no one seems to care much. Tall wooden beach houses on stilts line the shores, many not more than 20 feet apart from each other, in colors like sea foam green and conch shell pink.

If you know your history, you know that Kitty Hawk North Carolina is where two Buckeye brothers made a name for themselves. We didn’t go up to the monument or the museum- you had to pay. But you could see the enormous obelisk monument from the road and I used the telephoto on my camera to read what the engraving on the side said..

WILBER WRIGHT

ORVILLE WRIGHT

Okay. Been there, done that. Another thing to check off. But somehow travel is more than that to me.

This was the land of Kitty Hawk- site of man’s first flight; and of Edward Teach- that is, Blackbeard’s final resting place. A land of rolling sand dunes held up by wiry grasses, rich history, and unique wildlife. Exotic plants like cacti and bamboo grow naturally on the landscape. There are many brown signs on the roads, signifying natural preserved areas, beaches, and campgrounds.

The long curving bridges remind me of island hopping in the Keyes. In some places they gracefully arch up to allow boats to pass. In the late afternoon fishermen bring in their catches and lay them upon the dock. The boats have names like Starbreeze, Pelican, and Tuna Fever. The fishing poles are at least twice as high as the boats themselves and look line enormous antennas.

Yellow machine’s plow the sand on the road- due to the almost constant wind that sculpts the dunes. The dunes are just high enough that you can’t always see the ocean from the car, but every now and then you can get a peak at the sapphire sea over the low-lying shrubs and coarse grass.

Once as we were crossing we rode congruently with a seagull. They are much bigger up close. White caps and fishing boats could be seen in the distance as Enya played over the stereo. Then endless horizon line, so straight it must have been drawn with a yardstick.





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