More Beach Time and “Wild Horses Too”

In my last post I left you as it was cooking dinner for my friends Tom and Pam. First off I’ll share a photo of the ribs and shrimp that I prepared for a feast.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA We enjoyed a simple picnic type meal of barbecued back ribs, local grilled shrimp, baked beans, macaroni salad and coleslaw. It was a yummy meal with good friends. As I think this photo of Tom and Pam shows, we all enjoyed it.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA While I’m on the subject of food, I had some of a great favorite local treat this week. That would be a shrimp burger. Many restaurants and drive-ins in the surrounding area make what’s called a shrimp burger. They take local shrimp lightly bread them, deep-fried them, and serve them on a hamburger bun with coleslaw and Ketchup (yummy).OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI found a great local drive-in called El’s, in Morehead city. It’s just a little slack and they actually have carhops that take your order and bring the food out to you. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThey been serving great food to locals for more than 55 years. And you know it’s a great spot as soon as you pull in you see the parking lot full anytime of the day. There so great we stopped here twice this week already. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Maxine and I have had been having a great time exploring the area and checking out numerous beaches. The nice thing about the coastline here, in North Carolina. Is all the beaches have public access. So we’ve been stopping and enjoying them up and down the whole coast as we’ve been exploring. We also checked out another campground close by in the Croatan National Forest, for future reference. Flanners Beach Campground is a forest service campground located on the Neuse River just a short drive from Morehead City. This park is not as nice as the one at Cedar Point but it is located right on the river with great views.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA And of course Maxine thought it was great because she could get right in the water. She loves the ocean with all the waves, but I think freshwater’s easier for her to swim in. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The weather has been so great that one day I opted to go on a ferry ride to check out some more of the Outer Banks. The Outer Banks is a whole series of barrier islands along the North Carolina shoreline. Some of them like the one my friends live on are accessible by car over bridges. Others are accessible by car ferries, so that you can explore them, and several of these have nice campgrounds on them. And lots more of them are smaller are only accessible by passenger ferry or private boats. There are all kinds and sizes of ferry services located up and down this 200 mile stretch of North Carolina. In the town of Beaufort, NC, I found a smaller passenger service called Island Ferry Adventures Ferry Service. They use smaller boats like this to shuffle passengers to the islands that are near town.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA So on Thursday being another beautiful sunny day with calm seas, Maxine and I boarded one of the small boats to go exploring. Our destination was Sand Dollar Island. Which is a small sandbar that is easily accessible at low tide. Here Maxine is a board getting to know the other passengers.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA As we motored out of the harbor we got the see the beautiful yachts in the bay.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Our captain guided us out to open water sharing his local knowledge about the area .OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Right as we were leaving the harbor we got to see a bunch of the dolphins, but I only got one not so great photo.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA It was a nice short ride just a couple miles till we got to our destination, a beautiful sandy sandbar island.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA As soon as we beached the boat Maxine was off and running.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The great thing about this little island oasis is there was only about a dozen of us total enjoying it’s beauty. There were flocks of sea birds, with lots of pelicans and other smaller birds of all kinds.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA And even though there’s all these birds, the nice thing was that most of the day this sandbar is covered by water so it gets washed clean and you do not have to worry about stepping in their droppings. We got to spend several hours wandering around exploring and waiting in the warm pools of water. There were beautiful views everywhere you looked of the calm open sea. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe big attraction about this island is that you can hunt for sand dollars and sea shells. We all ended up collecting some nice ones, me not as many as others did. The interesting thing is how many lives sand dollars you could find along the water’s edge, I’ve never found live ones before. Here’s a photo of a few of my little treasures that I kept.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Fun was had by one and all and it was a great afternoon on the beach. When the boat came back to pick us up we are all ready to head in but there was still more treats ahead. As we headed back in the captain’s spotted several wild horses on the neighboring islands. So he took us in close enough to get a good look at them.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA There are number of these islands like Shackleford Banks part of the national parks service, “Cape Lookout National Seashore”. These horses roam freely on these islands, and are protected. You can find out more about them at this website. And here’s more photos of another one, wondering along the beach.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Well as you can tell Maxine and I have been enjoying the wonderful weather and this beautiful area this week. Also one last thing after spending the day on the beach, I picked up some more local shrimp. And cook them up, for some peel and eats. They are so “yummy”. That’s it for now safe travels and best wishes, RickOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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