WITH EVERYTHING ON IT
A few weeks ago, I went to the Outer Banks, and as you can guess, we stayed in Duck, NC. We stayed on the shore of the beautiful Currituck sound, where we got to catch some vibrant red displays amidst heavy cloud cover.
We started by taking a ferry from the mainland to the island of Ocracoke. The ferry ride was a whopping two hours long, so if you go, you should plan on what to do. We ate lunch on the ferry because we boarded around lunchtime. There were a lot of tables on the ferry, so that was pretty convenient. We played cards for sometime, but that got boring very fast. The highlight (and what I did for the majority of the time) was standing on the outside deck in the front of the ferry. There was a constant gale hitting me as I stood there observing the water and the forming islands. I saw many seagulls and pelicans, swooping down and caressing the water's surface. The wind was the best part, though. My hair was going crazy, and I couldn't even open my eyes without wearing sunglasses.
As Ocracoke came into view I saw a little sandy island literally covered by flocks of birds. I wonder if that was a nesting ground or something. Ocracoke has some of the best ice cream ever. Although I don't personally like ice cream, I tried some coffee ice cream, and it was great! You can go to almost any ice cream or slushie stall to get great tasting, and heat busting snacks! Later, we went on a nature trail tucked away in a little street corner. At first, I didn't really want to go because it was smoldering and I was in no mood to walk, but I definitely enjoyed the walk! Throughout the trail there were wooden signs explaining the different plant species surrounding the pathway. This was pretty cool until we found one for poison ivy which made me cautious about where I was stepping. At the end of the trail there was a little marsh with a sandy deck which opened up to a expansive view of the ocean. I got a few good snaps and a breath of fresh ocean air, and we made our way back to the road.
Next, we drove to the Ocracoke lighthouse, which if you live in North Carolina, you've probably already seen. It is a little, stubby, white concrete lighthouse. Unfortunately, we couldn't climb to the top.
Next we took a smaller ferry to Hatteras island, where we went to see the Cape Hatteras lighthouse... again. It still managed to make a great picture! This was all we had time for in Cape Hatteras, because we had to make it to our rental house in Duck, NC, which was about a one and a half hour ride from Cape Hatteras.
You will know when you have entered the city of Duck. Almost every business has a name that has the word "duck" in it. Duck burgers, Duck donuts, Duck deli, Duck water sports, you name it! The house that we rented was probably in the best location ever. We had a water sports place down the street, a great view of the sound from the back of the house, and a direct road, walking distance, to the beach.
On the second day, we went to the Wright Brothers kite flying festival to fly my kite. Some of the kites there were crazy. I saw someone flying a huge whale. We brought my heli-kite, which I have never flown before, so it was a first time experience for us. I have to say, I think I did pretty well for a first-timer. I got it at least fifty feet off of the ground, but I couldn't get it any higher. If there was more wind, it would have probably gone higher.
Later that day, we headed to a horse sight-seeing place.... at five miles per hour. The traffic on Duck Rd. was crazy! Apparently it was always like this on that road on Saturdays. We would go a half a mile every twenty minutes. It was horrible. We barely got to the ride in time. On the tour, we rode in a re-purposed army vehicle across the beach, looking for a rare species of horse. The Spanish Mustang. Apparently, the last of the species is in the Outer Banks, living in a protected area of land. Our best sighting of the horses was a little group of mustangs huddled together on the beach. It was three females and two males. Another male was approaching the group, and but the male in the group stared him down. At least there was no fight! As we were heading back in the vehicle, a pretty bad storm stirred up, and it caused a waterspout to form over the ocean. That was a pretty cool thing to see.
On the third day, we went to the beach. The beach had very fine sand that really satisfied my feet. I've been to rocky beaches, and I definitely like fine sand better. The ocean was cold and large waves kept kicking up and depositing jellyfish all over the sand. Yes, jellyfish. These jellyfish didn't have tentacles, but they were pretty big. The largest one I saw had a diameter of a smartphone. Gross. Every time the waves reached my sand castle, a jellyfish would be left behind in the trench I had built. I would spent more time in the water if there were no jellyfish. I just didn't want to step on one barefooted.
One thing that is a must is to do at least one water sport. We went jet skiing which at first was kind of scary because we were first- timers. After sometime, however, it becomes really, really fun. The water was pretty shallow, so if you did fall of the jet ski, you would be able to wade towards it. We topped out at about 30 mph, but these things could go at up to 50 mph! 30 mph was plenty exhilarating for me.