Whenever it comes to travel, the locals always have the best opinions. Need somewhere to eat? Ask someone who lives there. Their suggestion might lead you to some back-country diner in the middle of nowhere, but the food will be darn good. Need somewhere to shop? Play? Relax? Something to do while you're on vacation? Ask a local!
Abiding by this rule usually works wonders for me and my trips, which is why I had to go see the Wild Horses of Corolla. My family and I were planning on taking a beach vacation to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. Somehow, this slipped out during pleasant conversation with a customer at my work, and she, amidst cries of "Don't you know? I'm from North Carolina," proceeded to tell me when and what I needed to do and see and eat and shop while on my vacation.
One of her suggestions that piqued my interest was "the wild horses of Corolla." Wild horses?
Had I ever seen a wild horse before? No. Did I imagine them to be anywhere but exotic places around the world, and not a 30 minute drive away from where we were staying? No. Did I imagine them to be a bit like unicorns? Yes.
So, I looked it up, and booked a tour to with Rick's Jeep Adventures. Now, I had learned a bit more about these horses. They were Spanish mustangs, and had been tossed overboard when Spanish ships had run aground in the shallow waters of the Outer Banks. They had adapted to their surroundings, able to drink salt water and eat acorns. They now live on an 11 mile stretch of beach, protected by many federal laws. You can't feed, touch, play with, or come within 50 feet of these horses with a car, for fear of a hefty fine and/or some serious jail time. Eek. There goes my idea of riding one majestically into the sunset.
Speaking of the sunset, when I called Rick to schedule a tour, he tried to convince me to take the sunrise tour. That meant getting to Rick's Jeep Adventures at 5:45 am. At first I told Rick not a chance, no way. I'm on vacation. But then I relented. I thought, why not? You may think I'm crazy, but let me tell you, it was one of the best decisions I ever made.
We took the sunrise tour, grumbling and full of Dunkin donuts. But as soon as we got to the beach, we stopped our whining. It was majestic, there's no other word for it. The waves, the sun peeking out over the horizon. And of course, the horses. They were beautiful. I was a bit giddy. But then again, that may have been the lack of sleep. It was all so picturesque.
Another thing? You can live in this protected area with the wild horses. There are beach houses. Beach houses with horses in their backyards.
If you ever are planning a trip to the Outer Banks, you have to go see the Wild Horses of Corolla!
Ta-ta, for now!