Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Controversy II

The thing we really love about the Outer Banks is their remoteness. They still have a wild element that t-shirt shops and Hooters franchises have not invaded. We come to the beach for the beach, not for country music shows, miniature golf, or outlet malls, something that has mystified Trey, who may possibly be going a little nuts with the lack of extraneous amusements. When Duck became impossible to get to and Nags Head got a Dirty Dick's, we moved south.

So, while Rodanthe has a go-cart track, it doesn't have much else, and that's what we love about it. We can drive two miles north and hike a quarter-mile over the dunes to the beach and not see another human all day. We realize this isn't everyone's cup of tea.

The second ballot in our packet was a much more urgent one about closing beach access to vehicles. One of the things people can still do here, if they have four-wheel-drive and nerves of steel, is drive on the beach. The feds, however, have really restricted access in 2008, because of the turtle nesting areas, which have expanded, and the birds. Limiting the number of areas in which people can drive has the locals screaming, particularly since the feds are threatening to close the Hatteras beaches to ALL vehicular access.

We are the wrong people to ask about driving rights, because we have never driven on the beach. Towing is expensive, and we don't know what we're doing. The latter will, in 90 percent of the cases, lead to the former. Fishermen, though, like to drive up to their spot. Carrying water and a chair across the dunes is not a problem. Carrying four ocean-worthy fishing poles, a cooler, chairs, and a tackle box, takes a lot more effort. So we see their point.

But the turtles and the birds matter to us more than people lumbering along the tide line in Ford Expeditions. Besides, the Oregon Inlet fishing area will stay open, as will the one south of Buxton. The survey asked if we'd still come to the beach if we couldn't drive on it, and I think about the turtle nests and the sweet little plovers, whose speckled eggs lie in the sand itself. Heck yeah, we'd still come.

No comments: