Tag Archives: carova nc

The Calm After The Storm

In last Friday’s post, I shared that we were preparing for whatever effects of Hurricane Dorian happened to come our way.

Thankfully, we were spared.  We only had about an inch and a half of rain,  some gusty winds Thursday night and part of Friday, and a minimal high tide. To give you an idea, you’re just seeing the top of the marsh grass in this picture; the water is usually out past the grass.  And our old boat and cedar tree survived just fine. We’ve seen MUCH worse.

Friday evening, the storm was over, and we had a gorgeous sunset.

Hardest hit by Dorian was the area including Ocracoke and Hatteras, NC. Ocracoke is about 150 miles south of us, as the crow flies, and  miles south of the Carova area, home to “my” wild horses. The Carova area got quite a bit of rainfall and some storm damage. But, thankfully, no loss of life in the Outer Banks. And the horses are fine.

As is usually the case following a storm, our weather over the weekend was beautiful.

And, once again, we went hot air balloon chasing both Saturday and Sunday mornings. (*Chasing the balloon refers to being there for the launch,  watching as much of the flight as you can, then going to the landing site {wherever that may be} to help retrieve the balloon, pilot and passengers. Some pilots use cell phones to let their crew know where they’re landing, some have two-way radios. Motor Man and I don’t drive the chase vehicle, but we usually try to help out if we’re needed.)  Saturday morning, two balloons launched from the same area at the same time.  Keeping up with two is quite a challenge. Although they launched from the same site, they didn’t land at the same location.

This gives you an idea of balloon chasing: you drive over a rise in the highway, heading in the direction you think the balloon should be….and there it is.

One of the balloons landed in Windsor Castle Park in our little town of Smithfield. A cross country team from a nearby college was at the park that morning, and cheered at the smooth landing. That’s historic Windsor Castle in the background, home of Arthur Smith, founder of Smithfield.

Sunday, there was only one balloon flight, but what a perfect morning. The pilots enjoy flying over our many tributaries. And I enjoy catching pictures of the reflections.

They flew over Smithfield Station Restaurant/Hotel/Marina. The structure in this picture is part of that establishment and is known as “The Lighthouse”. It’s a replica of The Hooper Strait Lighthouse in Maryland.

This flight took the passengers out in the country on a quiet Sunday morning.

And, once again, they enjoyed a smooth landing. After the flight, the crew,  passengers and Motor Man and I returned to Smithfield Station for brunch and to discuss their flight.

With the flooding in Carova and the condition of the roads in that area, we’re not sure when we’ll get back there to see the wild horses. So in the meantime….we’re content to chase balloons.

~These Days Of Mine~

 

 

 

 

In  our area

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Horses, Pigs And Bad Decisions

Or, in other words: your weekly beach report.

Yesterday, during our time on the beach at Carova, we saw seven horses, including this one:

“You looking at me?”

And this beauty:

We also saw this group, which included the beach’s resident mule, Raymond. He’s the dark colored, right front.  “Everybody loves Raymond.”

But, here’s something we’d never seen at the beach before. She was hanging out with a buddy, who slipped into the shrubs before I could get a picture. We’re pretty sure they belong to the folks who live at a nearby house.

And then this:

Yes, someone decided to drive their Challenger right by several signs reading: “4-WHEEL DRIVE VEHICLES ONLY BEYOND THIS POINT“.  Facebook posts indicate they were able to free their vehicle and actually drove further down the beach.

Just another interesting day at Carova. It’s never boring.

~These Days Of Mine~

 

 

 

On The Wild Side

Yesterday, as we often do on Sundays, Motor Man and I made a trip to Carova, NC in search of wild horses.

By the way: yesterday just happened to be World Wildlife Day.

It took a while, but we finally saw horses.  They did a good job of hiding from us, and we thought we may end up with a “zero day” before we came upon these four having an early dinner.

As we were driving along the beach, we spotted a cordoned off area in the sand. We’ve seen those before to protect places where sea turtles have laid eggs, but as we got closer, we realized this was for another reason.

A seal had come up on shore to rest.

I had recently seen a video posted on one of the Carova area Facebook pages that I follow. It was of a seal making its way back to the water after having rested a while on the Carova beach.

It was quite exciting to see this one so close.  There were a few other folks also looking and taking pictures;  of course, we were all well outside the perimeter set up for his safety.

He put on quite a show for the little video I took. There is sound (wind and waves), and you should be able to view it full screen.

 

Just as with the wild horses, I used my zoom lens. “Hello, you looking at me?”

Such an interesting looking little creature. I sure hope he stays safe.

Wild horses and this cute little seal: Motor Man and I thought it was the perfect way to celebrate World Wildlife Day.

~These Days Of Mine~

 

Different Every Time

If there’s one thing we’ve learned in all our travels to the Carova area of the Outer Banks of North Carolina, it is that the beach is different each time.

Sometimes the sand is so smooth, it feels as though we’re driving on the interstate.  Other times, the ride is so rough, it “rattles our fillings”.  The width of the beach depends, of course, on the tide.

In this picture, taken last month, you can see the cottage named “Laughing Gull” in the distance. It’s the one nearest the ocean.  You can tell that the beach is wide enough for vehicles to park in the middle, and there’s room on the dune side as well as the ocean side for at least two lanes of traffic to pass.  The little boy is walking across what is considered to be the highway.

On our most recent trip to the beach (last week), the beach showed the effects of a tropical storm off the coast. There was barely enough room between the cottage and the tide for one lane of traffic. In all honesty, normally, the beach in front of Laughing Gull isn’t quite as wide as it is in the area where I took the previous picture. But, usually, there’s plenty of room for two lanes of traffic between the cottage and the ocean.

The horses aren’t bothered by a storm off the coast. The rough surf just makes for a pretty background for photos.

And on a lighter note, can you imagine stepping outside your door to find a horse under your car port?

So the condition of the beach isn’t the only thing that changes with each trip: we also never know where we’ll spot a horse.

Happy weekend!

~These Days Of Mine~

 

 

 

That Westerly Wind

In previous posts about the Corolla wild horses on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, I’ve mentioned that our favorite place to see the horses is down by the ocean.

We travel the “back roads” and often see them there, but there’s just something about wild horses by the water.

We’ve learned that you see the most horses on the beach on days when the wind is from the west.  This isn’t good for the horses, however, because it brings biting flies from inland.  The horses retreat to the water’s edge for relief.

Plus the wind just feels good in their hair manes.

But not all the horses were up for a beach day.  Some were just hanging out back at the cottage.

And it IS spring, so a young man’s fancy is turning to love… and sometimes that means a disagreement among the guys. A couple of notes before you watch the video: my editing skills leave much to be desired.  Also, I love how sleek and gorgeous these stallions are.  Just a few seconds into the clip,the lighter colored horse starts to run. The darker horse rears his head back as if to say: “Oh, heck, yeah. It’s ON!”.  Also, although it looks like I’m really close, my camera lens was zoomed as much as possible, and I was standing in the doorway of our vehicle, so I was safe.

(Sound on)

I’m glad the gal driving that big truck was “heads up”, since one of the horses ran right in front of her vehicle.

Yesterday, it was posted on the Corolla Wild Horse Fund page that the first new foal of the season has been spotted. It’s a colt, and they’re going to have a contest to name him. You know that we’ll be keeping an eye out for him on our future trips to the beach.

~These Days Of Mine~

Just Horsin’ Around

Motor Man and I took advantage of a beautiful spring day recently and headed to the Outer Banks.

The past few times we’ve been, we haven’t seen many horses, but this time we saw 14, including this one enjoying a stroll along the beach.

A few were hanging out on the dunes.

And this one was channeling a Friesian.

Tis spring, so the young bucks are a bit restless; we witnessed much whinnying, rearing up and running.

And this one was apparently looking to check into his accommodations for the week.

~These Days Of Mine~

Stranded

On our most recent trip to the Outer Banks, Motor Man and I had a bit more “excitement” than we would have liked.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Carova area of the Outer Banks (where the wild horses are), it’s accessible only by four-wheel drive vehicles.  After driving several miles on the beach,  there are many back roads/streets, but none are paved.  It is NOT a convenient place for your vehicle to “break down”….

We were approximately eight miles “up the beach” when all the alarms on our dashboard began that “dinging” sound. Motor Man looked to see that our voltage indicator was at its lowest point.  It was just a few minutes later that we came to a stop.

Thankfully, within minutes, we were surrounded by a group of local ‘good guys’ stopping to offer their help. (In this picture, you aren’t able to see a huge pick-up truck with jumper cables connected to our Tahoe, charging our battery.)

I should explain that we carry a small portable battery jump box/charger. But, apparently our battery was so “low”, the jump box wasn’t enough to start our vehicle.

Since the alternator was the problem, the guys knew that the battery wouldn’t hold a charge for long. So we needed to hurry as much as safely possible to make it back to the hard surface road before we needed a tow.

And we did….with a few miles to spare. But eventually, the inevitable happened, and the Tahoe could go no further. Thank goodness for our AAA membership, although in that area, our wait was 90 minutes for the tow truck to arrive. They towed us to a friend’s business, and we called other friends, who came to our rescue and brought us home.

BUT. As we were heading off the beach, again, as quickly as we safely could, we spotted up ahead…..five horses down by the water.

That’s my favorite place to see the horses, but since we weren’t able to stop,  this was taken as we bounced along the beach, resulting in the blurry picture.

The alternator was replaced the next day. Motor Man has already purchased a large jump box, which will be in our vehicle on our next trip to the beach.

Although having your vehicle “let you down” is always concerning, especially in such a remote location, the kindness of strangers and friends made this more of an adventure than a hardship. We are grateful.

~These Days Of Mine~