We traveled to Reston recently to conduct some business. The changes in the area's infrastructure since our last trip in October of 2012 were pretty spectacular.
In October it seemed as if all of Northern Virginia was turned upside down. This April the pieces seemed to be falling into place. The Wiehle Silver Line Station looks the part and the new lanes on the beltway are just as confusing to a visitor as I thought they would be.
During those many years I worked in Reston I was convinced that residents operated on the theory that if you did not know exactly what lane you should be in at all times, that you had no business cluttering up the roads.
I was traveling from Southwest Virginia at the time on a regular enough basis that I could keep myself from being run over. Now that our visits are more like every six months than every week, things are a little more challenging.
The Toll Authority decided that I was not using my EasyPass enough so we had to send it back and they kept the money that was in the account. Having to travel with quantities of quarters does not help the situation.
Still I am impressed with how the landscape has changed. When I first visited the Dulles area in 1987, Route 28 was a congested two lane road. I often wonder where it will all end. After all the traffic jams do not seem to be disappearing only moving farther out.
We now live on the North Carolina coast, an area with almost no traffic. We are more used to land being shaped by wind and waves than man. Here on our coast, buildings are constructed with the hope that they will survive the next storm not the pouding of millions of subway riders.
We are actually lucky along the Crystal Coast, much of our construction is newer than what hurricane Sandy swept away in New Jersey. When our house was built, it was constructed to the most current flood maps. We are a few miles back from the beach and are protected by Bogue Banks and its seriously strong vegetation.
Still mother nature manages to push around a lot of sand Man's efforts at restoring sand that storms move is little more than a shell game. In spite of that, we love the beach and do not want it to disappear so I applaud efforts to keep the inlets open and the beaches from disappearing. A lot of people benefit here from the beaches. Also we are better protected because of dunes that are here. I am pleased that area officials value our sand and dunes so much.
I am particularly fond of the area in the town of Emerald Isle called the Point. It is a very dynamic piece of sand. In November of 2007 as this picture shows it was covered with water. Today if you stand in the ocean where the sand ends and look back at where the 2007 photo was taken you will find over 1,400 feet of sand as you can see from this photo taken in April of 2013.
That is a lot of sand that mother nature has moved. It certainly makes you appreciate the power of wind and waves and puts a little damper on any thoughts that we might have this world under control.
If you would like to read more about my most recent adventure on the Point, try this post, The End of the Sand. If all your beach memories have high rise condos in them, the Emerald Isle area is well worth visiting because that is not what beaches are really like. Everyone needs to appreciate a strand of sand where there is almost nothing and we have places like that in Carteret County.
Emerald Isle is a place that you can have a beach vacation reminiscent of ones that we North Carolinians enjoyed so much in the fifties and sixties. Our area is not a Myrtle Beach and does not want to be Duck. We are pretty happy with our image of a family beach where everyone is welcome to enjoy the beach.
We have just published A Week at the Beach -The 2013 Travel Guide to Emerald Isle. On May 1 & 2 it is a free download. It is a Kindle book but there is free software available to let you read it on almost anything. Check out this webpage for details.
If you love beautiful uncrowded beaches, you will enjoy the book, its many pictures and maps and even recipes. It is a beach lover's guide to loving a very special beach area.