Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Let's Go Fly a Kite

Never has the Outer Banks felt like a private beach. Until this week.

The weather is glorious: sunny, deep blue sky, highs in the upper '70s and lightly breezy. Practically perfect beach weather, right? Yet, the fact that it's the beginning of May means that the vacancy rate around here appears to be somewhere around 95%, as compared to Summer.

I'm not complaining, but it's awfully strange. You can look up or down the beach and see no more than a handful of umbrellas against the brilliant blue-green of the ocean. Typically, the sounds of kids screaming - because little ones somehow sense that the ocean will drown out their shrillest squawks and they're right - is a constant, but not this week. People-generated sounds are rare.

And get this. Not a single one of the infrequent cars that pass by on the Beach Road are blasting music or booming bass, leading me to believe that only low rent tourists are guilty of that particular kind of noise pollution.

Walking down to Wink's, the quintessential beachfront market, as high tide approached was like walking in uncharted new territory. I've been walking that stretch of beach for decades, but it's unrecognizable since the beach replenishment was done over the winter. Enormous tidal pools and a seriously wide beach have replaced what used to be an uncomfortably narrow stretch of sand that resulted in high tide waves licking the posts under some cottages. Looking like decoys, small seabirds stood up to their skinny ankles (if birds have such things) way out on sandbars.

So. Much. Beach.

Inside Wink's, a place that barely changes from decade to decade, the clerk came across as someone who long ago lost interest in her job and now merely shows up to suffer fools unhappily. A far cry from the kindly cashiers who used to strike up conversation with anyone willing. "Where y'all from?"

Yesterday we'd gone to John's Drive-in, so today we made do eating at home so we could spend most of the day on the beach reading to our heart's content. The only time we didn't have tomes in hand was when we had grub in hand, making for a day of simple pleasures, the last one for my companion who returns to the real world (and off-the-chart pollen levels) tomorrow morning.

Not me. I've got 3 1/2 days of vacation, plenty of wine and Espolon and another guest yet to enjoy before I have to breathe the yellow dust of allergy death in the city.

Until then, you'll find me right here on the quiet beach, ready for anything. Let the next chapter begin...

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