Another Family Trip
This was our first time ever visiting the Outer Banks of North Carolina. It was also the first time our three youngsters had ever been to a real, live beach...instead of the beaches seen on Daniel Tiger or heard on Spotify! So it was an exciting adventure for the five of us! Which reminds me, I still need to post photographs from our cross country adventure...maybe a good post for next week 😉
As we set up temporary residence in the little town of Corolla (pronounced Cor-ah-lah...who would've guessed), my husband and I were slightly intimidated at the thought of being surrounded by huge bodies of water! But we were also impressed by the native beauty and the stillness of the Sound. Our kids talked often about the "big bath tub" that would ultimately make them cry when they finally stepped foot on the sand. It is definitely a beautiful place that was just perfect for our family to visit.
We only actually spent two days at the beach. Once to just be there and again to celebrate a little fellas 1 year birthday! We spent a lot of time 'inland,' driving past the largest sand dune on the east coast, visiting the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, eating at the original Duck Donuts, walking the nearby pier, and even eating at a Diners, Drive ins, and Dives stop called Cravings. There was so much to do that we didn't even get to check it all out during our short time there! But one incredible thing we were able to do was go on a wild horse "tour" with Wild Horse Adventure Tours.
Highway 12 and Wild Horse Adventure Tours
There is just so much that could be said about this tour, but I'll keep it short 😉
We had the privilege of taking the tour with an excellent tour guide, Ryan Riley, through Wild Horse Adventure Tours in Corolla, NC. It was such a great time! I have to admit that I was not really looking forward to the tour. I thought we'd be lucky to see some horses, but that it would end up just being a drive along the beach. But this guy brought the the town of Corolla to life! On the drive there, he gave us some great history that included pirates, the history of a rum strong enough to kill the devil (hence the name, Kill Devil Hills, for one of their towns), horses being used to trick oncoming ships, horses taking a trip to the grocery store, and so much more!
Now I love learning the history of the places we're visiting. So this was right up my alley! But even better, we were able to learn about the terrain and the elements of the Outer Banks that effect the behavior of the wild horses. It just so happened that they day we went, the wind was blowing in from the west, creating a restless sound and working up the bugs of the land to be just too annoying for the local horses. So, in an effort to find peace, these creatures made their way to the beach to cool off and take a nap.
On the day of our tour, that landed them right on Highway 12 (yes, this is an actual highway on the beach...it's the strangest thing I've ever seen...there is no pavement...no painted lines...and we would just drive on any "side" of the road...oh my heart), in the midst of people and traffic. But we were able to see a stallion and his gals (mares), a foal, and a quirky fella named Raymond who, though half bred with a local farmers donkey, was still able to stand his own and duke it out with a couple of other stallions to get the gals.
If you're thinking about taking a family vacation, I highly recommend Corolla, NC. And don't pass up the opportunity to go on a tour with Wild Horse Adventure Tours (ask for Ryan Riley!). https://www.facebook.com/WHATOBX/
For now, take a bit of time, check out the photographs of the horses and some of the people I love as you get ready to celebrate this great nation's birthday! Happy Independence Day!
Oh...and if you ever encounter a wild horse, don't feed it. 😉
Until next time,
PS- Keep scrolling to see more images from the day!