For the weeks leading up to the trip, I would tell people I was going to Hatteras. When I got there, I wasn’t even near it. The islands don’t look like much on a map, and in many places, they’re not — barely wider than the two-lane road known as Route 12.
We stop at the entrance to the beach, a couple miles south of Salvo on Highway 12, where the sign says four-wheel drive recommended, lower tire pressure to 20 pounds or less. I pull the shift into 4WD-Lo and head out for the Jeep’s first time on a beach.