Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Nature Lovin', Tree Huggin' Day

A couple weeks ago, I meandered down to spend my birthday weekend at my father's place on the Outer Banks. We watched VT win their football game at the Flying Fish Cafe in Kitty Hawk, which, by the way, has very good food. But when the cost of my dinner starts going beyond about $15, my plebeian self starts to get nervous. And there's nothing there under $20, so I was getting twitchity as I looked at the menu. Although, really, num num num.

The next morning, we got up early for a nature hike in the the Kitty Hawk Woods Coastal Reserve.

We had 2 young (20's, 30's?) nature guides who, I swear, should just find a room and procreate as soon as possible. They were both smart, nice, generous, articulate, knowlegeable, funny, and gorgeous. Their children would give me serious hope for the future.

The Reserve is quiet & lovely. . .

. . . so I had more fun with the macro setting on my camera.

Now, see the old dude in the shorts & short-sleeve shirt?

That same old dude did a lot of complaining later on about bug bites, despite the plethora of bug spray that was passed around amongst the hikers. I had on long pants & long sleeves. The guides had on long pants & long sleeves. I had nothing to complain about that evening.

When I drove home later that day, I decided to take a 1 block detour to check the schedule of the Currituck Sound Ferry. It runs between Currituck County in NC & Knotts Island. Click here to see a map with the route marked.

Now, I have been traveling back & forth to the Outer Banks for better than 30 years, and I never went on that ferry. Been on the Hatteras/Ocracoke ferry plenty of times, but the one close to home? Never. It operates all year long, as the residents of Knotts Island are pretty isolated. Did I ever go? Nope. How come we seldom take advantage of the fun stuff right in our backyards?

So I pulled off the main road and - SERENDIPITY!! The ferry was there getting ready to pull out. As I looked over toward it, the ferry guy waved me to come on, so I made a spur-of-the-moment, last minute, never-to-be-regretted decision to take the scenic route home.

Oh my gosh! The sky was blue, the clouds were fluffy, the breeze was cool. Oh my gosh!

The seagulls were their usual hopeful selves, and if I had planned this ahead of time, I would have brought a loaf of bread. Next time I will, because BS wants me to do this again. With him.

Pulled into Knotts Island, and since I was the last one on, I got to be the last one off. The crew kept looking over at me wondering when I was going to get back in my car. But I was going to relish this moment and milk it as long as I could.

They weren't too thrilled with me putting off leaving the boat. Oh come on guys, I have to get a picture of this giant osprey nest . . .

Knotts Island isn't really an island. It is large, bulbous land mass dangling into the Currituck Sound off a slender land bridge arising in Virginia Beach. But I guess it qualifies because someone opened up a ditch at the end of the causeway from edge to edge. So, okay, it's a fake island.

Only the northern tip of Knotts Island is in Virginia; the bulk of it is part of Currituck County, NC. It is rural, isolated, sparsely populated, and beautiful. There are 2 wineries there, and I have been told the wine they produce isn't too shabby. I wouldn't know. I don't like wine as a general rule.

And yes, I took most of these from a moving car . . . while I was driving. I like to live on the edge.

And you know what? No matter where you go, no matter how much fun you had while you were there, no matter how much you may have wanted to stay, there's something about coming home that can't be equaled.

Doesn't matter that the trip home took twice as long because of the detour. I'll do it again.


Anonymous said...

You're supposed to do photowalks - not photodrives. We should take BS down there some weekend for dinner and a shoot. Prolly get a few good sunset shots...that way you wouldn't have to get up early, and no one would be counting on muffins!

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Flying Fish is in beautiful downtown Kill Devil Hills. Not Kitty Hawk.

And you didn't come by to see me?
On your birthday?
For cake?
And the lovely, very expensive gift
I have for you?

Rosie pouts.

Sista G said...

RAD funny, Rosie funny!! Rootie - We (BH) and I took the ferry decades ago. Maybe we'll have to do it again to relive the memories, now that you have whetted my appetite for a ferry ride!