Monday, May 14, 2007

Beach Week

Day one is finally here. We arrived yesterday afternoon to 20mph sustained winds and chillier than expected temperatures. We also arrived to see that Tropical Storm Andrea had her way with the dunes down here last week. I took a picture of our dune deck below that used to actually be ON a dune. As you can see from the picture, there is not much left protecting this house from the next major storm. It also looks like they had to lower the deck by about 4 feet (there are four new stairs), and add a new stairway (so that you don't just walk down into the ocean).

MIOL's mom and I had an interesting conversation over the weekend about the whole battle between the man and nature. Why do we insist on commercializing and exploiting nature, bending it to fit our needs, when in the end, nature will win? Granted, my family is down here, paying for this house... a house that should more than likely NOT be here... one that will probably NOT be here in 20 years... And I find that I am not too sure where I stand on this. I truly enjoy coming down to the Outer Banks. I enjoy sitting here, sipping my coffee and staring at the ocean... and a wi-fi connection, power, and the comfort I am feeling at the moment, would not be possible without the commercialization.

A few years ago, when Isabel tore through the Outer Banks and sent the road that connects Hatteras to the rest of the Outer Banks into the ocean, my family drove down here to check out the damage that November (2 months later). We drove all the way down to the point where the road was closed and ran into a park ranger that was stationed there to make sure that people didn't attempt to do something stupid. We asked him what it looked like, and what they were going to do given that Hatteras is a popular vacation destination and they would need to figure out some way to get the tourists there in time for the upcoming season in May. His response was, "oh, we're going to fix the island." Fix the island. I love it. And this is supposed to be someone who manages our natural resources. I'm not sure if that is the official position of the National Park Service, his personal opinion, or what, but there is something about that mentality, one that is more than likely shared by many of us out there, that we can fix and control anything we want to.

Unfortunately, my time will have come and gone in this world before I see the impact of this control, but my grandkids, or their grandkids will look back at these times and more than likely laugh at our attempt to control something as powerful as nature. These Outer Banks may be a part of the mainland by then, who knows.

Until then, I'll sit here happily drinking my coffee and enjoying the surf, happy to be on vacation.

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