An Abundance of Special Places

Submitted by OcracokeWaves on Sat, 03/31/2012 - 12:20.

There is a newly updated (March 2015) version of this post at this link.

No matter where I have lived, I have always had a special place or two where I could visit and find some peace and renewal.  Here on the Crystal Coast we are especially fortunate because there seems to a special place around every turn.

When we lived in Nova Scotia during the early seventies, there was a place high on the hill behind our two hundred year old farm house.  It was quite a hike, but the view of St. Croix Cove was worth it. 

Though we owned a lot of land there, this particular spot was not part of it at first.  I eventually traded some pasture land for this piece of wild land.  The view and the acres surrounding it meant a lot more to me than a few acres of pasture.

When we moved to New Brunswick and started farming seriously at Tay Ridge Farms, there was a high ridge beyond our back field.  In the seventies and early eighties, it also required a serious hike.  There was no road like there is today.

It was a place that you could literally lose yourself to the spirit of wilderness.  In fact two friends, Harvey and Charlie, both in their seventies were once helping me look for a stray bull.  Both had been born in Tay Creek and wandered the woods there all their lives.  Harvey had spent his whole life working the farm which we had purchased in 1973. That cloudy day, far up the ridge, the three of us were lost for a few minutes.

It was an interesting experience standing in the middle of miles of wilderness and not knowing exactly which way was home.  There was no real danger, just some time to imagine what if. Even with a bad guess, we would have run into a road in twenty or thirty miles, but fortunately we finally got our bearings.

Even after that episode, the ridge remained a special spot for me, and I never stopped wandering the woods.   I've had other special places like the magnificent trail on the mountain that I maintained behind our home in Roanoke, VA.  Our wonderful lab, Chester, and I created a lot of wonderful memories on that mountain.

Though scenic beauty is not an absolute necessity for a special place where you can lose yourself in the moment, it certainly doesn't hurt.  We're are blessed on the Southern Outer Banks to have land and waters that can stretch your imagination.

Perhaps for that reason, I don't seem to be limited to one spot that inspires me here in Carteret County.  I have a number of them, and some that are very easy to reach.

In fact just driving across the bridge from Cape Carteret to Emerald is a good place to get a quick shot of inspiration.  The view of Bogue Sound from the Cameron-Langston Bridge is often enough to get me through a tough day.

If I want to go hiking, I can be inspired by the marsh at Croatan Trails in Cedar Point, or if I am lucky enough to have time for a walk on the beach, I can hike around the ever changing Point at Emerald Isle.  The sands at the Point never stop moving, and not surprisingly the scenery there, like the snapshot with the post, is always inspiring.

Wading in the water at the Point
can cause me to lose all track of time. At the Point time doesn't really seem to matter.  All that is important is the water, the sand, the winds, and the sky.

Closer to home, I can easily lose myself after a ten-minute paddle to the middle of the White Oak River.  The scenery there can be beyond breath-taking.  The White Oak River has more than one special spot as you can see from this photo album from the fall of 2011.

Further a field, but still on the water, I love the marshes just across the Intracoastal Waterway from Swansboro.  One of my favorite spots is in the channel there, looking across the marshes towards Bear Island

On the other side of that view in the channel behind Bear Island is one of the places that inspires me the most.  The view across the marshes from behind Bear Island to Swansboro will take your breath away.

There are other really neat spots that work for others and not just me.  I really enjoyed watching my youngest daughter fall in love with Bogue Inlet and the shallow water beaches there.

Sometimes I get all the inspiration that I need standing on the dock behind our home and listening to the taunts of one of the neighborhood KingfishersThe view there is a familiar one to me, but it is also ever changing.

You might just find a special spot of your own from the links on my page of Crystal Coast attractions.