B&B Trip Report: The Roanoke Mystery

The Lost Colony

After visiting Bodie Island Lighthouse, we headed to Roanoke Island to learn about the oldest American mystery. Do you remember the story from American History Class? The first English colonists were sent to Roanoke Island in 1585 by Sir Walter Raleigh. Shortly after arriving, Governor John White sailed back to England with the plan of returning later that year with supplies. Shortly, England went to war with Spain, the ships were comandeered by the English convernment and  John White was not able to return to Roanoke until 1590. When he arrived the colonists were gone, the fort was dismantled, and the only clue left behind was the word “croatoan” carved in a tree. “Croatoan” was the name of present day Hatteras Island, but due to bad weather, White was unable to venture south and search for the colony. (wiki)

To this day, we do not know what happened to the colonists. We went to a ranger talk on the island where we discussed some of the theories: Did a hurricane wipe out the colony? Were they annihilated by disease? Did they assimilate with the nearby Indians? Did the colonists try to build a boat and return to England? Were they killed by the Indians? Or was it aliens? After returning home, we found this book  by a 21st century anthropologist that gives a very compelling theory as to what happened to the first English settlers in the New World. Its too complicated to paraphrase, so I recommend you give it a read if you are at all interested in American history and what really happened at Roanoke.

Of course, when you’re in Roanoke, you have to see The Lost Colony! The drama is performed each summer on the site of the actual events. The drama just ended its 80th season which makes it the longest running outdoor symphonic drama in the U.S. Its the #1 thing to do in The Outer Banks on TripAdvisor and I highly recommend it too! The above photo is the only shot I took on Roanoke and is of the theater that houses The Lost Colony Show.

Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

Advertisements

B&B Trip Report: Bodie Island

Bodie Island

The hottest day of the trip, we got on the Ferry from Ocracoke and began heading south. Our first stop of the day was at the Bodie Island Lighthouse. The lighthouse is located south of Nags Head near Oregon Inlet. Because of the heat, we chose not the climb it, but we did walk out to the marsh overlook.

In 1837, a search began for a spot for another lighthouse along the dangerous Outer Banks. They settled on a location in Pea Island, on the other side of Oregon Inlet because Lieutenant Napoleon L. Coste, the leader of the expedition said “more vessels are lost there than on any other part of our coast.” Soon after construction began, there were major structural problems and within a few years, the tower began to lean and the lighthouse was abandoned. A second lighthouse was commissioned nearby, but only two years later, it was destroyed by Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. The current lighthouse became operational in its current location in 1872.

I really wanted to come back here and attempt to get a night sky shot of the lighthouse, like the Hatteras Lighthouse shot. But, unfortunately, it rained all night long so we missed our chance. I will have to come back and try again another time.

For this stop on our trip, we camped near the lighthouse at Oregon Inlet campground. I was nervous about this campground because there’s a warning on the website about the 24/7 construction that is happening on the Bonner Bridge (the bridge that spans Oregon Inlet) but I didn’t notice either the light or the noise. It is really hard for me to separate my feeling about this campground from the incessant heat that day. At this point in the trip, I learned that I was not made to tent camp on the beach in the summer and I was ready to head back north. The last time we were in the Outer Banks, this was one of my favorite campgrounds.

Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

B&B Trip Report: Ocracoke Island

Ocracoke Island LightAfter visiting the ponies, we headed into the Village of Ocracoke. Coming from Hatteras, the first thing you see when you get to Ocracoke is just road and dunes. Once the island widens out, you get through the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and you reach the Village of Ocracoke. Of all the towns in the Outer Banks, Ocracoke has the most character. The small size of the island causes the village to be kind of tight with cars sharing the roads with golf carts, and in some cases, pedestrians and bikers too. There are quirky shops, boutique hotels, and interesting restaurants all without walking distance of each other.

Located in the heart of Ocracoke Village is the The Ocracoke Island Lighthouse, the second oldest operating lighthouse in the US. It is the smallest of the lighthouses of Cape Hatteras Lighthouses, standing at only 75 feet tall (NPS). Like Hatteras Lighthouse, it is an inland lighthouse, but unfortunately, The Ocracoke Lighthouse is not open for climbing. If you plan to check out the lighthouse, be aware there are only 2 or 3 parking spaces nearby. If possible, I would recommend walking or biking to the lighthouse.

Located in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, a short drive from the Village of Ocracoke is the Ocracoke Campground, where we camped for two nights. One nice thing about this campground is that they have a generator-free loop, meaning you won’t be hearing air conditioning all night long. It seemed like when we were there, most people chose that loop, so we traded generator noise for people noise. We chose a dune-side site so we were able to walk over the dunes right onto the beach which was really nice. One thing that was tough about all of these National Seashore campgrounds is that there was no tree cover and our second day at Ocracoke was rough because it was 92 degrees at ten in the morning and we had to pack everything up. The heat was really starting to take it out of me. I don’t know that I would tent camp on the beach in the summer again. Luckily, we had an hour ferry ride back to Hatteras to cool down and relax.

Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

B&B Trip Report: Ocracoke Ponies

Paloma

After packing up camp at Frisco, we got in the car and headed to the ferry to Ocracoke Island. If you are not familiar with Ocracoke, it is a remote barrier island off the coast of North Carolina that is only accessible by ferry. We got to the ferry dock around 1pm and there was already a significant line. We waited about an hour just to get on a ferry! I learned my lesson; if you are planning this journey, get to the ferry dock as early as possible.

Our first stop on Ocracoke was the pony pens. The Ocracoke ponies are known as Banker Ponies but they are not ponies at all, but small horses. The ponies are believed to have come to Ocracoke from a 16th or 17th century European shipwreck. In the 1950s a local boy scout troop took over the herd and had the only mounted troop in the nation. In the 1960s, the herd was taken over by the National Park Service. Currently, there are 17 ponies in the herd and you can help care for the animals by adopting a pony.

When planning a visit to Ocracoke, be sure to check out the NPS calendar. About once a week, a ranger talk is led at the pony pens that allows you to get up closer to the ponies and allows you to feed the ponies if you so please.

Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

B&B Trip Report: Hatteras Light

Hatteras Under the Stars

We woke up early our first day at Frisco and headed to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse to get there before the crowds and the heat. We arrived and got our ticket to climb the 256 steps to the top. My view from the top is this week’s Wordless Wednesday, so be sure to come back to see it.

Later that evening, we came back for a night sky ranger talk on the beach. We used our experience shooting the night sky the night before and put it to use with the famous lighthouse as the foreground.

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse has an interesting history.  The original Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was built in 1803 but was too short to warn passing ships of the nearby Diamond Shoals. In the 1850s, the lighthouse was added onto, making it 150 feet tall. But, by the 1860s, the lighthouse was in dire need of repairs so the current lighthouse was constructed and was finally lit in 1870. In 1935, the lighthouse was decommissioned due to beach erosion and replaced with a skeletal steel tower. The lighthouse was then transferred to the National Park Service and in 1999 the lighthouse was moved inland to its current location to protect it from ongoing beach erosion (NPS).

Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.