To reach the Outer Banks one drives through miles of eastern NC flatlands, so coming upon the spectacular dune known as Jockey’s Ridge is always breathtaking. One of nine national parks within North Carolina’s borders, it is the largest living dune system in the eastern United States.
The dune varies from 80 to 100 feet high, constantly shifting with the winds, and in the summer, the sand temperature is generally about 30 degrees hotter than the air temperatures. (read incredibly hot!)
BroJoe climbed up with his camera recently.
The area was inhabited by the Algonquian Indians. After the European settlers arrived, it began to be developed as a summer resort… even before the Civil War… despite its remoteness.
One of the most fascinating stories is that in 1973, a young mother named Carolista Baum, a resident of Chapel Hill and Nags Head, awoke one Sunday morning to the sound of earthmoving equipment. It was flattening the dune in order to build a development there. She blocked the bulldozer and refused to move, forcing the operator to shut down the equipment. Her actions launched a movement to save the dune. It was named a national monument in 1974 and with monies from the state assembly, matching federal funds, and the National Conservancy, the Jockey’s Ridge State Park was created. It now covers 420 acres.
Just to prove he’s not just a sunrise guy, BroJoe stayed around to watch the sun set over Roanoke Sound.