Appalachian Travelogue (4)

A trip to the beach is a sure sign you’re a West Virginian

LENOIR, N.C.  — In my first three installments of my Appachian (sometimes Summer) Travelogue, I wrote primarily of West Virginia, the land and her people. And, of course, family and friends.

Now, with the Winter Solstice ushering in winter tomorrow night, I figured I needed to finish up the travelogue. And, I couldn’t think of a better way than with some beach photos. They were taken at Emerald Isle, N.C. in late August, where I spent a couple of days with my sister and brother-in-law. Annoyingly, I got up every morning before dawn to walk the quiet beach, feel the cool surf, and take a few photos.

Anyone who is from West Virginia, or knows somebody from West Virginia, or is in Myrtle Beach, S.C. in the summertime knows that the Mountaineer Diaspora along the Carolina coast is larger than the number of folk remaining behind in the Mountain State.

My first trip to the beach was with my family when I was eight-years-old. We stayed at a long-gone motel run by the friendliest family on the beach just a few blocks south of downtown. It was the Palm Crest. Before we could check in, I ran and jumped in the ocean. I’ve never really lost that wonder and joy.

Anyway, it was our summer destination. Of course, for everything there is a season, and in time it passed. But, the beach still calls us. We might be hillbillies, but we’ve got to stick our toes in the sand every year for at least a week. Who better to do it with than your big sis? Though she didn’t wake for the predawn stroll, she did have a wicked cup of coffee waiting for me when I wandered back to the room.

A sweet kiss from my sister

It’s how we were raised. I am blessed indeed.

© Michael M. Barrick, 2019. Coffee cup photo by Nick Karvounis on Unsplash. All others, © Michael M. Barrick.

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