The Ever-Changing, Ever-Constant Outer Banks

We had a good turnout for last weekend’s “Cape Hatteras — Lighthouses and Piers” Meetup.  We not only saw and photographed lighthouses and piers from Corolla to Okracoke, but also wild horses; shipwrecks; dramatic, rapidly-changing weather; pelicans, skimmers, plovers, and other shorebirds; shifting sand dunes; and much more.  We shot from sunrise to well past midnight, found some excellent restaurants (including Dairy Queen!), and even managed to get a few hours of sleep between midnight and the next morning’s early start.

I’ve been fortunate to spend a week each year on the Outer Banks with family and friends for more than 35 years, a tradition started by my Dad and now passed on to a younger generation.  During that time, we’ve seen many changes on the Outer Banks.  Duck is no longer an isolated village, the road to Corolla has been paved, shopping and dining opportunities are far more numerous and varied, and most of the early beach cottages have been replaced by massive, modern, multi-family rental units.  I could go on.

But more important than the changes we’ve seen are the things that have remained constant.  Every day brings hope of a brilliant, colorful sunrise over the Atlantic; put Avon Pier between your camera and the sun, and you’ve got the making of a pretty nice photograph.   Every day, the wild horses north of Corolla head out onto the beach and dunes in search of food.  Every day, sandpipers scurry along the edge of the surf and pelicans crash-dive into the sea and emerge with their catch-of-the-day.  Hopeful fishermen cast their lines all day long, while children rebuild the sand castles washed away by yesterday’s tide. At night, the lighthouses continue to signal their warnings to mariners not to approach the coast unwarily, and the Milky Way rises in splendor to remind us how small and insignificant we are.  You really don’t have to wander too far or look to hard to find something interesting, something beautiful, something peaceful, something transcendent.

We had a great time, and if

The Milky Way Rising Over the Remains of Frisco Pier, Cape Hatteras, NC.
The Milky Way Rising Over the Remains of Frisco Pier, Cape Hatteras, NC.

you’ve visited our Meetup page or our Facebook page, you’ve already seen that folks brought home some pretty nice photographs and even better memories.  Don’t be surprised to see more Road Runner announcements involving the Outer Banks in the not-too-distant future.


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