Sunday, September 22, 2013

My WV List: #3 Ocracoke

Yeah, FINE.

Ocracoke isn't in WV.  It's in NC.

But this is my list, and like I said at the beginning, I can do whatever I want.

If not for WV, I would have never even heard of Ocracoke.  If not for a couple west virginians I would have never ever even thought to go.

If not for Ocracoke, I would never have fallen in love with surf fishing.  And I mean, head over heels in love.  Obsessed is probably a better way of describing it.

It was also Carly and I's first vacation together, and something that we look forward to so much.  We used it as part of our honeymoon in 2011.

It also rekindled my love of the ocean in general.  I always liked the ocean, but being from New England, I never really got to enjoy it that much, because in Maine the water is always FREEZING, and New Hampshire is hardly any better.

And let's be honest, I never ventured further south than that (unless we were visiting my grandma in WV).

We went to the outer banks first in March of my first year of graduate school.  It was fun, but not overly so.  It rained a lot and the fishing wasn't good...but it was good enough that we wanted to go back.

Instead of Kitty Hawk though, we decided to stay at the NPS campground in Ocracoke.

It was a whole new world.

Ocracoke is so much better than the rest of OBX (in my strong opinion).  Way less people, no chain stores, no chain restaurants, better beaches, better fishing, warmer's just better.

After our camping trips in 2009, and 2010, we rented a place to stay in 2011 with our good friends.  The fun factor went up about 20 fold.

And this year we rented a place with my sister, and it was equally amazing.  And we took Gus.

Now, that we've moved from WV, our trips to Ocracoke may be over, or severely put on hold.  Carly says "I'm sure we'll go back", but I wonder if we will.  Or rather, I wonder when we will.  It's no longer an easy 9.5 hour drive, it's a long 14 hour drive (with heavy traffic).

That makes me really sad.  I know there are lots of other places I could go, but Ocracoke has become familiar and I really like that.

I will always associate WV with Ocracoke and vice versa.  WV was the gateway for many "first" experiences in my life, and I am very thankful for that.

And won't forget.