Travel Diary: Nag's Head, North Carolina
I was not able to travel nearly as much as I wanted or planned to this summer for extenuating circumstances, and despite the two big trips I took earlier in the year (Havana, Cuba & Joshua Tree, California), I was still distraught, because I felt like I hadn’t even made a dent in my travel list. While that may be true, I can’t remain upset about it; I just need time and a plan. Having said that, Outer Banks is somewhere I don’t need a plan or a lot of money for. I’ve been a few times, and although I nearly vowed not to go any place more than once, certain parts of North Carolina like Outer Banks are a day trip from Richmond. My family always goes toward Cape Hatteras, and there are lots of things to do, but we typically go strictly to enjoy the beach. At any point in the day, you could be the only person as far as the eye can see, which is completely different than many other beaches.
Jockey’s Ridge State Park: Sand Dunes
This time we tried something different where we visited the sand dunes at Jockey’s Ridge State Park, which is the tallest sand dune system in the eastern United States. There’s no fee to enter the park, and that’s my type of carrying on, because I like for day trips to be as inexpensive as possible. Once you walk through the martime forest and arrive at the dunes, you honestly may not believe what you’re looking at. I would never have expected to see such a beautiful sight right in North Carolina.
Now for words of caution:
If you’re going in the summer, you absolutely need to pre-hydrate. It is incredibly hot and it is a workout to walk up and across the dunes. You’ll be in direct sunlight and sweating profusely. Take water; drink water.
You’ll probably want to wear some sort of hiking shoe that is not a slip on. It can be difficult to walk in sand with the wrong type of shoes like sandals, not to mention that taking your shoes completely off can be an issue. I did it for the sake of pictures, but afterwards I read that the sand can be 30 degrees hotter than it is outside, meaning I was standing on nearly 130 degree sand. I wouldn’t recommend it.
It’s not a trip you take if you’re afraid of heights. There are areas with trees where we realized what we were looking at and standing next to was the very tops of trees because the highest point of the dunes is 100 feet.
Cape Hatteras (Dare County, North Carolina)
The beach is one of my absolute favorite places to be, so I personally feel it’s worth the three hour drive from Richmond just to relax. The beach in Rodanthe is beautiful, and there are moments when I just sit and take it all in, but there are moments that I like to capture, so I’m sharing just a few here. Afterward I considered that we maybe should have visited a lighthouse while we were there to, but since it’s not so far, that could be another trip for another day.