Ocean’s Away!

Or not. Ocean’s nearby, actually, when you’re in the OBX (Outer Banks of North Carolina).

It’s a big draw for people who want to vacation at the beach, lounging and reading and — at least in 2011 — trying to escape a heat index that hovered around 105 degrees every day in late July:

Despite busy beaches near the rental properties and motels…

…we easily found long stretches of empty sand where we could watch the sandpipers…


…keep our distance from the jellyfish…

…and the hotrodding NPS folks in their ATVs…

…who where checking on the nesting sites for the endangered sea turtles:

They were probably checking on the Piping Plovers, too — an endangered species of bird non-native to the OBX but protected regardless of where they’re found. We didn’t get photos of them because they’re hard to spot, and — like the sea turtles — the areas cordoned off were large enough to keep the curious away.

And while the locals we spoke to told us they have nothing against preserving wildlife and protecting endangered species, many were pretty upset about the lengths to which the NPS was going. Restricted beach access cut into the long stretches of off-road vehicle access for surf fishers, which cut into the tourist business, which — so they believed — was why we were able to walk into restaurants without reservations and stay as long as we liked in the RV park.

You can imagine how strong feelings must be when someone feels as though their livelihood is being threatened:

When you travel, you see this almost everywhere you go. Loggers in the Northwest are upset about the forestry service and the “tree huggers.” The Great Lakes states fight battles against those who want to build pipelines to pump fresh water to other parts of the country.

But when you see the images of National Park Service employees shooting foxes and other Piping Plover predators, you have to wonder… how far should it go?

[All of this has inspired a “novel” idea for Ellen, who’s a few chapters into a draft of a new book… of course, when it’s ready, we’ll announce it here, so stay tuned!]

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About Ellen

Fiction writer and photographer, I travel the country with my sweetheart of a husband as a "full-time RVer."
This entry was posted in Animals, Birds, Interesting Stories and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Ocean’s Away!

  1. Bob and Ellen –
    Enjoyed your oceans or not blog. Been to the outer banks often…my wife was stationed at Camp Lejeune for 3 years. Great pics of the little birds. I enjoy reading RV blogs and I’m starting to write one myself about our travels. Please check out my website and let me know what you think. http://www.rvdestinationtrails.com I would really appreciate it. Thanks again. Darrell Tooker

    • Ellen says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Darrell! Your trip to Alaska sounds great — it’s on our list, but we’re having so much fun around the lower 48 we haven’t gotten up there yet.

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