This will be short and sweet, PechaKucha style (*just a bit longer :).
So last week I took vacation, bordered by the weekends on both ends in DC. Monday, Tiera and I headed down to the Outer Banks, long roads with the radio on, until we crossed the bridge into Kitty Hawk. We stopped for the first time (5.5 hours!) for a bathroom break and the infamous Duck Donuts (I got the special, "Beach" - vanilla icing with cinnamon sugar sand - she got maple bacon), and then turned onto NC 12, the much narrower road down the middle of the Outer Banks. About then it started to rain, just drippy, but still rain. We camped in Rodanthe that night, right on the water.
Hanging out in the tent until the rain stopped.
Front row view to watch a local guy unfurl the sails on this cutie and take an evening sail.
Just beautiful, and still. A great evening. A taste of island life ... all the local men had blonde hair to their shoulders, board shorts, and no shoes. A fifteen year old of the same style was trying to catch crabs in the shallows while his older brothers took the boats out. Is this what summer nights look like if you live here?
Time to disconnect. Also, I dearly love showering outside ... it just makes you feel so alive! Stars overhead, cold water coming down. Brings back great memories from months in South Caicos.
The next morning, all packed up and ready to go on our bikes. Had to check out of the campsite so didn't get on the road until 9, and unfortunately already pretty hot.
Through the towns of Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo, then an open stretch .... just miles and miles of pavement, grass, and water on both sides.
It was hot! We stopped for a swim.
Then decided with the heat and our packs, we didn't want to be without a car for the next two days. So I biked back (packless) to get the car, and we continued on to Avon. With some smoothies and about 10 minutes of AC, we decided to get on the water.
Got some stand up paddleboards, were assured they wouldn't ruin my car, and headed to Canadian Hole to try them out. The water was GREAT, refreshing and with shallow spots so you could see the sea grass right beneath the boards.
Caught the last rays of sunset at the bay and watched the moon come out.
Picked up burgers from a local favorite and took them to the pier to eat dinner. Which was a real treat. The stars were so clear, could see bonfires glowing across the sand, could hear laughing and music and see tiki torches of a luau just up the beach.
More fires glow on this side of the pier, the archetypal Outer Banks stilt houses bordering the ocean stretch.
The pier became a hive of activity at nightfall, when all the locals (and some tourists) came out to fish. That night someone caught a shark, and later a stingray that we saw them gingerly unhook and throw back - a twenty-five foot slap back into the dark water. After a few moments of confusion, the gray body glided back out to sea.
We made the next morning an early one, rising to see the sunrise from the pier.
Quiet light over a sandy strip that sees so many footprints during the day.
Then we took off on our bikes for Hatteras, the southern tip of OBX, to see the Cape Hatteras lighthouse before it got too hot.
It was still hot. Even though it was only about 7:30 by the time we got there.
After a return bike trip and quick shower, we treated ourselves to breakfast at Cafe Pamlico - an adorable place on the Pamlico Sound.
This is vacation at its finest.
Then headed out on the ferry to Ocracoke, the island south of Hatteras. An hour ferry ride, a drive to the center of town - about 10 miles in, a used bookstore, a wander through town, some milkshakes, and a few hours later we were heading back.
Outer Banks houses: three or four story beauties, built so every room gets a view of the ocean or the sound or both. Surrounded by waving beach grass and water, just water, on both sides.
That night we camped in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, which was BEAUTIFUL. We pitched the tent against a wood clearing and a few yards away was a boardwalk out to the sand.
The views were stunning and the ocean was mostly deserted, just a few others enjoying some peace.
A campfire on the beach, some hot dogs and s'mores and stargazing.
Also, a hatching turtle nest just a few hundred yards down the beach. We put the fire out before it got too late so we wouldn't confuse any baby turtles which way the light was.
Under the wide open sky. Photos just cannot do justice to God's work in the stars.
The next morning, exploring one more pier along NC 12 on our way back up to Nag's Head.
Had a great stop in Kill Devil Hills to see the Wright Brothers museum and hear an inspiring park ranger talk about doing what we feel called to do, even when others tell us its impossible. It's people who are crazy and believe that move the world forward.
Then some fish tacos for lunch, a must, and kept driving the beautiful ocean road north. We went as far as Duck, so we could get some Duck Donuts for the road at the original, and then headed back to the bridge crossing into North Carolina mainland.
Duck Donuts are delicious, made fresh for you and in any combination of flavors imaginable.
This is one of the roads you must take before you die. (Google it -- I'm not the only one who thinks so.)
And we did it. A (hot) adventure, but adventure for sure, was a ton of fun and a beautiful week.
I'm a twenty-something from the Pacific NW making home in new places as I follow where God leads.
My intent is to show Christ's love to the world and use business to solve some of the social problems we face: hunger, illiteracy, healthcare, economic hardship. For now, I'm in a stage of learning. A little adventuring, a few books, some good friends, and a whole lot of prayer and life runs on.