Our winter story began when we took a workamping position at the Cape Hatteras KOA on the outer banks of North Carolina. We knew it would be colder than our normal Florida winter, but a change of scenery and a new area to explore was appealing. The outer banks area is a summer playground of fishing, water sports, lighthouses and of course pirates. There is a ton of history in the area and no shortage of things to do. It is a different experience however, in the winter.
The campground was all but empty the entire time we were there and although we were working full time, our days were filled with mostly projects and answering the phones since we didn’t have much in the way of campers after Christmas. That itself was a nice change of pace after a very busy summer in Moab, Utah.
The beaches are nearly empty but the fishing is still good early winter. There are a few brave souls who still surf and kite surf when the weather allows. It is a good time to discover some of the things that would otherwise be a challenge to see in the summer. We were able to enjoy many of the sites without the crowds. The lighthouses are a must see and are spectacular. There are a number of trails to explore by foot and off road vehicles. The Wright Brothers Memorial is an exceptional piece of history and while the visitor center was under construction during our visit, the walk on the strip and up to the monument was awe inspiring as we looked out over the field at some of the first attempts in aviation history. Pea Island National Refuge and Graveyard of the Atlantic also provided some wonderful afternoon excursions, again without the crowds.
The National Seashore itself is another beautiful site to see as the dunes protect the spit of land that in NC highway 12. The dunes are shapeshifters and during our stay the landscape changed quite dramatically from week to week. The drive between Nags Head and Hatteras always provided something new to see since the weather played a huge role in how the dunes shift.
While our stay there was short, we really enjoyed and appreciated the solitude, walks on the deserted beaches and watching the dolphins play in the water. It was a bit too cold for our liking in the winter, but the campground was beautiful and the location was great. We we blessed to have the opportunity to work with friends that we had worked with at previous campgrounds, making our stay that much more enjoyable.
There is much to do in the area and we do hope to make it that way again maybe in the shoulder season such as spring or fall to see a bit more. We are grateful for the opportunity and the experience the outer banks provided for us this winter.