Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Dune Running in the OBX

I had a hard time wearing shoes today, considering I have been in flip flops or barefoot for over a week. Lucky for me, I can wear flip flops to work at times and my first day back, I had to wear them. My feet took one look at the flats I had planned to wear and walked away. I had a client meeting in the afternoon and I had to bring the flats. I literally forced my feet into the shoes against their will. It was ugly.

You know Tim and I love the Outer Cape. It reminds us both of the Cape we knew growing up. Remote, quiet, filled with dunes, and very relaxed. We found that same environment in the OuterBanks last week. Our flip flop wearing feet felt right at home.

I will say there were two bumps in the road during our entire trip. First, the traffic. There is one road in and out and we happened to be near the end of the island so we sat in Saturday change over traffic for 3 hours. It was like going 20 miles an hour from Hopkinton to the Cape on a Saturday. After driving for two days, this was a buzz kill. But, once we crossed into Hatteras and started driving on roads literally in between dunes, we knew it was worth it.

Our campsite at Camp Hatteras faced the dunes. All we had to do was cross the road and climb over a dune to get to the beach. And the beach was beautiful. Fluffy white sand and clear blue warm water. You don't see this every day at a campground. Sign. Me. Up.

We spent pretty much every day at a different beach. First, the campground beach and then later in the week we bought a pass to drive out on the National Seashore and we felt at home. We tried out a new beach every day and they just kept getting better and better.

I spend a lot of time researching every place we go to and type up a tentative itinerary of what we might want to do. We really try to explore every place we visit to the fullest and take advantage of everything going on, whether it's a corn festival or a 50 mile long yard sale. For this trip, I was excited to find a 1 mile "Glow Run" in the dunes at Jockey Ridge State Park in Nags Head. Basically it was a 1 mile run through the dunes at sunset, complete with glow in the dark tshirts and glow necklaces. 1 mile is a piece of cake right? And that was something we could all do as a family.

Before it started I decided that we should run in "teams"...Jack and I together because we are a bit faster and then Tim and Mimi because they work together so well as a team. I told Mimi I couldn't have her "weighing me down"...that I needed to run at my own pace. I had visions of Olympic gold running through my head. There was a prize for the top 3 runners out of a field of 250. Seriously, I had no thoughts of even finishing in a decent time but Jack had his sights held high.

Turns out that running in the sand is like running in a vat of glue. We all took off running, Jack was the gazelle out in front. Mimi quickly passed Tim and I and it wasn't long before I felt like I was going backwards in the sand. Did I mention the sand dunes we were running up were between 100-120 feet high. Yeah, think about how high that is for a minute. I didn't even make it a 1/4 of the way up the first dune before I had to walk. I looked over as I was walking up to see Jack already running down the back side of the first dune. What the heck?!

I am the only one out of the 4 of us that runs and I came in last out of all of us, at 15 minutes. Tim and Mimi stuck together and were able to do about 13 minutes. So much for her slowing me down. Jack came in 10th, out of everyone, and ran it in 8:38. Holy Sand Dunes. Regardless of our times, we were all thrilled to make it, and have such a fun experience together.

Overall we had an incredible week together. We typically spend each night playing games together but on this trip, we stayed at the beach until 6 or 7 every night and were so worn out that after dinner we watched a little of the Olympics and then fell fast asleep.

Side note, we have never brought our t.v. on a camping trip. We try very hard to get away from t.v and electronics on all our trips but who can resist the Olympics? We were so glad we were able to catch a little each night.

Finally, I mentioned earlier that there were 2 bumps in the road. The first bump occured on our way there while the 2nd bump occured on our way home. We discovered our friends happened to be staying at the same campground during a few days that we were there. They were on a two week vacation, with Camp Hatteras being just one stop along the way.

On the last night, their son had gotten sick in the middle of the night. We found this out when they came to say goodbye as we were packing up. We didn't think much of it until about 1 am the next morning. We spent the night in a Cracker Barrel parking lot in Maryland, as we normally do. CB allows campers to stay free of charge in their parking lots, with the unspoken assumption that you will frequent their restaurants for breakfast, lunch, or dinner in return. They are typically in safe spots, have lots of campers staying there, and are free. "We" drive (aka Tim drives) until his eyes are ready to close and then we pull into a Cracker Barrel for a few hours before we get on the road again.

Just like my Barbie camper, our kitchen table doubles as a bed when it is folded down and that is typically where Mimi, Tim, and I sleep. Jack sleeps on the floor in a sleeping bag. So, there we were...the three of us on the table/bed but it was so hot it was hard to fall asleep. I was literally sweating just laying there. It took me 2 hours to fall asleep but I was quickly awoken from Mimi sneezing on me. Oh, turns out, it wasn't a sneeze.

She had woken up to say she wasn't feeling good but instead of speaking, only puke came out. Projectile vomit to be honest. The good news is that it didn't smell. Can you imagine being stuck on a table/bed that reeked of vomit in a camper that was about 95 degrees hot?? Another amazing fact was that she didn't get anything anywhere except us, with the exception of the corner of Tim's pillow. Most of the puke ended up on Tim. There was some on me and even some on Jack's back. I'm not going to was disgusting.

But I snapped into Mother Mode and got her to the bathroom while I cleaned everything up. It passed quick and within 15 minutes, we were all laughing about it. You had to because it was so unbeliveable. This was not on my itinerary.

All in all, we had a fantastic trip! We swam, boogie boarded, played a few games, met up with friends, went fishing & crabbing, drove on the beach, and RELAXED. It doesn't get much better than that!

1 comment:

  1. You guys always have a good time. Poor Mimi, you will be laughing about that for years.