We were sad to hear that Pat Conroy, the author of one of our most beloved novels, passed away recently. His more notable titles were The Great Santini and Prince of Tides but our favorite was Beach Music.
Beach Music was set in the sixties in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The opening page captivated us as the young couple lovingly danced barefoot in their wooden beach house as it was carried away to the sea with the tide; The Drifters’ song, Under the Boardwalk, blared over the roar of the waves. This postcard reminded us of that…
Must have been the fun, free-spirited approach to life in the Outer Banks during the time that called to us. That, and what locals refer to as Carolina music. The music has evolved over the years but the beach remains pretty much the same.
The Outer Banks (OBX) has been a charted destination for us since reading Beach Music some twenty years ago. Tonight we’re camping on the beach off Cape Hatteras listening to Carolina music while digging our toes in the sand around our bonfire. It was around this fire where Hali and I reminisced about our travel mantra while touring Florence Italy thirty years ago: You cannot see it ALL in a short visit. It will still be there when you come back. And we’ve been back to Florence since. A couple of times.
Like Florence, there’s something special about the Outer Banks. Coming from the south it takes some effort getting here. A two hour ferry ride to this barrier island plus two shorter ferries help, and once here, it’s worth the drive north. The 50 mile Hatteras Island about a half mile wide connects a dozen or so villages each with it’s unique character and lighthouse.
True to its roots, as small communities line the island with history of pirates like Blackbeard in Nags Head, thousands of sunk vessels offshore, hurricanes in Kill Devil Hills, First in Flight just up the road at Kitty hawk. AND, of course, home of the famous Cape Hatteras lighthouse~the tallest lighthouse “of its kind” in the world.
Our airbnb hosts share the same special character and charm that sets the Outer Banks apart from any other beach destination we’ve ever been a part of. Four days just doesn’t do it justice. We know we’ll be coming back.