Journey Through the Outer Banks 1493048937, 9781493048939

The 200 miles of open beachfront protecting the North Carolina coast make up a beloved destination. Vast beaches, histor

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Journey Through the Outer Banks
 1493048937, 9781493048939

Table of contents :
HalfTitle
Title
Copyright
Dedication
Contents
Introduction
Northern Outer Banks
Landmarks
Wildlife
Sunrises/Sunsets
Night Sky
Roanoke Island
Landmarks
Sunrises/Sunsets
Night Sky
Southern Outer Banks
Landmarks
Wildlife
Sunrises/Sunsets
Night Sky
About the Photographer

Citation preview

JOURNEY THROUGH

THE OUTER BANKS

JOURNEY THROUGH

THE OUTER BANKS

WES SNYDER

Guilford, Connecticut

An imprint of The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc. 4501 Forbes Blvd., Ste. 200 Lanham, MD 20706 www.rowman.com Distributed by NATIONAL BOOK NETWORK Copyright © 2020 Wes Snyder All photography © 2020 Wes Snyder All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote passages in a review. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Information available Library of Congress Control Number: 2020932493 ISBN 978-1-4930-4893-9 (cloth : alk. paper) ISBN 978-1-4930-4894-6 (electronic) The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of American National Standard for Information Sciences—Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI/NISO Z39.48-1992.

This book is dedicated to my grandfather, Wesley J. Snyder, Jr. He shared an equal love of photography, but unfortunately passed away one year before I was born. Even though I was not fortunate enough to meet him, I cannot help but think I am in some way carrying on his love of photography. For you, Grandpa.

Contents Cover HalfTitle Title Copyright Dedication Contents Introduction

Northern Outer Banks Landmarks Wildlife Sunrises/Sunsets Night Sky

Roanoke Island Landmarks Sunrises/Sunsets Night Sky

Southern Outer Banks Landmarks Wildlife Sunrises/Sunsets

Night Sky About the Photographer

Introduction Welcome to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Bridges and beaches connect this small strip of barrier islands, threading together diverse communities, cultures, and memories. History, geography, and people have made each island distinct. Today, the Outer Banks is comprised of three main regions: Northern Outer Banks, Roanoke Island, and Southern Outer Banks. The Northern beaches stretch from Carova to Nags Head, with each town hosting a variety of unique shops and restaurants, not to mention the Wright Brothers Museum and herds of wild horses. Roanoke Island is situated between the mainland and barrier islands, just west of Nags Head. The island was home to the legendary Lost Colony of 1587, still speculated over today. Beyond its murky history, it features a thriving marina, lighthouse, museum and aquarium. The Southern Outer Banks, also known as Hatteras Island, is the largest of the barriers. This region begins at Oregon Inlet and extends to Ocracoke Island, which is accessible by ferry. Glorious expanses of national seashore make the Southern Outer Banks a top destination for aquatic sports. These areas are known around the world for their wide scenic beaches, sunrises and sunsets, lighthouses, shipwrecks, wild Spanish Mustang horses, and dark night skies. The islands’ rich histories include the Lost Colony of Roanoke, the Wright Brothers’ first flight in 1903, and the thousands of shipwrecks that line the coastline, giving the Outer Banks the nickname “Graveyard of the Atlantic.” The islands of the Outer Banks also offer vast stretches of protected beaches devoted to wildlife, sea grasses, sand dunes, and countless varieties of marine life that call the islands their home. These preserved and undeveloped areas of the Outer Banks not only allow local wildlife to thrive, but give residents and visitors a special place to relax, with star-filled night skies that cannot be found anywhere else on the East Coast.

Northern Outer Banks The northern portion of the Outer Banks runs from northernmost Carova to Nags Head. Carova is only accessible by 4x4 vehicles, with many retreating here for the solitude and peace. Corolla is home to the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, whose first lighting was in 1875. It continues to serve as a navigational aid to this day; its brief, 20-second flash cycles can be seen for up to 18 nautical miles from dusk to dawn. Even more anticipated by visitors is a sighting of the wild Spanish Mustangs. Those visiting can take a wild horse tour with Outer Banks Wild Horse Adventures to catch a glimpse of the descendants of the original Colonial Spanish horses. The towns of Duck and Southern Shores offer a variety of shops, boutiques, and restaurants that give this area a unique blend of options to explore while visiting. Beautiful beaches of the north offer a less crowded place to enjoy the sun, sand, and waves. The last three towns tend to be the most populated during the summer tourist season and thus offer countless opportunities to play, relax, and enjoy the Outer Banks. Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, and Nags Head offer both oceanfront and soundside areas to explore. In just under ten miles’ distance of beach from Kitty Hawk to Nags Head, there are five piers to fish from or simply enjoy the ocean view. Beach and sound excursions are numerous on this stretch of the barrier island. Restaurants for all tastes and souvenir shops line the streets. Two of the most interesting and visited sites of the Northern Outer Banks are the Wright Brothers Museum and Jockey’s Ridge. The former was built in honor of two aviation pioneers, brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright, who made their first powered airplane flight on the beaches at Kitty Hawk in 1903. Meanwhile, the latter is the largest sand dune on the East Coast, a playground for visitors who want to hang glide, sled, or traverse the ever changing dunescape. Bodie Island Lighthouse is perhaps one of the most visited places of the Northern Outer Banks. Bodie Lighthouse is just south of Nags Head, a short distance from the Oregon Inlet and marina.

Landmarks

Wildlife

Sunrises/Sunsets

Night Sky

Roanoke Island Roanoke Island is one of the most distinctive areas along the Outer Banks. The island, just eight miles long and two miles wide, is positioned between Nags Head and the town of Manns Harbor on the mainland. Home to six thousand residents, the island is made up of only two towns named for two Native Americans who lived on the island centuries ago: Wanchese to the south side and Manteo to the north. Wanchese is recognized as a primary fishing community and supplies much of the seafood sold on the Outer Banks. Manteo, situated on the north end is much more geared toward tourism, with attractions like the downtown marina, Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, the Elizabethan Gardens, Island Festival Park, and the North Carolina Aquarium. What the island lacks in size, it more than makes up for in its rich history, thriving ancient maritime forests, and various local attractions. Attempts to establish Roanoke began in 1584, but it was not permanently settled until 1587, when nearly one hundred and twenty English colonists made their home at the “Lost Colony.” The first English child born on the island was Virginia Dare in August 1587. When John White returned to the colony is 1590, everyone had vanished. The mystery of the colonists’ disappearance continues to attract visitors to the island today. In fact, visitors in the summer can come explore Fort Raleigh National Historic Site and watch the longest-running outdoor drama, The Lost Colony, at Manteo’s Waterside Theatre. The play teaches visitors more about the original settlers of the island and the mysterious disappearance of the Lost Colony of Roanoke.

Landmarks

Sunrises/Sunsets

Night Sky

Southern Outer Banks The Southern Outer Banks region begins at Oregon Inlet as one crosses the bridge to Pea Island. The old Oregon Inlet Coast Guard Lifesaving Station still stands in remembrance for past service to those on the surrounding waters. Though it remains empty, many tourists will stop to catch a glimpse of the historic building and experience an unobstructed sunrise or sunset from this location. Pea Island offers a wildlife refuge, walkways into the island’s natural habitat, and several places to observe the many species of birds that light here year round during migration. There are no homes or residences on Pea Island between Oregon Inlet and the north end of the tri-village area other than marine and wildlife. Just past the Pea Island Beach, visitors enter into the tri-village, comprising Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo. Although there are many beach homes in these villages, the area has plenty of ground for those who prefer to camp or bring their RV for the family to enjoy. Kiteboarders from all around come to this area to ride the wind and waves on both sides of the coast. Surfing, paddle boarding, kayaking, and body surfing are all enticing options in this laid-back region of the Outer Banks. Be sure to visit the fourteen miles of beaches between the tri-village and Avon. Under the right conditions, the remaining shipwrecks on the beach will be exposed. These shipwrecks, which earned the Outer Banks its infamous moniker “Graveyard of the Atlantic,” will make you marvel at the power of the sea. The next town on Hatteras Island is Avon, initially named Kinnakeet. Be sure and visit beautiful Avon Pier, where a perfect day of fishing, swimming, surfing, and relaxation await you. This pier has a natural curve, undoubtedly formed by the crashing of waves, yet the pier stands strong. Some of the most amazing sunrises are witnessed at this pier. In the summer, visit the bustling Avon Market and find just what you’ve been looking for as a souvenir of the Outer Banks. Buxton is a short distance south and travelers must stop at the famous Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, built in 1870 and the tallest in our nation. Fishers line the Cape Hatteras shores and always leave with satisfying catches, while visitors trawl the shoreline for shells and other trinkets. Reaching the next destination will be a highlight, especially when observing the night sky. Frisco is void of light pollution and the stars can be seen more brightly than at the northern locations. The Milky Way will awe visitors, as here it can be seen with the naked eye. Take a moment to look upward and see the beauty of the constellations and galaxies that surround. Hatteras will be the last stop before catching the ferry to cross the Pamlico Sound and arrive on Ocracoke Island. Ocracoke is also known as Blackbeard’s Island, referring to the infamous pirate Edward Teach who witnessed his last battle near the Ocracoke shoreline. The island offers plenty of opportunities that can be reached on foot or bike. The Ocracoke Light, located downtown, is the second oldest lighthouse still standing in North Carolina. Rows of breweries, specialty shops, and restaurants will feed your fancy. Of course, spending the day on the beach or in the waters warmed by the Gulf Stream will make for a

perfect day to experience island life. The Outer Banks of North Carolina welcome you to take a deep breath and find a little piece of heaven. Enjoy a taste of the ever-changing, beautiful seashore.

Landmarks

Wildlife

Sunrises/Sunsets

Night Sky

In August of 2016, I went tent camping in Rodanthe, NC. While camping, I watched and used my phone to capture pictures of a beautiful passing thunderstorm. It was then I decided I would buy my first camera to maybe someday do something in photography. I enrolled in two classes that fall to learn how to use my camera. In the beginning of 2017, I decided to make the leap towards my dream life of being a full-time photographer. I quit what I was doing, sold everything I could and relocated to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. At the time I only owned one camera, two kit lenses, and possessed only a little knowledge about photography. I hit the ground running with a deep desire to become a full-time professional photographer. Since moving to the Outer Banks I’ve spent every day capturing all of its beauty while teaching myself the wonderful art of photography.