May 29, 2007

You don't see this every day

There are thirteen cars in this picture. That's thirteen cars parked at one house. Even more remarkable is that all but 2 of the cars can be moved without any other car moving. The 2 cars that are blocked (one under the house and one second tier right side) require only one other car to be moved in order to exit. I ride my bike on the beach road just about every day. I have spent years looking at and talking about the parking arrangements at rental cottages. To put it politely, it was an issue. I don't recall every seeing this particular feat of engineering. 8-9 cars are not unusual, nor is it unusual to see long lines of cars parked in. This hope this combination of quantity and quality is a harbinger of a good summer season.

This is a picture of a car stuck in the sand. Not particularly unusual except that nowadays it is. 30 years ago this was a common sight. There were few beach accesses and lots of undeveloped oceanfront property. To go to the beach visitors (and locals) just pulled off the beach road and walked over the dunes. The uninitiated, the inexperienced and the unlucky ended up like this guy, stuck and waiting for a Samaritan to come pull them out. I suspect that this may even have been used by certain young women to meet young men, if you can imagine such a thing. Its trite to say but Nags Head and the Outer Banks were a different place. One big difference, a lot less grass and shrub on the side of the road. This is due in large part to the long term effect of the creation of the frontal dunes in the 1930's. As the dunes were established, ocean overwash stopped and grasses started to stabilize the loose sand. Development has enhanced the situation but the basic effect can be seen on aerial photos of Jockeys Ridge. 30 years ago the area from the bypass to the back ridge was open and contained a few seasonal ponds. Now there is vegetation spreading across the flats. The increase in beach access and in ocean front development have channeled parking to lots and limited the need to park in the loose sand. It still happens along Hwy. 12 on Hatteras Island but even there the road shoulder is much more stable than it was a few years back.
Lucky thirteen and an unlucky driver, two things you just don't see every day.


At 7:24 PM, Blogger Monticello said...

You are right, it was an issue and at some homes in KDH this weekend, it is still a major issue. Some houses were far too packed with cars and they were parking on what I'd guess to be septic fields and crowding the beach access. I also wonder if more people were present than the septic fields were designed to handle.

What worries me more is that you had the time or quickness of mind to determine how many cars were actually blocked in and how many were free "squares". Maybe you do need to get back into elective office! This sort of critical analysis is sorely lacking these days.

At 8:12 PM, Blogger Ronnie said...

Inquiring minds want to know - are you in or not?


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