Tuesday, October 06, 2009

OBX: An Anniversary

Kristal has been my woman for a little under three years, and we've been married a little over two months. Ergo, we must mark the occasion with a trip to the place where it all began. The NPS campsites close in October, so this time of year we try to fit in one last visit to the beach. We pitch a tent in the dunes, sit out on the beach and enjoy a bottle of wine in the glow of a full moon. On previous trips we have been caught out by campfire bans, too many trucks on the beach and terrible weather. This weekend, everything seemed to come together perfectly for a serene vacation.

You're not in the Outer Banks until you make a stop at a Brew Thru. For the first time ever I managed not to speed past the first one in Kitty Hawk, which is the only one on the right side of the road as you drive South. For some reason I view this as a minor triumph and an omen of good things to come. Beers acquired, we also made a pit stop at Mulligans for fish tacos and steamed shrimp, clams and oysters. After lunch it was on to the campsite, just a few miles outside of town. To the beach! The birds were good this year. I can positively identify the American Oystercatcher, which with its orange beak is strikingly beautiful. Aside from that, the other beach waders fall under the category of assorted Sandpipers and Sanderlings. The brown Pelican was of course also well represented.

On Sunday we drove a little ways down Pea Island. We had never actually stopped at the Pea Island Nature Reserve visitor center before. There is a short trail reunning between two man-made lakes on the lagoon side of the island, from which we saw some huge turtles, Redwinged blackbirds and a Yellowlegs. Also some diminutive form of Heron and several unidentified fish that kept jumping six feet out of the water.

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