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The End of the Road - Travels Near & Far
Koppenhaver's Selected Travel Journal Entries
The End of the Road

Beach Week…

Sunday Night: I don’t normally talk with my hands, but for the point I’m about to make I set my drink down and display my overhand pitching technique.  It’s part of the longest toast I’ve ever given.  By the end, I’m sure those raising their glass have gotten tired of holding the position.  But my daughter only graduates college once, and her list of accomplishments and prideful moments is a long one. 

Monday Morning: Standing in the swash, I corkscrew my heels slowly into the sand of North Carolina’s barrier island.  The deeper I drill, the colder it gets.  It’s late spring and the air temp is quite warm, but my heels tell me winter’s leftovers are just below the surface.

Monday Night: The odds are in my favor – a full moon surrounded by stars positioned out over the ocean on a cloudless night while I’m here to see it all makes for a spectacular night stroll down the beach.  Perhaps a once in a lifetime opportunity. 

Tuesday Morning: My first attempt exploring the maritime forest in the center of the island ends quickly – the horseflies are overwhelming forcing me to run back to the safety of my car after just a few minutes of exploring.  The flies win round one. 

Wednesday Morning: I’m up early - as usual- before the sunrise.  I’m brewing the day’s first pot, but while it drips I get a hankering for a little more of last night’s much ballyhooed star – our homemade sangria.  Until the coffee’s ready, I might as well warm up with some more sangria.  And it’s just as amazing before coffee as it was after dinner.

Thursday Morning:  Round two.  I return to the forest, covered in chemicals and clothing.  The flies swarm again, but my defenses work.  For an hour, I wander at will - bite free - photographing the uniqueness and beauty of the stunted forest and the water’s edge just beyond.

Friday Evening: The sunset and its beautiful colors remain hidden behind a gray bank of thick clouds, but no one is complaining.  We’re afloat atop Currituck Sound in kayaks, far from shore, and far from the distractions of the world.  We’re drifting peacefully in the stillness – a stillness that has quashed all conversation.  Bobbing only slightly in the calm waters, there seems to be an understanding within our group - this is that special moment that we’ll all recall years from now when reminiscing about this adventure.

Sunday:  Corolla.  I’ve visit here three times in the past ten years.  I usually don’t like to repeat vacation locations, so the enthusiasm was a little dampened as I prepared for the trip.  But there’s something special about being at the end of the road.  The closer to the end, the better Corolla gets.  It’s been a great beach week.  …and I finally now pronounce Corolla the correct way, as the locals do with a short O.

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