Guiding Lights

“He slept that night thinking of loves and lighthouses. That one love might shine to bring all loves home.”
~Jamie O’Neill

Rob has to work both Saturday and Sunday and we are pulling out on Monday, so today was our last official day to enjoy the Outer Banks. There are many places we still would like to see, but we decided to head south so we could snap a few pictures of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. The last time we drove by it was dark so we figured seeing it in the daylight was a must. At 198 feet, Cape Hatteras is the tallest lighthouse in America. Its main purpose was to warn southbound ships to head east in order to miss the Diamond Shoals.

We were able to visit the Ocracoke Lighthouse when we took the ferry to Ocracoke last month. There was an orange tabby cat from one of the neighboring houses who accompanied us along the walkway. He was even kind enough to pose on the sidewalk for me. Ocracoke is not as easy to get to so we only visited the one time. We had planned a second visit because we had heard about some amazing shells on the beach, we just ran out of time.

The Bodie Island Lighthouse is just down the road from us so we drive by it all the time. We can see it from our RV pad and watch as it lights the night sky with its beacon. I became obsessed with trying to get a picture of this lighthouse with the sunset because it was always so beautiful. Unfortunately I never managed to get it right. I have never been good at low-light shots, and this just proves it. I still tried, though, and my failed attempts at capturing its beauty will simply remind me of how amazing it truly was.

When we arrived here at the beginning of the year we felt like we had so much time to explore the area, and while I do think we experienced much more than we would have had we only come for a short vacation, I know that there is so much we missed. Time goes by so fast, even when it does not feel like it, and here we are just a few short days from our departure and I find myself wondering where all the time has gone. I do know that we have all thoroughly enjoyed our time here, and the memories we made will not soon be forgotten…

Catching the Ferry

On Valentine’s Day, since it was such a beautiful day and we were all up for a drive, we decided to head down the road to catch the ferry to Ocracoke. We were planning on taking the 11am ferry, but we were too late. In fact, we arrived just in time to miss the noon ferry, as well. So, due to our lack of punctuality, we found ourselves waiting for the 2pm ferry.

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The ferry workers are quite skilled at packing all of the vehicles in like sardines. We rode with multiple cars, pick-up trucks, a couple of boats, a school bus loaded with a sports team, a triple-axle (oh my!) 5th wheel and who knows what else. I was amazed at just how much they could pack onto the ferry.

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It was a windy day, as seems to be the case around here, and we all stood out and enjoyed the salty breeze. We bumped into the family from the 5th wheel and found out that they were also from Montana. And, it turns out, a mere 20 miles from where Rob grew up. Apparently it really is a small world after all.

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Being the off season in Ocracoke, not much was open, but we stopped into the visitor’s center and went to see the lighthouse. We ate dinner at a seafood restaurant where the kids were brave enough to try oysters. It was quite comical to watch, the faces of the twins were priceless. William is the only one who likes oysters besides Rob. (I am not brave enough to even try them.) We arrived back at the ferry dock about an hour early, and by the time we were loaded up at 6:30pm, it was dark. It was a strange sensation moving at night but not being able to see anything except for the occasional lighted buoy.

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Rob heard on the fishing report the other day that the beaches down in Ocracoke are covered with shells, probably because the tourists are not there to snatch them all up. We would really like to go back down within the next couple of weeks, partly to see if we can find any neat shells, and partly because we would like to have a little more time to spend there.

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My parents love Ocracoke and a couple of years ago they sent the kids each a t-shirt. And today when were folding laundry, Nathan held up his t-shirt and said, “Hey! We’ve been here!” Yes, my dear, we sure have.