Every year by the end of February I start to yearn for the warmer days of summer. This year is no different after many gray, snowy days. On this Sunday afternoon, my mind teeters between making plans for this upcoming summer vacation and memories of our vacation from last summer. Last August we spent a week on the coastal barrier island off North Carolina, more commonly known as the Outer Banks. We spent many hours just laying on the beach, boogie boarding among the waves and swimming in the pool, but we still made time to incorporate some day-trips too. One of those day-trips leads us to an adventure among the dunes of the Northern Outer Banks, the home of the Spanish Mustang.
Surviving for centuries, the Wild Horses or “Banker Horses” descended from the original equine that came across the Atlantic Ocean in the days of exploring the New World. We decided to catch a glimpse of these majestic creatures by taking a Wild Horse Safari Adventure.
The pavement of NC 12 Highway ends among the sand dunes, and that is where our off-road adventure began. The two-hour tour along the pristine beach allowed us to see several groups of wild horses, including a pregnant mare. We learned that the animals survived by grazing on the marsh grasses which supply them with both food and water. We were also lucky enough to see a sea turtle nest awaiting hatchings and several pelicans in their beautiful habitat.
We enjoyed the Wild Horse Adventure Tour, and I would highly recommend it if you are planning to visit the Outer Banks. Unlike the Chincoteague Ponies, the Banker Horses do not have a “run” or “swim,” so they are available for viewing year-round. We decided to take the personal guided open-top vehicle tour, but other options are a Suburban (closed vehicle) tour, or you can rent a jeep and drive it yourself on the guided tour. No matter which option you choose, you are guaranteed to see the wild horses.
Although seeing the wild horses up close was fantastic and totally worth the $78 for the tour tickets we did incur an unexpected charge later in the day when we returned to the pool at our hotel. I found myself paying $1.29 on iTunes when I couldn’t help but download the Rolling Stones hit “Wild Horses.” I ended up spending the rest of the afternoon with my eyes closed on a chaise singing along in my head with Mick, repeating the lyrics “Wild, Wild Horses, couldn’t drag me away.” Not a bad way to spend a vacation day!
Are you singing “Wild Horses”?