Thursday, October 7, 2010

North Carolina Outer Banks


After a day off from blogging here is an update on our last two days.  Actually, I didn’t blog last night because there wasn’t much to report.  it was a driving day, from Charleston, SC to New Bern, NC.  We made a short stop at Myrtle Beach for a walk on the beach and a little shopping at an outlet mall.

It was a beautiful day to travel, with sunny skies and mild temperatures (upper 60s).  We had not been to Myrtle Beach before.  The sand on the beach is very fine and almost pure white.  Very pretty.  Of course there are lots of hotels along the beach.

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That evening we had an enjoyable meal in downtown New Bern.  It would be fun to explore this area more because they have a lot of older buildings in the town.  There is a Segway tour that is available, but we didn’t have time to take it.  Maybe next time.

Then this morning we got an early start.  We needed to be at the Cedar Island ferry boat port to catch a 9:30 ferry.  This particular ferry only runs a few times a day and the trip is about 2 hours long.  So reservations are almost a necessity.  The maps said almost 2 hours for the drive and we needed to check in 30 minutes before the departure time.  Hence we were on the road at 7:00 AM this morning……even before the sun came up.

Cedar Island is one of the jumping off points for the Outer Banks.  While waiting for the ferry we explored the area a little.

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As I indicated above, the ferry trip to the south end of  Ocracoke Island is about 2 hours.  The trip was uneventful with smooth seas on a comfortable boat.


En-route we passed an island that was full of cormorants.


Our first stop after the ferry was at the Bicycle Rental and Ice Cream Shop.  Among other things they serve Gelato.  YUM!


We went by the Ocracoke Lighthouse.  This lighthouse is still operational, so we couldn’t  climb to the top.  It is a short but very pretty lighthouse.

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Next was lunch at Howard’s Pub and Raw Bar.  Nice place to eat.  My meal was Mahi-Mahi fish and chips.  We also noticed a few college pennants of interest.


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I think Scot had a really good lunch!


We then drove to the North end of Ocracoke Island and took the free ferry between Ocracoke and Hatteras Island.



The Sea Gulls performed for us.


We were intrigued by the houses on the Outer Banks.  As expected, most are built on stilts.  But it gives them a strange look.

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No trip would be complete without a stop at Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.


It is a really pretty lighthouse that has a long history.  It wasn’t too many years ago that a major effort was made to save it by moving the entire light house a few thousand feet inland.  We saw part of the movie of the move and it was a major engineering project.


We made a stop on our travel North to walk a little bit of the beach on the Atlantic side of the island (Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge).  We watched the birds for a while, including the sandpipers and pelicans.

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Our last stop was a quick view of the Bodie Island Lighthouse.  By the time we got there it was closed, but it was being worked on.  It was still interesting to stop and see all of the scaffolding that had been erected around it.


The boardwalk goes out to an overlook of the marshes and water channels in the area.  It is hard to get a picture of the area just because of the expanse of the areas. 

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Dinner was at Millers Seafood & Steak House.  Good food and a nice atmosphere.  On our menu was stuffed flounder and shrimp & scallops.

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Tomorrow we are heading west and back home by early next week.  We have been traveling with Katie’s cousin Jill and her husband Scott Hersberger since Gatlinburg, TN.  It has been fun to share our adventures with another couple and they are great travel companions.  Thanks Jill and Scott for joining us.

Tomorrow night we will be in Mt Airy, NC (Mayberry, home of Opie, Sheriff Taylor and Aunt Bea).

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