Winter scene at Currituck Estaurine Reserve just north of the Village of Corolla.

The great winter storm of 2018 has come and gone on the Outer Banks. 

A snowfall like this does transform the look and feel of the area. Snow mixes with sand on the beach creating an odd not quite white and not quite sand color to the dunes. The sea after a storm this large seems disorganized. The waves that usually roll in with an even predictable break have become random with no coherent pattern.

Away from the ocean something magical happens. The maritime forests become glistening white tunnels, the branches bowed under the weight of the snow form overhead arches. 

Depending on where someone is living or staying while visiting, it may take some effort to get to one of the maritime forests or parks of the Outer Banks, but the reward is worth the effort.

Of course there may be a second one or a third storm this winter, but that would be a rare event indeed. Measurable snowfall in this amount on the Outer Banks is not a  common occurrence.

Which probably accounts for why there are no snowplows here.

NCDOT did manage to get a few to the area today, a full day after the storm headed north, but the roads are in pretty rough condition—packed snow and ice with a few patches here and there of asphalt showing through.

Driving conditions are not that great—somewhere around 20-25 mph seems to be the speed everyone has settled into. And with temperatures struggling into the 20s for the next few days, there may not be a lot of improvement.

It’s a few days of inconvenience with the full beauty of winter on display. Not a bad tradeoff at all.