Tag Archives: outer banks

A Vacation State of Mind

13 Feb

When you pull over the car–urgently–to spend 20 minutes getting pictures of tall grasses, you’re on vacation with me. Yup, I know how to live it up. Rise with the sun, in bed (sleeping bag) not much later than its descent, and collective hours taking pictures of, well, plants.

Ahh, vacation.


There’s no timeline other than what the sun informs; no obligations other than to yourself; and freedom to enjoy whatever catches your fancy. To me, at the Outer Banks of NC, I couldn’t get enough of the plant life. Sea oats, marsh grass, bulrush.

What’s an obsession (photographic or otherwise) that overcame you on vacation?

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Hang Gliding when you’re Afraid of Heights

10 Feb

Hang gliding was amazing! I didn’t do the kind where you run off the mountain – I am afraid of falling on my face, crushing my legs on landing, and being able to fly the thing. No, I didn’t create irrational fears about this at all

Instead I went tandem, which involves a plane.

Forced Itimacy?
The instructor lays on the bottom, suspended. I step into overalls of sorts, that are cushiony and have a built in ledge for my feet. When I stretch out my feet, my while body is now suspended horizontally. I’m free floating above the instructor, so my fear of smothering him was moot.

Up, Up, and Away
We’re connected to a bi-plane that takes us up to 2000 feet then disconnects the cord and we glide on our own for 15 or so minutes.

The ride up was easy and smooth. Just, liftoff. I squealed with joy.

When we disconnected from the plane there was a roller coaster dip, which was fine, but I wasn’t prepared to see the cord disappear and I screamed and then laughed and laughed from the adrenaline.

Smooth Operator
He offered to let me steer the glider. I had an extreme need to hold on, so passed. There are options while in flight: tricks or smooth. I opted for smooth. Surprised?

Earth, Sweet Earth
The landing was spectacularly not terrifying! I know, I should be in sales.

He describes it as an escalator and I told him that’s not romantic enough for something as amazing as this. We descend seven feet forward and one foot down, hence his analogy.

It’s MUCH smoother than a plane landing, which always makes me a bit ill. And it’s literally like floating. It’s a combination of ideal ocean waves where it’s serene and you coast over them (but not that movement, just the sensation of being suspended), and then a new feeling of literally floating in air.

The landing was insignificant. The glider has wheels, so no running required. No chance of a broken leg. Phew.

Where was this Adventure?
Currituck in the Outer Banks of NC with outfitter Kitty Hawk Kites.

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A Kosher Girl’s Obsession with Seafood

8 Feb

Mom – fret not: I didn’t eat any seafood while in the Outer Banks. I merely became obsessed with it. Mostly because of the cute shrimp shacks. Seafood shacks are about as ubiquitous as Starbucks. But more colorful and smellier.

And we can’t forget the fishing village in Wanchese. They actually still call it a fishing village – or at least the websites do. The locals? I can’t say for sure.

The fishermen were surprised to see a woman with a camera attached to her face. You would think this happens quite regularly. Or maybe they could sense that I keep kosher and wondered why I was even there… Look, you don’t have to partake in order to appreciate.

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A Day at the Beach

6 Feb

What’s your pleasure? Reading, surfing, tossing a ball, building a sand castle, napping? The beach makes them all possible.

Yet there’s a high risk of finding sand in unpleasant places, which is why I’m more of a mountain girl. But the beach has MUCH better people-watching than any hike.

Enter the beaches of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. People are active here. Playing games, water sports…very little lollygagging. I’m not saying there’s no lollygaging, all that activity warrants a nap, for sure.

When you go to the beach, what do you like to do?

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Driftwood Potential

3 Feb

Do you think of trees when you think of the beach? Me neither.

But the Outer Banks of NC aren’t your typical beach. Rife with history and lore, OBX also sports a beach on both the sound and the ocean, making for an incredible variety of beauty and options for activity. So finding the tree-based Nags Head Ecology Preserve preserve really fits right in.

Nags Head Preserve signSigned, Sealed, Delivered
When the entrance sign to a place is lovely and compelling, you’re off to a good start.

Just Down the Road a Bit
After leaving the welcome center and seeing the stagnant (but pretty) water with arching bridges, you think, “Is this all they decided to preserve?”

Fret not, it’s isn’t. To get to the good stuff you walk down the road and wonder, “Am I headed in the right direction?You are. Turn left at the gap in the fence and then the majesty begins.

A bridged walk over the marsh presents a landscape that’s naturally framed for photos. Trees abut the marsh, giving height as contrast to the evenness of the seagrass.

Marsh at Nags Head Preserve

Exposed Tree Roots at Nags Head PreserveNew Meaning to Driftwood
And then you’re on the beach…while also in the woods. But a lot of the woods have taken a tumble…because of their proximity to the beach. It’s shaded and delicate and divine.

There’s pattern from the exposed roots and smooth texture from the wind and water. It’s a lot to take in. So I sat down for a spell and enjoyed what nature made and others preserve.

What juxtaposition of nature has caught your eye?

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Why Did the Wright Brothers Go all the Way to Kitty Hawk for their Flights?

1 Feb

Why did the Wright Brothers go all the way to Kitty Hawk on the Outer Banks of North Carolina for their flights? Why not work at home? They heard it had the right land and wind conditions.

The actual distances of their flights aren’t that impressive empirically, but to consider the reality of flight takes it to a whole new level, pun intended.

There were 66 years between Kitty Hawk and going to the moon. The exponential rate is astounding. Of course, all elements weren’t exponential: engine power was already on its way. But regardless the compounding intelligence to create planes and then space travel is remarkable. No wonder it stopped the world to watch it happen.

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The Life of a Sand Dune. More Interesting than You’d Think.

30 Jan

This is the largest natural sand dune on the East Coast. And after climbing it, I believe it. All there is to see are sand and sky. And people flying kites or going hang- gliding. The wind is incredible due to the height and being between the sound and the ocean.

The Wonder of Hang-Gliding
Kitty Hawk Kites is actually the largest hang-gliding school in the world. People line up for their turn to jump off. Some plummet, some coast, and others do what they hope for: glide. It’s majestic.

The Life of a Sand Dune
Because there’s no vegetation anchoring the sand at the top of the dune, the elevation varies with the wind and the seasons. Jockey’s Ridge varies in height between 80° and 100°.

The sand doesn’t blow away because in the winter the wind blows from the northeast and in the summer from the southwest, constantly blowing the sand back and forth.

The surface of the sand can be 30 degrees hotter than air temperature. Not a place to walk barefoot!

What design would you choose for your kite?

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