If you drive to the very easternmost portion of North Carolina, you might be surprised at where it takes you. There’s a chain of islands known as the Outer Banks that extends outward from the mainland state – as if the lining of the state had been pulled out into the Atlantic Ocean. It has to be seen to be believed.
That thin white line that is separated from the rest of the state are the sandy beaches of the North Carolina Outer Banks. I think what most fascinates me about this region is how its separation from the mainland created its culture. Sure, you’ve got what you might expect of a coastal region: fishing and boating are a big deal there. However, no other place can claim to be the “Graveyard of the Atlantic” because of how easily that thin white sandy line that shows up on satellite images can utterly destroy unsuspecting ships. There’s even a museum bearing this title. And no discussion of Outer Banks culture would be complete without bringing up the distinctive Outer Banks accent which is very unlike the typical American Southern super-dialect. When visiting the mainland, many people think the residents are from Ireland because of their accents!
So how do you get there? Well, first, fly on over to Kitty Hawk. (Get it? Okay, you might just have to drive…) Travel south on North Carolina State Route 12 and go through Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, and all the way to Hatteras. Take your car to the ferry and sail your car to the next island. Yep, it’s going to be that kind of trip! When you reach land, drive to Ocracoke, and stop to appreciate the lighthouse. Then take another ferry to
boring mainland North Carolina. When you’re done, you can say with complete pride that you drove on this incredible stretch of road.
The United States of America contains multitudes. It’s easy to forget the sheer amount of variety that characterizes the nation. Go explore! See how many cities and towns you can visit. See how many cultures and accents you can exposure yourself to. See how many sandy beaches, rolling hills, and snow-capped mountains you can set foot on. The country is a big place, my friends, and so is the world at large.