hatteras national seashore

Day 74 – North Carolina’s Outer Banks Part 2

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Day 74 of a Year Long Road Trip Along America’s Scenic Byways

I survived staying at a complete stranger’s house.  I stayed in Ted’s driveway a couple of nights, but this was the first time of my 74 day trip (or for that matter ever) for me to borrow a stranger’s extra bedroom.  I figured with my dogs, bear mace, and a 38 special I could handle a man whose hip was shattered by an M16 shot from three feet away.  

Seriously, we talked about Frank’s army days, grown kids, and ex-wife enough for me to feel comfortable.  And he even showed me his driver’s license so I could text a friend the name of my would be killer if my friend didn’t hear from me the next day!  

Before heading south along the Outer Banks, I enjoyed a hot cup of coffee and cereal with whole milk.  I want to know how many of my adult readers still drink whole milk on a daily basis.  Most people I know get whole milk for their kids and a lighter option for themselves.  I generally drink soy milk, but Frank’s daughter and son-in-law both drink whole milk, thus the choice in the refrigerator.  I’m not complaining. I love whole milk. I was just surprised as most people try to reduce calories through their milk choices.

Jockey’s Ridge State Park

Our first stop this morning was at Jockey’s Ridge State Park to see the East Coast’s largest sand dune.  The dune stands 80 to 100 feet above sea level.  The dogs and I walked to its peak to get a view of both the bay and the ocean while other spectators waited for the hang gliders to take flight.  Looking west without peripheral vision, only sand and sky could be seen.  I felt like I was crossing the Sahara Desert except for the fact it was cold in the daytime.  This area would be the perfect setting for quick sand shot in a movie.

jockey's ridge state park

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

Continuing south along the Outer Banks we soon reached the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.  Standing at 208 feet high, the lighthouse is the tallest in the United States and the tallest brick light house in the world.  The lighthouse, made of 1.25 million bricks and weighing over 6,000 tons, had to be moved as the shore continues to recede due to the Atlantic’s strong winds and powerful surf.  During summer months, visitors may climb the 268 steps to the top; however, in November, the spiral stairwell was closed for the season.  Uniquely, so was the nearby movie theatre.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie theater close for the season.  But I digress.

Buxton Woods

Just across the way, lies Buxton Woods, the largest forest on the Outer Banks.  The dogs and I took the ¾ mile interpretive, loop trail.  I walked more than half of it when I came to an interpretive sign featuring poison ivy. REALLY…shouldn’t that be the first sign posted!?! Anyway, the trail wound through the woods past some pretty, fresh water marshes.  Unfortunately, I left my camera in VANilla, so I only have photo of the woods near the entrance.

Buxton woods in the outer banks

Cape Hatteras National Seashore

It wouldn’t be right to leave the Outer Banks without walking on the beach, so we visited the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.  Fishermen lined the beach with their lines cast into the water.  Additionally, many local trucks included front mounts that held eight upright rods across the hood.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore in the outer banks

In order to exit the islands, I returned to Nags Head.  The sandy shores of the Outer Banks along with the miniature golf, go cart tracks, restaurants, and clapboard houses, reminded me of a cross between Cape Cod and South Padre Island.  As I ventured south, the dogs and I took one rest stop before reaching Wilmington, North Carolina, a place to lay over for the night. It is still about 4.5 hours from my cousins, who I plan to visit tomorrow in Bluffton, South Carolina. It has been a busy day.  Until tomorrow! ETB

Map of My Road Trip Across the USA

For a summary about my road trip across the USA, click HERE. For the interactive map, see the below link.

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Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned travel photographer and blogger.

3 thoughts on “Day 74 – North Carolina’s Outer Banks Part 2

  1. Glad you survived! And, smart to be well armed! Still, I would have been so nervous. 🙂

    Charleston is home to 82 Queen (where we get our grits!). You should stop in for lunch — it’s so delicious. Have a nice warm bowl of She Crab soup!

    Your brother, Ed, drinks whole milk!

    Have a great day! xo’s Mom

  2. I was out of the office all of last week so I missed posting pictures on my computer. Today I picked the beach.

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