Outer Banks 2011: Day 3

Today was spent mostly in the car it seems. After a lovely breakfast of bagels and cream cheese, non-authentic bagels I must add since Anson is a bagel snob, we headed down the island. Last night we had a slight preview of a few of the little towns. This was today's journey:

Google Map

I really enjoyed seeing Rodanthe again in the daylight. The town is quaint and a little rustic. It seemed like each little town along the way had it's own unique buildings or architecture. Pea Island was a long stretch of mostly grassy sand dunes and smelly marsh. We didn't stop in Cape Hatteras on the way down as we were trying to catch a ferry to Ocracoke as early as we could.

The ferry ride from Hatteras to Ocracoke was fun. The last time I remember being on a ferry was a long time ago in Ambon. They packed the cars in 4 across with the captain's tower in the center. We were lucky our car was parked on the side both coming and going from the island as it meant that we could lean against or sit in the windows while leaning on the ferry rail.

Once we landed we drove a short 13 miles to town where we were met with dozens of tourists all crowding the streets with bicycles and golf carts. Anson wanted us to be back at the ferry in an hour so we made quick time of seeing the rather disappointingly small lighthouse that was there. Stopped in at a local ice cream shop to cool off on our way back the way we had come.

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Our ferry at the dock.

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All of the cars waiting in lines.

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Some boats near the ferry.

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The water was surprisingly shallow, only 11 ft in some spots. You could see the sandy bottom.

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Ocracroke Lighthouse

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was next on our stop. We got the chance to climb all 248 cast-iron steps to the top. The inside was not what I was expecting, a continuous stairwell spiraling up until you got to the top. Instead at intervals it had balconies the obstructed the view all the way up or down. Good place to rest and catch your breath before hauling yourself up the rest of the way. At the top you could see the original spot where the lighthouse rested on some rocks near the ocean and the path it took to move it to it's present location.

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While waiting for the ferry to arrive the sea gulls made interesting subjects.

Heading home photos.

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A much better photo of the house in Rodanthe.

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Bridge heading home from Pea Island to Nag's Head.