Down The Dunes We Went


In May we drove to the Outer Banks in North Carolina for a long over due vacation. I was was excited and hesitant at the same time, because we were doing a 4×4 vacation. This meant we had to rent a 4 wheel drive jeep, and drive 3.5 miles down the beach, and over dunes to get to our final destination, our vacation home for the week.


Driving down the beach for the first time felt a bit unnerving to put it mildly. We got in later in the afternoon and high tide was trickling in. High tide when on a 4×4 vacation means you must drive in deep ruts and yes, over dunes. As the passenger it felt like we were going to tip over more times than one. I kept yelling at my husband to slow down, while I held on to the roof as if that would stop us from rolling! He finally told me to get out my camera and redirect my anxiety, so I did!


The dunes were beautiful. My mind was beginning to change gears. I kept wondering as we drove in how I was going to handle being sort of stuck off the main beat and path for 7 days, due to time constraints due to the tides and you sure don’t want to be driving 3.5 miles down the beach after dark- there are no lights.  However, once we got settled in I realized that this was my paradise for the week. Every vacation I’ve been on demanded plans from morning until evening. Sometimes you really do need time just to chill. I never dreamed that it was possible to enjoy time by ‘enjoying time.’ I never realized that sometimes when you take a vacation where you cook in more than out, walk the beach each day, see wild horses in your yard and trotting on the beach, watch the sand pipers, pelicans and more can bring you the most peace.  It’s pretty cool to be taking a hike along the beach and suddenly see the Wild Mustangs come trotting right by you. It’s even better when you have your camera!



This was the ‘road’ going up and down the dune to our vacation rental, and it was much steeper than it appears in this photo below.


This Wild Mustang was on the side of the dune as I was walking down for my daily hike along the beach.


I have a camera with 30x Optial zoom and I was able to capture this fishing boat from shore. My husband estimated the boat was out at least 3-4 miles.


My husband surf fishing. The guys surf fished every afternoon until dusk. The gals… well we sat on the beach with our drinks in hand, and jamming to tunes. We pretended to share in our husbands thrill of surf fishing.  All kidding aside, it was surreal watching the tides and sunset each evening.


A view of the beach and a storm was just beginning to brew. Nothing like a thunderstorm rolling in over the ocean!


I have been fortunate to vacation in many States over the years, but this by far was not only a fun vacation, but the most relaxing. Most people say they need a vacation from their vacation once they get home. For the first time we were able to say, it’s nice to be home, but I feel so renewed!

We stayed on Swan Beach. You enter the ‘beach road’ from Corolla. Route 12 ends on a beach ramp, and the beach road then becomes Route 12. If you drive down the entire beach road approximately 7 miles or so you will hit the Va border.

I can’t wait to go back, because I finally realized a vacation is what you make of it, and honestly I felt like a young child again without any agenda!

8 thoughts on “Down The Dunes We Went

    1. Thanks for the compliment on my photos! Actually, the Plovers are not common in the Outer Banks or Eastern SeaCoast in US, but the Sandpipers are. I was told by the locals in North Carolina they are Sandpipers. I had to look up Plovers, and I can see the similarities 🙂 These birds are hard to capture. I had to use my zoom because they tend to scatter fast when they see movement, and then fly off! It was a fun trip. Thanks for your kind comment.

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      1. Oh, gee! That’s awesome. Birds are crazy hard to photograph. I want to get a zoom lens; Unfortunately, I’m just not there yet with my photography to spend so much on what’s still a new hobby to me. I love birds though, I’m just starting to learn how to identify them. So, thank you for helping me.

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      2. Hey no problem! I have spent a lot of time on the east coast, so I’m familiar with the pipers and a few other birds there. However, there are many species I’m not familiar with IE: the American Golden Plovers which are beautiful too My camera is called a bridging camera. I just got interested in photography as a hobby in the past few years. I have a Canon Powershot with 30x optical zoom and 120 digital combined, so it can capture even boats that are 4 plus miles out. The camera was reasonably priced too. I wasn’t ready to spend a hefty price yet.

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      3. I’ll look into that camera for sure! I need to learn more about camera equipment. I took a class, but I didn’t get as much as would have liked out of it. I’m way tired. I usually like to talk or keep myself busy until right until I fall asleep. So, thank you & Good night! I’m Jessica BTW!

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      4. It wasn’t scary at the time, because I can’t really explain it, but I wasn’t aware that I was acting different. My boyfriend kept telling me I was being strange, and I was offended and paranoid about it. Looking back now it’s very scary, just the thought that I could be so not myself, and not realize it, well that took me a long time to comes to terms with.- ANYWAYS – I’m Jessica! It’s nice to meet.

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