WOW – -we made it! Hurricane Irene passed this way in September – and we didn’t know if we could get here until last week. BUT- THE road re-opened last week and we are HERE! Much evidence of damage all around us – but these hardy souls of the Outer Banks are pushing back into the business of tourism and are eager to welcome us back to this special place. We had lots of rain and BIG wind on our travel day here -so we just hunkered down last nite to await the coming dawn. This morning – beautiful day – so off we went with Sandy Beach Tours, to explore the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Hatteras Lighthouse is SO special. It is the highest all-brick lighthouse in the US. It is also the only lighthouse that was moved, almost half-a-mile, in 1999. We learned all about the planning and engineering that accomplished this unique “project”. It was “lose it” to the encroaching ocean” – or MOVE it, to a safer position along the Island coast. We were so enthralled with this story and the beautiful setting.
After lunch in the delightful village of Manteo, we headed to Jockey’s Ridge State Park. The hardy among us trekked the 1+ mile hike up the Sahara-like dunes, to top the 100+ foot high spot for magnificent vistas out over Roanoke Sound. These dunes are the highest in the eastern US – and a top hang-gliding point for enthusiasts. Sandi, our bus-driver-guide, took us sand-skiing, pel-mel, down the face of the dune, on return trip back to the visitors center. This was a totally unexpected – but totally exhilarating part of our afternoon on Hatteras Island. Sandi, with her “party-bus” – and her rat-terrier, Scooter, are a truly unique “moment” on this awesome trip down the beautiful seaboard of our Eastern US of A.