Visitors to the beach these last few months know that the access to the Life Guard Beach has involved navigating through a lot of sand. Basically the boardwalk filled to the railings (!) with sand for about the last ten feet before reaching the observation deck. And only the top 4 or 5 stairs down to the beach itself have been visible, much less usable.
That is until this week. The Park Service brought in some heavy machinery and has removed all the sand from the boardwalk and dug out the top half of the buried stairs.
Next came the matter of redistributing all that sand along the dunes far enough away from the boardwalk and observation deck so that it won't simply drift back.
All of this is a stark reminder that the outer banks are a fragile and moving ribbon of sand. Life out here is an adventure. A storm like last Fall's Ida, which hit us as a strong nor'easter, moved a lot of sand, and sand is basically what Ocracoke is made of.
This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is about "Ocracats" and was written by Pat Garber. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news031710.htm.