After last year’s adventure through Colorado and New Mexico, Jaclyn suggested that the 2017 vacation take a more relaxing angle and just head for the beach. We decided on Corolla, NC. Corolla is at the top of of the Outer Banks, a spit of land in the ocean that will probably underwater when all the ice melts in Antarctica. The r&r at the beach was exactly what the doctor ordered, we spent our days going to the beach in the morning, heading back to the pool at our house, going back to the beach in the late afternoon and enjoying a night swim in the pool before bed. If we were feeling very adventurous, we would head back to the beach with a sliver of light coming from the moon and chase “ghost” crabs all over the beach. I am sure the experience was equally exhilarating for the crabs and my family.
Our house was on a sandy road which added to the adventure. At night if we left the lights on, bugs would circle around the lights and windows and eventually tree frogs would climb up the windows and doors and gobble up all the insects.
Hundreds of years ago, boats traveling along the coast transporting people, goods, and horses would over get their boats stranded on this spit of land out in the ocean. In an effort to lighten the boat and get it off the bottom of the ocean, they would coerce horses to jump off the boat and into the ocean. Over the course of time, several of these horses made it to the Outer Banks and formed a rather large herd. As the land became more developed and roads were established, automobiles were more and more frequently crashing into and killing these beautiful creatures. In an effort to preserve the herd and perhaps lower auto insurance premiums, the horse herd was corralled just north of Corolla in an area with no roads, it is completely fenced in for the horses to live in about a 15 mile area. You are allowed to access this area by driving onto the beach. I have never driven my car on the beach before and had a lot of anxiety doing it. My dad has done it before, but my dad is a bad ass Vietnam Vet who can fix cars, make electrical repairs, and can easily back up a trailer (watching me back up a trailer is like watching a blind dyslexic person having a seizure while driving a car). So, I did a bunch of research about driving on the beach and our car is 4 wheel drive, I grabbed a local tow guy’s contact info in the event I screwed up, and gave it a chance. Amazingly, we made it onto the beach and saw the horses, it was majestic. I just loved driving on the beach with the windows down, pointing to things along the way (like a horseshoe crab) and feeling like a manly man for just a moment.
We rode our bikes all over the place. The kids are getting somewhat proficient at bike riding and I’m only worried about them crashing into someone about 5% of the time now (about 4 weeks ago, it was about 75%). I discovered a little beer garden across the street, it was a ramshackle place that seemed to be constructed of fishing rods, car doors, driftwood, and various nautical equipment. I said to the bartender, “It must have taken the owner a long time to figure out how to pick out the right stuff to piece this place together so perfectly…or maybe he/she just gathered whatever they had laying around and just nailed it all together to make this place.” The bartender smiled and said he was pretty sure it was the latter.
We came home on Saturday, I still had Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday off due to the July 4th holiday. We went to the town’s local fireworks, here’s the grand finale.