Letter From Granma

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A Day at Back Bay

on October 12, 2014

Another day of discovery as we ventured out to explore another part of Virginia.

I have been told by many, that I would like the outer banks.  Most of them are refering to North Carolina, however, since we had only the afternoon, we decided to look at the outer banks of Virginia Beach.  The outer banks are a 200 mile string of narrow barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina and a small portion of Virginia.  They actually begin at the southeast corner of Virginia Beach and spread southward.

 A day outing.  Most surprising for me, initially, was the fact that on October 9th, we had a clear, sunny day and as we left on our journey, it was 80 degrees.  Fabulous.

We drove to the south eastern shore and traveled Sandbridge, Sand Piper and Sand Fiddler Roads…huge dunes protecting coastal homes on a narrow stretch of land.   

Sandbridge Beach is 5 miles of beautiful sandy public beach. 


We traveled south until the drive ended  at Back Bay.   


Situated along the coastline at the southend of Sandbridge, the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge contains about 7,700 acres of beach, dunes, woodland and marsh.

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge Virginia Feb 2011 USFWS

An additional 4,600 acres of the bay’s shallow waters surrounding the refuge’s marshy islands have been designated by Presidential Proclamation in 1938, as an area for the protection of migrating birds. 


When I say wildlife refuge, I mean it in every sense of the word.  Regulations include no pets, no swimming, sunbathing, or surfing.  Hikers and bikers must stay on dedicated trails.  It is truly a place to observe nature. 

We did not see a lot of wildlife, however, after additional study, I have determined that we will take the grandgirls for a visit there in January.  At that time approximately 10,000 snow geese and a large variety of duck take refuge during the peak migration season.

As an aside, there is also a Charles Kuralt Trail.


Charles Kuralt Trail, Back Bay NWR, Virginia Beach

Charles Kuralt Trail, Back Bay NWR, Virginia Beach

Charles Kuralt (September 10, 1934 – July 4, 1997) was an American journalist. He was most widely known for his long career with CBS, first for his “On the Road” segments on The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite, and later as the first anchor of CBS News Sunday Morning, a position he held for fifteen years.   Kuralt hit the road in a motor home (he wore out six before he was through) with a small crew and avoided the interstates in favor of the nation’s back roads in search of America’s people and their doings. He said, “Interstate highways allow you to drive coast to coast, without seeing anything.  (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Kuralt)

‎I happen to have been a huge fan of Charles Kuralt over the years.  I loved his down home style and how interesting he would make of what seemed to be the most mundane things.   The Charles Kuralt Trail has been established to help people enjoy these wildlands and to recognize the broadcast journalist who shared the delights and wonders of out-of-the-way places like these. 
I can remember so many segments of his broadcasts that simply focused on the landscape and natural habitat.  No narrative..simply the sound of the nature that we viewed.  Impactful.
Life is a transition.  Embrace it.




Beach grass, sea grass,


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