Monday, September 26, 2011

Kitty Hawk Beach riding

 Kitty Hawk Beach, NC

Tom loading LH Kitty Hawk to visit her namesake
My annual visit to see my good friends and horse trainer Tom Simmons, in North Carolina had a special treat involved.  Lincoln Hills Farm  is located about an hour north of Raleigh, very near the Virginia border and is home to the Simmons family and their Morgan Horse breeding and training farm.  I love to visit, not only to see good friends, but to see the latest foal crop, see how the young ones are training out, reconnect with the breeding herd and visit favorites that I have known for years...

Crossing the bridge from Currituck, over Albemarle Sound to Kitty Hawk

This year's visit had a special highlight of taking horses to the beach at Kitty Hawk and experiencing the Outer Banks area of the North Carolina coast.  Our visit came just two weeks after Hurricane Irene had done such damage at  Duck and Corolla beaches.  The ocean was particularly beautiful with high surf warnings the days we visited, but everyone was out enjoying the lovely day, surfing, flying kites, laying around under umbrellas, fishing and doing beach things.  We parked and tacked up in the parking lot of a restaurant near the dunes.  The leader of our small group led with her Morgan across a busy traffic road to the almost 20 foot high sand dunes that we had to climb to get to the beach...let alone see the Ocean.

That is where the Pacific and Atlantic can see the Pacific ocean from a distance because of the coast hills that overlook and lead down to the beach.  The Atlantic is just drive right up to it and don't see it from afar.  At least that is how it is from the vantage points I have visited in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Our experienced leader was feeling the responsibility of being our guide and her horse felt the pressure as well, so declined to lead up the narrow path up over the dunes.  That left my horse trainer Tom Simmons (on a young Morgan mare appropriately named LH Kitty Hawk) to take the lead and crest the dunes to get the horses first look...ever...of the big moving water.  Single file, we followed his lead with Cathy Simmons on her young mare LH Bunny Jane, daughter Tori Simmons on  mare LH Bonnie Belle, myself on a Haflinger mare, and finally Robin Young on her Tom trained horse, Kansas Bluestem Ranger.

Haflinger mare and me contemplating the vast Atlantic

How pretty is that?  Robin in lead, Cathy and Tom on their Morgan horses

Simmons family on LH Farm bred Morgan Horses

I must admit I had some apprehension of what might happen when our horses caught first sight of the big moving water, but nary a horse seemed upset with the new experience.  I don't think Kitty Hawk or Bunny had ever been off the farm before. 

We stabled the horses overnight at Grandy and went back to Kitty Hawk to Robin's friend Rob's home where he cooked up the fresh seafood that Cathy & Tom bought from a little fish shack nearby.  Crab cakes, breaded scallops and huge shrimp slathered in Old Bay and butter.  It was my first experience with scallops and I am thoroughly hooked on them...delicious!  So tender and delicate. On the next morning, September 11th, we watched a bit of the ceremony on TV remembering how we were together, and what we felt on that fateful day 10 years prior. 

We had a great time and Cathy remarked that she could check one more thing off her bucket list.  We were all proud of how the horses took all in stride and gave us a great day at the beach...thanks to Tom and Cathy for showing me a great time, and Robin Young for her Kitty Hawk connections. 

1 comment:

  1. I have always wanted to ride on the beach myself. Too much watching of "The Black Stallion" when I was a girl. Of course, I never could stay on a Morgan bareback... too round-bodied.

    Looks like way too much fun.