Today is much calmer and nicer than we have experienced over the past few. The Outer Banks was hit hard by a Nor’easter over the last few days with strong winds, rain and heavy surf. We are definitely looking forward to more perfect weather as the week progresses.
Planning for your vacation sets the stage for getting the most out of your vacation, even if your plan is to be as lazy as you can be.
When my family vacations we tend to plan in two stages. The first stage is all about thinking ahead to: what will we need for the trip and what will we need when we get there. The second stage is all about what are we going to do when we get there (activities).
The Outer Banks offers so many beautiful natural landscapes, but one of the highlights of the area is to go to Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Nags Head, climb the largest living sand dune on the east coast, and turn to your right and watch the sunset over the Roanoke Sound.
Jockey’s ridge is a very unique spot on the Outer Banks that was made into a state park in 1974 when local conservationists convinced the state of North Carolina to take over the site and save it from potential development.
The state park is open daily from sunrise to sunset and has been a favorite spot for sunset watchers for decades. It also is a great spot for hang gliding, or just rolling down the 130 high dune and getting sand in your clothes.
The origin of the name is debated, but the favorite local legend is that in the 1800’s there were horse races around the base of the dune from locals that captured the wild Spanish mustangs that roamed the Outer Banks. Folks would walk up the dune and watch the Jockey’s race the horses from the sand ridge.
There is even an urban legend that once someone digs deep enough they will find a hotel buried under the dunes that was once used by visitors that came to view the races.
Special thanks goes out today to David Neilson of Glen Mills, Pennsylvania who stayed with Outer Banks Blue at the vacation rental property “Island Hopping” in Corolla in September. David supplies this week’s photo memory.
By the way, the more likely origin of the name Jockey’s ridge came from the original owners of the property whose name was Jackey.
We like the story of the Spanish mustangs and buried hotel better however.
Thanks to David for his photo memory this week.
All the best from the beach!