You are more likely to walk outside and feel a beach evening than you are to know that it is outside waiting for you. A beach evening is more about the air and breeze than it is about how it looks outside. You can go outside in the complete dark and know by how the air feels on your skin that it is great evening to be at the coast.
When you have a beach evening, you feel embraced by the warm, moist air. Maybe it is a tropical evening with a touch less heat but the warmth is crucial to the sense of comfort that makes you wish that your time outside might never end.
After dinner on Friday, June 13, 2014, I went outside for my normal after dinner walk. The minute I felt the breeze, I knew that I was in for a treat. A warm wind coming off the water seemed to follow me on my hike along the marshes. It was a beach evening that erased any thought of turning around and heading back to my easy chair.
A good beach evening removes even the slightest memory of times when you have felt a cold wind off the water. Somehow the temperature on one of these special evenings seems to be perfectly regulated because you never get chilled or too warm. It is a night when being outside is a treat that stays in your memory for a long time.
Even the sounds of a beach evening get filtered through that warm, moist air and end up somehow less jarring to the senses.
When I think back to all the great walks that I have enjoyed on beach evenings, some great memories come sliding back into my mind.
There were many evenings on Ocracoke Island when I was camping there in my twenties. The beaches were endless and the only lights were flash lights or moonlight reflected off the water. Then there were the wonderful evenings with the family, first at South Nags Head and then down by the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. There were plenty of light along the beach in Nags Head but at Cape Hatteras. Still you could easily plunge yourself into the darkness but the darkness always came without any hint of fear. There are other memories deeper down but it is hard for them to find the light when there are so many pleasant recent memories.
You do not have to be on a beach to enjoy a beach evening. One of my favorite things to do when I have finished my walk is to sit on one of our neighborhood’s boardwalk benches that look out over Raymond’s Gut. A strong breeze coming in off the White Oak River can blow away a lot of cares. I have had enjoyed many beach evenings on the docks at Beaufort, North Carolina.
Besides feeling a beach evening on your skin, it has a wonderful smell that is a mixture of salt water and other summer smells from a Carolina night. Sometimes there is a hint of pine or beach vegetation and other times the scent of marsh grass and tidal flats overwhelms almost everything else. Over on the beach, the smell is mostly ocean but the result is the same in both places. For a moment your worries are gone with the evening breeze and pleasant smells.
A beach evening with its warm winds and comforting smells puts you at ease and lets you enter a word where the sound of the wind, water, or waves often drives away the day to day worries that so often challenge our modern lives. The only thing that can make it more perfect is perhaps a few lightning bugs flitting across the lawn as you head back into your home.
Though it was a little early in the evening for a perfect beach walk, here are some slides from my most recent hike at the Point on Emerald Isle.
We also publish a monthly email newsletter and our current issue is late. I ended spending far more time on my new 2014 Emerald Isle Travel Guide than expected so it will be the middle of June before my next newsletter gets sent. You still have time to sign up before I get it emailed.
The good news is that my effort was well spent. There is a lot of new content including 40 of the 79 pictures which are new in this year’s guide. There are also many additional new links, another beach map, and a few new restaurants that we discuss. With a total of 14 Maps and 10 recipes, and the latest information on the beaches of the area, our guide is a great deal at $3.99. It is the only real travel guide for the area.
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