sunset from the ridge
With the sun setting, I hurried to Jockey Ridge State Park. I had passed the huge sand dune on my way down to Pea Island earlier. A quick glimpse had shown park hours until at least 8, so I knew I could visit it after Pea Island. Feeling a little tired, at first I thought I would just get dinner and go to my hotel. However, the brilliant colors of sunset convinced to try to get to the park in time to capture some of the beauty in my mind and maybe my camera.
The parking lot was not at all crowded when I pulled in, dusk settling around me. I grabbed my stuff and headed towards the path. Once past the Visitor Center, I encountered a split. To my left I could see people in the distance, way up on a sand ridge.
me up on the ridge
To the right a path--well, a route--wound up through some trees. I hesitated, not sure which way was the correct path. I decided to follow the man a little bit ahead of me, I figured I couldn't get that lost. I made the right choice. At the top of the hill, just beyond the pinelike trees, I could see the final rays of the sun turning the sky red above dunes of sand. I just stood and looked. I had never seen hills of sand before, little ridges at the beach but not these huge hills. Suddenly the tour guide's statement at the Wright Brothers' Memorial about their practice flights taking off from the top of a sand dune made sense. I had only planned to climb up the little hill where I stood, but the wide expanse of sand called, and soon I was leaving tracks and heading higher. I never did reach what I thought would be the absolute peak, but I enjoyed my time trekking through the sand as the white moon rose higher into the twilight sky above. After taking some test shots of myself with the sand behind me, I carefully made my way back down to the more solid ground, my mission now to find dinner (Arby's) and check in to my hotel.