Over the weekend of October 26, 2007, Ranger Bob and Debbie Laney took an impromptu vacation to the southern NC Outer Banks. For the first time in memory, Ranger Bob stayed in a regular, normal hotel instead of camping in a tent or staying with relatives. We booked a room at the Seahawk in Pine Knoll Shores. It was inexpensive but comfortable, and right on the sea shore. The view outside our window was of a small grass lawn leading to sea oats, sand dunes, sea gulls, sandy beach, pelicans and breaking waves.
We were blessed, or cursed, depending on the point of view, with near-constant rain. But we were glad to see the precipitation, as the first substantial addition the water table after a summer-long drought. The main sunshine that we saw, naturally, was while driving home.
We enjoyed the simple pleasures of the beach in the fall. We walked on the beach for a mile or so a couple times. We skipped the NC Aquarium, since we had been there just last fall. Fort Macon would have been interesting, but it was fairly stormy. We took the nature walk in the Roosevelt Woods next to the Aquarium.
One afternoon we drove over the Bogue Sound bridge at the northeast end of Bogue Banks. Bogue is the original, and still most accurate, name for the island, and the sound behind it. I heartily and vituperatively dislike the chamber-of-commerce-assigned names of Emerald Island, which is also a town on the southwest end of the island; or worse, the Crystal Coast. Anyway, once back on the mainland, we went to Beaufort to enjoy the historical old downtown at the original docks, wander in the little shops and enjoy a seafood supper in a quaint wharf-side restaurant.
Our trip happened to coincide with the Atlantic Beach annual kite festival, so we say plenty of kites flying on the beach. And the trip coincided with the annual running of the bluefish just offshore, so we say plenty of surf fishermen.
The long weekend was a nice way to relax and enjoy getting in touch with nature, without having to sleep on the ground.