Monika and I decided to seize the moment and take a trip to the Outer Banks in North Carolina, which neither of us had ever been to.  The weather in this first week of October proved to be perfect: sunny, warm and clear.  We spent two nights in Kill Devil Hills (so named for the rum that washed up from shipwrecks in the old days–said to be so awful it would kill the devil), and two nights at Cape Hatteras, with side trips to Roanoke Island (by bridge) and Ocracoke Island (by ferry).  Each day started with a perfect sunrise from our respective ocean front rooms, and I apologize for an excess of sunrise pictures in the album below, even after my draconian editing.  Those sunrises were breathtaking! In addition to a variety of sea birds, Monika spotted from our balcony a fox in the dunes, and with the help of binoculars even located its foxhole.  Neat!

The only downside of the trip was the closure of many national seashore sites due to the Tea Party/Republican-engineered government shutdown, which included most lighthouses.  And evidence of a related sort of shortsightedness was evident at our Cape Hatteras Motel, which showed major hurricane damage to structures built right on the beach.

click here for trip photo album