Last fall, Nicolas discovered Corolla, NC, in the Outer Banks, where you can drive on the beach with no ORV permit required. 20 miles north of Kitty Hawk, the road ends at the sand and there’s 17 miles of beach to drive on until you reach the Virginia state line.
In addition to the off-road adventure, the area is home to wild horses, which are always cool to see wandering on the beach.
With 90+ temperatures predicted for Mother’s Day weekend, it was a perfect time to plan a day at the beach.
We packed a picnic lunch, and loaded up Nick’s truck with chairs, his grill, and even Casey! We didn’t get as early of a start as we wanted to, and with almost a 2-hour drive to get to Corolla, NC, it was almost 2pm by the time hit the sand after stopping to air down the tires on the truck.
Nicolas was having fun in the deep sand,
and Casey was keeping a close watch from the back seat!
It wasn’t long before we spotted some horses headed towards the water!
This is really an amazing area! The beach, behind the dunes, is lined with beach cottage communities . . .
and the only access to them is through the sand!
About every half mile or so, there is a “road” that crosses the dunes, and then there are more sand roads that go between the houses . . . and some of them are really narrow! This one felt more like a trail, than a road!
It’s a beautiful place for a beach vacation, but I hope your Uber driver has 4-wheel drive!!
Back out on the beach, we passed some fellow Spartans,
and looked for a spot to set up our picnic. We spotted another group of horses hanging out on the dunes, and decided that was as good a place as any for a picnic. Nicolas got the truck backed up by the water, hopefully out of the way of drivers . . . not a lot of “rules of the road” around here!
This mama horse had her brand-new foal with her, so we walked over to the dunes for a closer look!
There are dune buggy tours (kindof like Mac Woods at Silver Lake) who take groups of people for rides along the beach in big-wheeled 15-seat vehicles, and a couple of the tours had stopped to take pictures of the horse and her foal. The tour guides were saying that the foal was just a few days old, and the mother had been keeping it out of sight until today.
It was just barely able to get up on its long legs!
During the hour or so that we were parked there, it got quite a bit more stable on its feet. Eventually the group wandered back over the dune, but we saw them again later down by the water.
Selfie with the horses!
While Tom and I were watching the horses, Nicolas was getting our picnic set up in the back of the truck.
He grilled the burgers and hot dogs that I brought, and I got out the pasta salad and honeydew melon to go with them.
Compared to 92 degrees back in Suffolk, the outside temp in Nick’s truck was reading 68 degrees! It was definitely warmer than that, though! Even with a brisk breeze off the ocean, it was very comfortable in the sun.
After lunch, I took a walk on the beach . . . watching out for crazy drivers! The beach went on for miles and miles!
Selfie on the beach! (It was really windy!)
Mother’s Day pic with my boy!
When I got back, we packed up the truck so we could continue our drive on the beach – Nick was determined to drive all the way to the end!
There it is – the end of the road! On the other side of the fence is Virginia, and although the beach continues, Virginia doesn’t allow driving on the sand, so we had to turn around here.
As the afternoon went on, the tide had been coming in, so the driveable beach was shrinking. There was one section that got really narrow, and the sand was very deep and dropped off by the water – a couple of trucks were stuck, but Nick just went around them!
He loves his truck!
There were beach houses all the way along the beach, too! Some of the walkways down to the ocean were completely covered by drifting sand – apparently nobody had been there yet this year.
We got turned around, and started the 17-mile drive back to pavement. As we drove along, we saw several groups of horses coming down to the ocean – they must all come down there in the evening!
We had a really wonderful day – Nick had fun driving on the sand,
Tom and I loved seeing the wild horses,
and we all enjoyed the beautiful, warm day!
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all the Moms out there!