Travel and Tourism

Sand Keeps Moving

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There is a more update (March 2014) version of this article at this link.

None one who lives at the beach is surprised when they hear that some sand has moved.  It happens on the beach.  Even some roads here get sand covered.  We plow sand here at the beach like folks plow snow up North.

Still the story of the Point at Emerald Isle is an amazing story even to those of us accustomed to sand moving.

In late October, 2007, a little over a year after we moved here to the Southern Outer Banks, I decided that I would get a beach driving permit.  It did not take long to get one from the folks in Emerald Isle. Right after we got it we headed down Coast Guard Road to the Point area which as a wintertime beach access for vehicles.

We were surprised with what we saw, but first I will give you some background information on the Point.  read more »


Heading Back into Our Inlet is Special

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Going out on the river is always a treat, but there is always special about coming home to our inlet.
 
One of the things that I have learned well from living the White Oak River is how to enjoy a big coastal river  whether in a skiff with a 90 HP Yamaha behind me or in a kayak under my own power.

While very different, both are fun ways to see the river. I rarely have to force myself to choose between the two ways of seeing the river since usually my mood determines my mode of transportation.

My reasons for getting in the skiff can be varied. I might just want to go out and check the river in preparation for future fishing trip. I could just be feeling a little landlocked and need a ride into the marshes to enjoy the spectacular beauty of the grasses and water as it stretches to the horizon.
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On the Oyster Rocks of the White Oak

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There are a lot of reasons that I choose to slide my kayak in the water behind our house and paddle out to the middle of the White Oak River.  The view out our inlet just after I leave my dock is worth the paddle itself.

On the surface paddling out into the river is good exercise, but I get more out of the journey mentally than I do physically. 

There is no other trip besides the quiet paddle to the middle of the river where I can lose myself to the elements so quickly and do it without burning any gasoline.

On my recent trip out our inlet to the river, I surprised an Osprey who took off with his catch of the day jumping mullet.  I could also hear the scolding of the Kingfisher who is convinced that he is mayor of our inlet.  read more »


An Abundance of Special Places

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There is a newly updated (March 2015) version of this post at this link.

No matter where I have lived, I have always had a special place or two where I could visit and find some peace and renewal.  Here on the Crystal Coast we are especially fortunate because there seems to a special place around every turn.

When we lived in Nova Scotia during the early seventies, there was a place high on the hill behind our two hundred year old farm house.  It was quite a hike, but the view of St. Croix Cove was worth it. 

Though we owned a lot of land there, this particular spot was not part of it at first.  I eventually traded some pasture land for this piece of wild land.  The view and the acres surrounding it meant a lot more to me than a few acres of pasture.  read more »


Why is Beaufort, NC a great place to visit?

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I have updated and re-written this article as of April 27, 2014.  You will find it at Beaufort, NC, A Great Place To Visit.
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Budget Travel is running a contest about America's Coolest Small Towns in 2012.  If you live in eastern North Carolina and are on any social network, there has been plenty of encouragement for people to vote for Beaufort in the contest which ends January 31, 2012.

While most of us along North Carolina's Southern Outer Banks and particularly the Crystal Coast portion of it are well aware of why Beaufort is such a great place to visit, there are people who know little about the town and why we would like to see Beaufort win the contest.
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Where the herons go to hide

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There is an updated version of this post at this link.

One of the amazing things about the Crystal Coast of North Carolina is that we have enough space and water to have some really big feathered friends living nearby.

Our home which borders Raymond's Gut is just off the White Oak River.  It is a very sheltered spot, and I often measure the nastiness of storms by the number of egrets or herons seeking shelter.  We had a great egret stake out some ground not far from our kitchen window during Hurricane Irene.

When it is really cold, the competition for the fishing grounds behind our home can become fierce with blue herons and great egrets vying for positions in the nooks and crannies of the marshes.
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The sand came back

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It took less than a month, but the sand that I reported lost in the post, "A Bite Out of Third St. Beach," seems to have been replaced by waves that are likely cousins to ones who took it away.

My wife and I went for a walk up at Third Street on Wednesday November 9 and discovered that plenty of sand has returned to the beach.  I am pretty sure that there is now more sand on the beach than I saw at any time during the summer of 2011.

Never knowing what you will find is one of the neat things about walking on a beach.  It is rarely the same place twice.  The beach can even change as you are walking on it.

Lots of times, as the sun starts going down, the light on the beach will change.  What looked like a perfectly normal beach just a few minutes earlier will turn into a very different spot.
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