In days past, I frequently enjoyed a short respite on that beautiful shore, and the majesty and splendor of fall weather appeared well before arriving. The trip inbound, whether from the north or the west, offered fine examples of fall in the small towns and villages found along the way. Vegetable stands abounded providing plenty of God's harvest bounty and signs of the upcoming Halloween or even for Thanksgiving Day were well apparent and the changing trees offered a great backdrop of pumpkin stands, fall flowers and all such products prevalent in rural farming North Carolina. It shows the life has been good for those who toil over the land and they all smile and show their appreciation for God's love and guidance they were granted.
When finally reaching one of the bridges across the sounds that link the mainland with the beach isles. the smell of salt air, the sounds of circling seabirds and the excitement of knowing the ocean is near draws the soul closer. Once on the beach, a quick run to our temporary lodging is completed and we are off for our first stroll on the beach. It is mid-afternoon and the sea is choppy but the air is warm, yet not hot. Evidence of an earlier hurricane is present with the large variety of sea shells stirred up from the surf, and with few others on the beach, the pickings are good. Several will be taken home to decorate and use as conversation pieces. The seagulls are out looking for food, and it reminds us of hunger since our only meal of the day was a light breakfast before beginning our trek to the beach. We opt for the Oasis, now long since gone, but the seafood platter with hush puppies truly hits the spot. Afterwards, we drive over to Manteo, see an early show at the Pioneer, and head back to the beach for an early morning rise the next day.
Daylight is about to break as I walk down to the beach to see the sunrise. I am disappointed, however, when I see the thin layer of clouds at sea that will block the sunrise to come, yet I am not disappointed by the beauty of the beginning of the day. A sunrise on the Outer Banks has beauty galore no matter what and it tells me that God's clock is right on schedule as His nature performs majestically for Him. We will go down to a local eatery for a big breakfast including a catch of the day fried fish in Outer Banker tradition. The day on the beach turns out warmer and we even get a short swim in. Then we watch the fishermen fight and win numerous battles with stripers as they are caught on their run down the beach. It just goes to show that life has winners and losers, and the fishermen won on this day. We close out the day with a light salad and witness a gorgeous moonlit sky on the beach, something that no place on earth can show better than on these Outer Banks.
Later, early the next day, as we start to head north toward home, I remember how fondly I am for having experienced this wonderful place all those summers of my youth. And I am glad for the short trip to enjoy a very short respite in the quiet and splendor of fall. I will return many times, always glad to see her and glad of the heritage I got from my family involving her. So, for those of you looking for a little change of pace if you have some free time this fall, I heartily recommend you take a trip to those Outer Banks. It will impact your soul and refresh your spirit, and you will be so glad you saw a place that changes with time, but the heart of it, the sea, can never be changed by man for she, the sea, is much greater than he, the mortal human. If you remember that, you will never be disappointed by the place that is deservedly known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic.