August 30, 2019 Wanchese, NC (day 2)

 

We made plans last night to leave the campground around 10:00 and drive down along the Outer Banks to Hatteras.  That's just what we did!  I did some of the driving today to give Bob a break from all the driving he's done on this trip and to allow him the chance to check out the scenery from the passenger seat. 

Traffic was pretty light as we entered the Cape Hatteras National Seashore North Entrance at Bodie Island. Cape Hatteras National Seashore stretches 70 miles north to south.

The Outer Banks National Scenic Byway passes through 8 villages.

We drove over Roanoke Sound on this bridge and from the top we could see a lot of boat traffic on this beautiful day.

We entered the town of Nags Head.

From there, we could see the Bodie Island Lighthouse in the distance.

We had to make a stop and see it up close…again.

Once we got there, we could see the people who had climbed the 164.4 foot tall lighthouse with 214 steps.

They were standing outside the lantern room near the top which holds a first order Fresnel lens which can be seen 19 miles away.  

The black and white pattern is distinctive to the Bodie Island Lighthouse built in 1872.

After spending some time at the lighthouse, we moved on and crossed the new bridge over the infamous Oregon Inlet.  

If you watch the TV show, "Hot Tuna" you are familiar with the dangerous Oregon Inlet because of the fishermen that have to cross through it to fish for tuna.  Those breaking waves mark the dangerous bar that the boats have to cross to get out to the ocean.  

The seas were calm today and perfect for any type of boating adventure you had in mind.

From there, we crossed over to the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge with sand dunes lining both sides of the road. 

 The roads are often covered in sand by the blowing winds and need to be plowed to make them passable.

We stopped at the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center to park and walk across the street to the beach. 

My natural instinct is too look for shells when I stand on the beach-which I did.  I found a few familiar shells and some unusual ones as well.

I even discovered a small jellyfish lying among the shells.

Continuing on, we entered the town of Rodanthe on Hatteras Island. 

We had spent some time camping at the Camp Hatteras Campground a few years ago and we recognized it from the road.  It is located on the beach and we have some great memories from our stay there.

We continued south on Hatteras Island to the town of Buxton where we would find my favorite lighthouse–the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.  I think it is the most beautiful one of them all.

The red base and entrance door is like no other.

Since I had climbed the 257 steps to the top before, I didn't do it this time.  It is the world's second tallest lighthouse standing at 198.5 feet tall and built in 1870.

 It's first order Fresnel lens is now in the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras, but its current light can be seen for 51 miles.  I remember a great view from the top.

The rangers allowed us to step inside the lighthouse entrance, but not climb up the stairs inside without paying.

Inside, I was able to look up the staircase and see how it swirled itself to the top.  

I had climbed up to the top before so I knew it was a cool experience and what a great view there was from the top.  As we drove through the 8 villages on Hatteras and Bodie Islands, we loved seeing all the cool home designs and colors.  Some were built right into the side of the sand dunes.

We got to the end of the island and the town of Hatteras.

We reached the ferry dock and turned around, but not before seeing the ferries crossing Hatteras Inlet on their way to Okracoke Island.

It was around noon, so we decided to stop for a beer and a snack.  It was nearly impossible to find a bar and grill anywhere, but with a little persistence, we found Pops!

It was just the kind of place we were looking for.

It was a small, down-home kind of place and apparently the locals thought so too, because it was busy.  

We enjoyed our beverage break and were on our way.  There isn't much between the villages except sand dunes and there were people out enjoying the beach and the water.

From the top of the bridge over the Oregon Inlet, we could see a sportfish heading for the opening of the inlet.

Two other sportfishing boats were coming in from offshore.  It was a splendid day on the water!

We were back to the campground around 3:00 and enjoyed our drive.  After we re-adjusted the trailer to make it more level, we sat outside with Auggie enjoying the cooling offshore breeze that developed.  Our camping neighbors were gone, so it was quiet and peaceful.   Right out behind the trailer, Bob spotted a crab swimming around in the water.  That brought up the topic of eating some crabs while we are here.  That's now on our list of things to do.

We had chicken on the grill and as the sun was going down, Auggie and I took our walk on the boardwalk and around the campground.  The wind calmed off and the sun set casting an orange glow in the sky.  We relaxed watching some football. Wisconsin was playing USF (Florida) and we could actually get the game on TV. They are playing in Tampa and had a game delay because of the weather (not the hurricane), but eventually started an hour later.   I am closing out this day's blog before the end of the game, but hopefully Wisconsin will win!  The score is 13 to 0 with Wisconsin ahead in the second quarter!  Things look good…so far!  Football season is here!!





 










 

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