Here in the Carolinas Chapter, we love our mountains and curvy roads (especially in the fall!), but we decided it was time to explore our Coastline. On March 25th, we gathered as a group of 29 cars with 67 attendees to explore the beautiful Outer Banks. We welcomed not only Carolina members, but also members from Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Virginia and Pennsylvania. We all love our cars and driving events but this event was unique because it was more about taking in the sights, the beach, and spending time together and relaxing as a family. We broke into two drive groups led by Q models, which was a change from our normal more spirited drives. Friday, we headed South on Rt 12 to visit Bodie Island Lighthouse and then ventured to iconic Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. A few members brought kites and were able to take advantage of the winds while visiting Cape Hatteras. The whole group then enjoyed a casual lunch at Angelo’s Pizzeria before breaking off for some down time before our dinner hosted back at the Hilton Garden Inn at Kitty Hawk. During cocktail hour we listened to a presentation given by John Cece of N.E.S.T., which is the local non-profit that protects the natural Sea Turtle population of the Outer Banks. We learned how volunteers monitor over 30 miles of beach multiple times a day looking for tracks and new nests, and upon discovering a nest it is staked off and watched for almost 2 months for the hatchlings to emerge. They also partner with the local aquarium to rescue and rehab sick or injured turtles. Over the weekend we were able to raise $500 as a group to donate to this great cause. Saturday, we headed north to Duck to enjoy a freshly made donut or two along the sound side of the island. Then as a group we drove to Currituck Lighthouse in Corolla, where many of us took advantage of the ability to climb the stairs and enjoy the very windy view! A few ventured to the beach for some more kite flying before we headed back south to the Wright Brothers Memorial. We got to enjoy the museum and learn about the first flight and the progress they were able to accomplish. After our busy morning of sightseeing we enjoyed some down time back at the hotel to enjoy nachos and margaritas on the Pier. We enjoyed another private dinner that evening as a group while watching the sunset. Sunday morning many of us gathered for a breakfast buffet in the Pier before departing at our leisure. We would like to thank our sponsors for their contributions and help in making this a successful event, our host: Hilton Garden Inn at Kitty Hawk, N.E.S.T. and thank you to everyone who attended. Our sponsors for the 2022 Coastal Tour included Audi Charlotte, Audi Greensboro, Dynamic Auto Tune, GMP Performance, and Rennwerx. For Spring 2023 we are hoping to base a tour around the Wilmington, NC or Charleston, SC areas. Keep an eye on our website for updates and news for future tours and events.
If you are interested in helping in the protection and conversation of our sea turtles please check out the Network for Endangered Sea Turtles website www.nestonline.org. – Jessica Ewing
Photo credit: Sergio Gonzalez, Ian MacDonald, Amanda Rathbone, and Shawna Gonter