Then in the middle of the week we decided to visit some of the lighthouses south of our location. First we stopped at Hatteras Lighthouse. This one was moved several years ago to protect it from falling into the ocean. It is a VERY impressive sight. Unlike the other lighthouses, this one is nationally owned and part of the National Park Services. It is the tallest lighthouse on the east coast. We made the climb, giving us a little cardio workout for the day.
There was a ranger stationed at the top to answer all of our questions. He commented that the remoteness of the location added some challenges to family life, but admitted that this was a pretty sweet place to be stationed. The view from the top was, of course, awesome:
Next we decided to take the ferry to Ocracoke Island and visit the lighthouse there. This is where we met our only "low point" of the week. The ferry is supposed to run every 1/2 hour but we had to wait 1 1/2 hours for our turn to cross! When we got there we didn't realize how the system worked or we might have rethought our plans and done some other activity rather than try to cross to the next island. But by the time you invest an hour in line that decision becomes more difficult. Basically you cue up in a line in the hot sun and wait...and wait...and wait for your turn on one of the ferries. The schedule is really of no account.
Then of course we had to drive back to the ferry, wait in line again (only about half an hour this time) and take the 45 minute ferry ride back to the other island. We got home about dark, tired, but glad for the adventure. I had never ridden on a car ferry before, so that was a first for me. Seamus handled the day well, but even he seemed glad to be home.
Lesson of the day: Ocracoke is only worth considering if you are really looking for a way to waste the day. Bring a book to read while you wait for the ferry. Don't even consider the trip if you have small (or even older!) kids in the group.