This excerpt is from a piece on Jockey’s Ridge by Sarah Perry from Our State Magazine. Her full article with more history on Jockey’s Ridge can be found here: https://www.ourstate.com/jockeys-ridge/
Thank you Sarah for detailing this story so well, and keeping the legend of Carolista Baum alive!
“On a sticky summer morning in 1973, three kids belonging to Carolista Fletcher Baum raced across South Virginia Dare Trail toward Jockey’s Ridge. Their feet sank as they barreled up the hill, and they knelt to catch their breath at the top. They saw Albemarle Sound. They saw Bodie Island Lighthouse, the Atlantic Ocean, and the mainland. They also saw a yellow bulldozer scooping the sand below them into its clutches.
After they ran down the hill and returned home, they told their mother what they’d seen. Baum marched across the street, and the three children watched their mother stomp up to the bulldozer. Baum stood tall, shoulders back, her wild hair straying in the wind from her bun — the chestnut bun that people knew her by, wrapped loosely around a bandana, that she’d burrow pens, pencils, and sunglasses inside of. Ann-Cabell Baum Andersen, the oldest daughter, doesn’t recall now what her mother said. She just remembers the driver shut down the engine. And later, when Baum was certain the driver had retreated on foot, she snuck back and twisted off the bulldozer’s distributor cap so the engine couldn’t start back up the next day.
Baum was a statuesque woman known for her beauty, charm, and flair, with a raspy voice and warm, brown eyes. “My mom was hot pink, fuchsia, purple, bright blue,” Ann-Cabell says. “Not white.”
The morning after standing in front of the bulldozer, Baum paraded around Nags Head and began gathering signatures to save Jockey’s Ridge. Store owners set out collection jars to buy property. Baum formed a nonprofit, The People to Preserve Jockey’s Ridge, which mailed more than 10,000 letters.
Baum walked every day to her store, Carolista’s Jewelry, and painted signs that said “Save our Dunes” with faint sand hills in the background. She stacked pamphlets and bumper stickers in her shop for customers. When people called her disorganized, she said, “Everything’s organized in my mind.”
She installed a telephone next to the counter to call legislators and raise funds while she worked. When frustrated, she coiled its cord around her fingers until her arm was a lump of wire.
She painted a small shack watermelon pink and sat it on the dunes. Ann-Cabell, her sister Inglis, and brother Gibbs stood in the hut and sold bumper stickers, notepads, kites, stationery, and square feet of the dunes for $5 each. The three kids got no sweet tea until they were finished at the hut.
When Baum severed her right two middle fingers making jewelry, she taught herself to write letters left-handed. When Ann-Cabell developed pneumonia, Baum’s phone calls and letters continued from her daughter’s bedside.
Jockey’s Ridge had consumed her life.
Her magnetism wasn’t lost on reporters. News stories bordered on outright admiration. “Carolista Baum must surely be the reincarnation of an Olympian Fury,” wrote journalist Alan Murray. The Chapel Hill Newspaper wrote: “She has built a state-wide reputation for bothering people until they do what she wants.” Others noted her energy and “worldly” methods, and called her a “formidable crusader.”
For three weeks, Baum drove daily to Raleigh to pester politicians. She persuaded songwriters to sing about Jockey’s Ridge and invited filmmakers to the dunes. Her efforts even motivated poet Carl Sandburg. “Save the dunes,” he said. “They belong to the people. They represent the signature of time and eternity. Their loss would be irrevocable.”
Eventually in 1975, North Carolina listened and declared Jockey’s Ridge a state park.
That summer Ann-Cabell, Inglis, and Gibbs walked triumphantly to the ridge before sunrise. They tromped around the highest slope, dragging their feet through the sand in organized lines. When they returned to the house, they woke their mother. Baum walked to the door and saw a message drawn in the dunes that she’d saved. “Happy Birthday, Mom.”’
This Valentine’s Day we wanted to change things up! We decided instead of telling you about a bunch of products that are red and have hearts, we would tell you all about the kites that we LOVE. These kites have genuinely brought some happiness to our lives, whether through family time or just simple serenity. Take a moment to check out some of our favorite kites and the fun ways that we get out to use them.
Rachel, KHK Head Kite Buyer • “After years of flying all kinds of kites, the triangle-shaped Festive Sky Delta package has become my all-time favorite kite to fly. It has tails that you can add to it, or just fly it by itself in almost any wind. My kids love the moving tail and play games trying to catch it!”
Check out this kite HERE!
Kirsten, KHK Store Manager • “I’ve flown hundreds of kites, and the Killip Foil 90 is such a show in its own that is will grab attention for miles – hands down my favorite! It’s soft so there’s no assembly, it flies surprisingly well in a low 6mph wind and with a higher wind you can attach all kinds of fun flair to it, like flags, spinners, streamers, and even large inflatable kites like you see at kite festivals! But don’t let its size intimidate you – that’s the best part! Just make sure it’s always anchored off before you launch and that you have a helping hand for takeoff and landing.”
Check out this kite HERE!
Brett, KHK Digital Marketing • “I love taking my box kite with me to the beach. It’s a good kite for a variety of winds which is perfect on the Outer Banks. The single line design makes it very easy to control. And you can’t beat the design, it will always draw some attention. Overall just a very cool kite, that is tons of fun to watch fly!”
Check out this kite HERE!
Heather, KHK Store Manager • “I absolutely love our Nexus Special edition. Not only is a great stunt kite to learn and grow, it’s a great value with all the extra bells and whistles. You get the line and winders, repair kit, tail and a full size extra nylon case. The case is perfect for people like me who don’t want to disassemble their kite all the way. It’s great to have options! It flies like a champ and has a wide wind range. It’s very responsive and has a fantastic wind range. The hardest part of this kite is choosing the color you want.”
This is a special KHK exclusive kite! Check out this kite HERE!
Stephen, Graphic Designer • “Ever since the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out, my daughter can’t get enough. This kite became the perfect way for us to go out and have fun… and to help bridge her into the Star Wars world! It flies extremely well and is easy to control even for my young daughter. To be honest, it’s just fun to feel like I’m finally flying the Millenium Falcon.”
Check out this kite here!
Thank you for the recent feature, Sara Kendall, of the Epicurean! “Spanning over 200 miles in a string of narrow barrier islands, the Outer Banks is an ocean haven anytime of the year. The locals refer to them as OBX, and millions of people make these islands their vacation destination. Looking to book a winter retreat or plan next summer’s getaway? The Outer Banks is a fabulous choice no matter the time of year you decide to venture to the ocean breezes.” http://www.epicureancharlotte.com/travel/
This Article from the Charlotte Epicurean on just a few of the reasons why the OBX is so special hit the nail on the head! We have so much to do here and a ton of great dining options! What are you going to choose to do today?
Once considered to be only a summer vacation destination, the Outer Banks has transformed into more of a year-round place for sightseers and tourists to explore. Weather during the spring and fall months on the Outer Banks is superb, and winters are typically more temperate than what many visitors may be accustomed to in the Midwest and Northeast.
Not long ago, there were few activities that were available during the offseason and most restaurants would close for the season after Labor Day. However, this is not the case any more and there are certainly no shortage of things to do or places to dine at year-round on the OBX.
Check out our list of things to do on the Outer Banks during the offseason below and let us know if we left anything out in the comments section at the end of this post.
Uncover Hidden & Forgotten Treasure
The Atlantic Ocean is typically more active during the offseason as compared to the summer, which means beachcombers will likely find more shells and other treasures during the spring, fall and winter months. Discover a fully intact conch shell, a colorful piece of sea glass, or uncover hidden treasure from an ancient sunken ship. Beachcombing is a free, offseason activity that will get you up out of bed early in the morning and on the beach with your toes in the sand and wind in your hair.
Enjoy The Wonderful Events
The Outer Banks is a hot bed for events in the fall. The scenery combined with the perfect weather draws in crowds from all over. Some of our personal favorites are any that include live music and of course…. craft beer. Check the out for yourself this fall. OBX Brewtag is coming up on October 22nd, and we can’t wait for their combination of amazing beers, live music and FLYING KEGS! Stop by and check it out for yourself.
Eat Like A Local
With fewer lines and plenty of fresh, locally-caught seafood to fill your palate, there are plenty of reasons to love dining out on the Outer Banks during the offseason. Chow down on a hearty crab cake, savor every last bite of a yellowfin tuna sandwich, or relish the flavor of a raw oyster. And unlike years past, many of the area’s finest restaurants remain open during the spring, fall and even winter months.
Stop By Our Beautiful Lighthouses
You may not be able to climb the various lighthouses of the Outer Banks year-round, but you can still visit them! Take as many family photos as you like in front of Currituck Beach Lighthouse, Bodie Island Lighthouse, Roanoke Marshes Light, Cape Hatteras Lighthouse or Ocracoke Light Station during the offseason.
Spread Your Wings
Not many people know this, but dune hang gliding with Kitty Hawk Kites is offered year-round! In fact, December is actually a really busy time of year for the hang gliding school since many thrill seekers have time off and are looking for some excitement during the holiday season. Join the ranks of the over 300,000 people that have graduated from the hang gliding school at Jockey’s Ridge State Park! More info on dune hang gliding with Kitty Hawk Kites can be found on our website.
Discover The Best Aquarium in North Carolina
Boasting a massive 285,000 gallon exhibit filled with nurse, sand tiger and sandbar sharks and offering many other indoor and outdoor exhibits, the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island is one of the best spots on the Outer Banks to be on a rainy day. The aquarium is open everyday, year-round from 9 AM to 5 PM.
Shop Till You Drop
Do you like to shop? There are plenty of great, locally-owned shops you’ll what to check out on the Outer Banks during the offseason. Most stores stay open year-round, and offer hours that are convenient for anyone who enjoys shopping in between late morning and early evening.
One note: Be sure to call ahead! Not all area businesses update their hours online so be sure to check before you go.
Explore With A Paddle
No question about it, the Outer Banks is a haven for kayak enthusiasts of all skill levels and ages. Is there a better way to explore the OBX than in a kayak? We think not!
Reel in a Big Catch
Surf, kayak, and pier fishing, brackish, fly and sound fishing, inshore and offshore charter fishing – you’ll find an unparalleled array of catch on the Outer Banks. Often called “The Billfish Capital of the World,” the International Game Fish Association lists 92 world records for fish caught on the OBX. Anglers say there’s no better way to relax than fishing.
Drop a line during the offseason and discover what many fishing enthusiasts consider to be the best time of year to land the big one.
Enjoy The View From Above
Dotted with cozy beach cottages and oceanfront estates, enjoy breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and area landmarks from an entirely new perspective. Aerial tours with Kitty Hawk Kites are available year-round and are an experience you won’t soon forget. With many different price points depending on your budget, this offseasonOuter Banks adventure is certainly a memorable way to spend a morning or afternoon on vacation.
Visit the Wright Brother’s National Memorial
From 1900 to 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright traveled from Dayton, OH to Kill Devil Hills, NC (Kitty Hawk at the time) to test their soon-to-be famous flying contraptions. The Wright Brothers National Memorial, located atop Kill Devil Hill, commemorates the first ever successful, sustained, powered flights in a heavier-than-air machine.
We implore you to scale to the top of the hill and get a closer look of the monument while enjoying a breathtaking view of the barrier island. The National Park Service operates and maintains the park, which is open daily, year-round from 9 AM to 5 PM.
If you visit on December 17th, the date of the famed “First Flight,” you’ll be in for a treat as there are numerous flyovers and some type of special celebration to commemorate two brothers from Ohio who changed the world forever by dreaming big and taking numerous calculated risks.
Cross Kiteboarding off your Bucket List
Steady winds are nearly a constant on the Outer Banks during the offseason months, which makes for ideal kiteboarding conditions. One of the most exhilarating sports in the world, kiteboarding lessons with Kitty Hawk Kites cover everything you need to know to get started including: setup, launching, landing, flying techniques, and most important of all, safety.
When you feel the incredible sensation of the kite pulling you in the water, you’ll find yourself daydreaming about kiteboarding on a daily basis, longing for your next escapade on the sound or ocean waters.