Monday, January 5, 2015

To North Carolina for a Winter Road Trip

Some say summer is the time for a road trip, with the windows rolled down and the weather right for camping by a mountain stream that allows for a refreshing dip in the morning. I say the winter road trip is highly underrated, especially when you have dogs and want to keep them relatively comfortable in the car.


This year, for our winter vacation Florian and I decided to take a tour through North Carolina. 

We started with the coast, and made our way down the Outer Banks. The Outer Banks are a truly amazing place, with vast clean beaches that are dog-friendly at all times of the year. 


In the winter, they are even better because there's no one on them except for a few brave surfers. 



I have fond memories of Outer Banks vacations with my parents and sister, but never got to experience them with Florian. 











It was really nice to be there and remember the comfort and joy of being with my mom, and feel some of the same with my own wacky little family. 



Florian and I went to the places my family used to go, the beaches at Corolla and Duck, but we also explored further south than I've ever been. Cape Hatteras National Seashore is just a strip of land with the road running down it, but the beaches and vegetation are protected. There is hardly anyone there, and it feels like a magical beach wilderness.  

The great thing about North Carolina is that it encompasses these amazing beaches, but also has a ton of mountains and artistic towns to explore. 

After a long drive eastward, we arrived in Asheville whose groovy shopping opportunities could easily have occupied me for a couple of days. But I restrained myself, and after a mere evening immersed in incredible tie dyes we drove the next day to Hot Springs, NC. 

A little town built around natural hot springs and adjacent to the Appalachian Trail. 











We took the trail next to the French Broad River 



and climbed up the steep first section overlooking the river and town 




and then back down again through a fragrant forest of Rhododendron and pine. 

We couldn't leave Hot Springs without sampling the hot springs, 


which featured the ruins of some old baths as well as private hot tubs that we soaked in for an hour. 


And that was only the first half of our trip! Pretty soon I'll get to blogging about the rest of it. 

11 comments:

  1. What a beautiful time of year to explore.
    Lily & Edward

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  2. The scenery is always better when there are not people cluttering it up. :-) Beautiful shots.

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  3. I've always wanted to visit the Outer Banks. Thanks for the tour!

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  4. Lovely!

    I know lots of people who vacation in January/February to escape the Ithaca winter. But I think I have a Puritan streak that insists I "suffer" through the full winter without a break. :)

    That said, I like camping in the fall for one of the reasons you mentioned--it's much more comfortable for Honey in the car.

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  5. Wow, that was really beautiful. So where did you eat? Hope that all is well with you Kirsten. Happy new year to you all.

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  6. Looks like fun! I love road trips. We're going down to Southern California soon! Can't wait for the beach:)

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  7. Crikey ..... what a great time you are all having. AND those beautiful beaches ...... AND all to yourselves. How good is that?? Mum, Dad and I ALWAYS travel in winter. It's the best time in Australia. It's far too hot in summer. It sure looks beautiful. Those are lovely pics!!!

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  9. such a beautiful place thank you so much for your wishes to our Norbert

    retro rover

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  10. Thank you for sharing such fantastic photo's. We love beaches, not just our own.
    Also very late to wish you a Very Happy New Year. xxx

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