Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Geocaching Yanksgiving: Outer Banks

The events of this post happened between 12:00AM and 11:59PM on November 25, 2011. 

The sound of the pounding surf slowly invades your consciousness, bringing you gently from a deep sleep into the waking world.  You keep your eyes closed, desperately clinging to the joy of a deep slumber.  Other sounds begin to invade the peace and quiet of your mind:  Your wife breathing deeply beside you. The stirring of your son in his crib across the room.  The dog scratching in her kennel.

 Finally succumbing to the unavoidable morning your eyes flicker open and you see the sun peaking through the curtains.  It is morning outside.  You are in a hotel room. The world is yours for the taking. Adventure awaits...

Over then past few days we have travelled to the eastern coast of North Carolina.  Seeking fame and fortune and geocaches as we explore the eastern half of the state we now call home, and claim pages for the North Carolina Delorme Challenge.

Yesterday we made it to Kill Devil Hills, on the very eastern edge of North Carolina.  We are in the middle of the Outer Banks, a thin strip of islands that stretch down the majority of the North Carolina coastline.  Today we plan on exploring this thin sandy line, and see what interesting sights and sounds await us.

The first location of note is a field in Kitty Hawk NC, the very spot where mans first powered flight was flown.  There sits a National Park that memorializes Orville and Wilbur Wrights epic accomplishment.  It is quite amazing to stand in the spot that made all modern flight possible.

After Kitty Hawk, we drove south down the Outer Banks for a couple hours.  Our strategy was to get to the end as quickly as possible to ensure we claimed the Delorme pages we needed, then cache our way back north to our hotel.

The Outer Banks are a series of towns separated by long thin strips of sand dunes, sparse grasslands, and a lot of water on both sides. The landscape is broken from time to time with lighthouses, including the Hatteras Light House, the tallest light house on the eastern seaboard.

Some facts about our day:

  • I managed to pick up 11 caches today, including a webcam cache.
  • We claimed 2 new Delorme pages.  The pages are tall, and North Carolina is 4 pages tall.  Since we are limited to a thin strip of land going north/south, we don't have a lot of pages.  On the other hand, we have all of then Outer Bank pages claimed.
  • We completely avoided Black Friday.
    Aside from filling the van with gas, we avoided purchasing anything.
After spending a day on the Outer Banks I am ready to leave.  Oceans and sand dunes are a nice change of pace, but I am definitely a trees and mountains kind of guy.  Luckily tomorrow we head back to the mainland.

... crawling back into bed exhausted, you let your head hit the pillow.  Closing your eyes and taking a deep breath, settling in under the covers, relaxation sweeping over you.  The sound of the pounding surf lulls you into dreamland, bringing all the possibilities of the adventures tomorrow will bring.  Stay tuned.