Edit Blog Post
Published: April 4th 2013
One of the juicy joys of a road trip has to be the side trips between destinations! With fair weather in the forecast and devastating hurricanes – like “Irene” far behind; we finally got our chance to visit the Outer Banks, North Carolina’s fetching shoestring of barrier islands. Our arrival put us dead center via in OBX Route 64. A right turn at Whalebone to Camp Hatteras RV Park where we were offered a choice – Atlantic Ocean side or Pamlico Sound side. We chose the sound with its rim of tall, golden wheat grass. The dunes on the Atlantic side were too high for us to see the ocean. Our "Sound" site gave us a front row seat for a glorious sunset – the red sky lingered when we went to dinner at Good Wind a few doors up from the park.
If you were to ask Wes about the best part of our barely two day trip, he would tell you about the deep sea charter boats returning to Oregon Inlet Marina around 5PM on Saturday. I have to agree that watching three fishing parties struggle to get 375 pound, 87 inch yellow fin tunas
off the trawlers was quite a happening! The captains must have called ahead about their good fishing luck as there was quite a crowd assembled to welcome the crew and watch the butchering (not kidding) process. One part of the process that took me by surprise was when the captain cut out a chunk of “cheek meat” and offered a “tasting” to the assembled crowd. I love my Ahi, but straight from the carcass is a bit over the top!
We both love the classy little town of Duck with its wonderful boardwalks. We had a great lunch at Fishbones Sunset Grill & Raw Bar and ogled the sound from their pier. The Town of Duck Boardwalk rims the Sound with access through to Route 12 with shops like Duck Donuts. Note: for now – end of March - DD closes at 1 pm.
We agree that spectacular and accessible dunes are quite a treat. Some sand dunes, planted, snow fenced and in “recovery,” were posted; but the freedom to climb up these monsters of sand and sidestep down to the beach is a rare treat not allowed at most beaches. Watch
for signage for free beach access and free parking off Route 12 usually lead to steps and landings down to the beaches. We don’t travel with a pet; but dogs are allowed on the beach. In certain areas, with a paid permit, we could, but didn’t, drive the jeep along the beaches.
We used a National Park Service Senior Citizen card for free entry to the Wright Brothers National Memorial. We learned that Wilber and Orville picked Kitty Hawk for their research and experiments in early flights because of the favorable strong winds, the high sand dunes (unobstructed) for glider experiments), and the soft sand (to ease those early crash landings). Wright Brothers is a very cool attraction – you can walk the original flight line, climb Kill Devil Hill, hear a ranger’s talk, see a historic movie, and view artifacts from the 1903 flight events.
The OBX housing stock is very mixed with tons of rental beach houses of varying attractiveness – from very rustic “campy” beach cottages close together in rows to lovely contemporaries and old Victorian “grey ladies.” The preferred architectural style is one of practicality – stilted homes (three stories
if you count the beach level) with outside staircases to widow walks. The widows walks allow both sun rise (ocean) and sun set (sound) views and were probably necessitated when front and/or back neighbors’ homes got taller!
About Camp Hatteras RV Resort – this is a big park with full hook ups (including cable TV), the afore mentioned choices of water sites on either the Ocean or the Sound, an indoor and outdoor pool, dunes, sandy beach, tennis, playgrounds, activities and more! While we were there the resort scheduled an Easter Sunrise Service on the ocean beach. We paid $62/night for our site on the sound. Rates range from $28 for off-season tenting to $98 for Ocean front during the summer. The park is open year round.
An album in the reception lobby of Camp Hatteras tells the story of the damage hurricane “Irene” wrought. You have to respect the determination and hard work of the owners in putting the place back together. We spotted minimal evidence of hurricane damage along OBX with total recovery just about complete. Man oh man; it does bring the powerful forces of water to the fore!
There will definitely be a next trip to OBX. I am lobbying for an approach via a ferry from Cape May, New Jersey, which is on the to do “short list” and taking a few days to continue down to Avon and Orakoke using the ferry system through to near Myrtle Beach on the main land. Post hurricane season - October 2014 should be ideal.
You will find more photos after the "jump."
Tot: 0.091s; Tpl: 0.054s; cc: 11; qc: 19; dbt: 0.0125s; 1; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.2mb