Sunset in the Coconino National Forest, looking northeast toward Sedona, AZ, 4/17/15

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Outer Banks National Park Service Sites (NC), September 21-23

Chesapeake Bay from north end
of Bridge-Tunnel
 To get to Cape Hatteras from Assateague Island, I continued traveling south over and through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel which is an amazing 20-mile long toll crossing.   Two of its tunnels dive under the water!
Oregon Inlet campsite at sunset

The Cape Hatteras National Seashore is a set of barrier islands on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  My first night I stayed at the Oregon Inlet Campground on Bodie Island.  Here I watched the moon rise and slept to the surf's song. 
Bodie Island Lighthouse
under restoration

The next morning I tried to take the free ferry between Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands, but there was a 3+ hour wait, so I retraced my way south and visited a couple of other nearby Outer Banks National Park Service locations -- Fort Raleigh National Historic Site and the Wright Brothers National Monument.
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

Fort Raleigh was "England's first home in the New World," 1584-1590.  Although Sir Walter Raleigh never visited this fort, he sponsored the colonization.  The fort is an earthen works; that is, the English soldiers "dug in" on this spot to defend the colony.

Earthworks of Fort Raleigh
The spot where the Wright Brothers achieved flight has been preserved.  Here I attended a ranger program sharing the events and challenges that led up to that first flight.  It is a story of science, competition, and passion.

Field where the Wright Brothers
achieved flight for the first time
 My second night was on Hatteras Island at Frisco Campground.  I had a great campsite.  It was the Autumnal Equinox and the Full Harvest Moon.  The picnic table on my site was perched on a rise from which I could see and hear the ocean.  It was private, quiet, with a spectacular view.  It was perfect ... I watched the sun set, the moon rise, a deer and doe making their way through the bush, and got umpteen mosquito bites ... well, I guess it wasn't totally perfect.

Painting based upon a photo
of the first flight

I got up early the next morning as I decided to take both the free ferry ride within the park, and the longer toll ride south to the mainland.  Thankfully, I got there early enough and was one of the last to board, sailing south toward my next stop, Congaree National Park in South Carolina.

Full Harvest Moon over the
Atlantic Ocean on the
Autumnal Equinox

Getting ready to board
a ferry from Okracoke to
Cedar Island, 2.5 hrs.

originally posted 10/26/10

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