The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Posts tagged ‘Lighthouse’

“Where the Mountains Meet the Sea” and More Lighthouses

Today was a long day of sightseeing.

On our way to Camden, we stopped for a delicious and filling breakfast at The Rockport Diner in Rockport, ME.

Leaving Rockport, we drove through Camden to Camden Hills State Park.  We paid an entry fee of $6.00 each to enter the state park. Our goal was to go to the scenic vista on top of Mount Battie.  We had two choices.  We could either hike or drive the Auto Road to the top of Mount Battie.  We chose the driving option.

Mount Battie Stone Tower

The Mount Battie Stone Tower was built in 1921 and recognizes “the services of the men and women of Camden in the World War, 1914-1918”.

From this vantage point magnificent views of Camden Harbor, Penobscot Bay and the surrounding countryside can be enjoyed.

Camden is “where the mountains meet the sea”.

“All I could see from where I stood
Was three long mountains and a wood;
I turned and looked another way,
And saw three islands in a bay.”
~Edna St. Vincent Millay

It is believed that Edna St. Vincent Millay wrote the poem “Renascence”, while enjoying the view from the summit of Mount Battie.

 

Leaving Camden we drove to Marshall Point Lighthouse, which is located near the fishing village of Port Clyde.

Did you watch the movie “Forest Gump”?  Marshall Point Lighthouse is where Forest Gump concluded his long run.

Marshall Point Lighthouse

Marshall Point Lighthouse

Marshall Point Lighthouse and Keepers House

Marshall Point Lighthouse

There were two lighthouses that we wanted to visit in Rockland: Owls Head Lighthouse and Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse.  We saw Owls Head Lighthouse first.

Owls Head Lighthouse

Owls Head Lighthouse

This last photograph was one of my favorites of the day.

We ate lunch at Rockland Cafe, which Bob’s sister had recommended to us.  It was a good recommendation.  Bob had a chef salad.  I had a chicken salad sandwich and clam chowder.  We had dessert too — blueberry crisp with ice cream for Bob and peanut butter pie for me.

After lunch we drove to Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse. 

Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse

The lighthouse is at the end of a 7/8-mile-long breakwater, so visiting requires a nearly two-mile round trip walk.   Bob walked on the breakwater about 3/4 of the way to the lighthouse.  When thunder and lightning started, Bob turned around.  I didn’t walk on the breakwater.  It had recently rained, and I did not have the confidence to walk the uneven rocks that I suspected were slick.  I entertained myself on the shore, while Bob was walking to the lighthouse, by photographing seagulls and talking to people passing by.

Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse with Seagull

After talking for a few minutes with a man, his wife and son they decided to walk out to the lighthouse (again).  They attempted to reach the lighthouse earlier, but turned around when it started to rain.  I told them to say hello to Bob, if they saw him on his way back.  He would be the man with the bald head.  I have to laugh again because, when I mentioned the bald head, the man patted his own head and said “like mine”.  Within a couple minutes the man and I had concocted a story to go along with the family saying hello to Bob.

“Hey, wait!  You are Bob, aren’t you?  Hello!

“Do you remember me? We went to high school together at Warren Area High School.”

Does Bob look confused?  He was confused for a few seconds.

This is the point in time, when the truth was told.

What fun that was!

Oh, Look! I didn’t have to walk out the breakwater to get a good picture of the lighthouse. I love my zoom lens!

You can see by looking at the map at the beginning of this post that we didn’t take a direct route back to Pioneer Motel.  We decided to see a bit more of Mid-Coast Maine.  It is a good thing that we had the Garmin GPS with us.   Data was not available on our mobile phones for most of our travels today.

This blog post concludes Day 5 of our 10-day Maine vacation (June 28-July 7, 2019).

– TO BE CONTINUED –

Maine Vacation: More Island Hopping, Red’s Eats, Another Lighthouse and More Ice Cream

We got up shortly before 6:00 am, got showered and dressed.  We departed Pioneer Motel at 7:00 am to embark on today’s adventures.  With the exception of arriving at Pioneer Motel and leaving for home, today was the only day we drove in the direction of Wiscasset.  We purposely chose lodging east of Wiscasset, as that was the direction for the majority of the places that we wished to see during vacation.

We stopped for breakfast at McDonald’s in Bath and, then, drove to Land’s End on Bailey Island.

The Scenic Mackeral Cove on Bailey Island

 

Land’s End on Bailey Island

Land’s End and the Lobsterman Statue

Lobsterman Statue at Land’s End

Portland sculptor Victor Kahill created a lobsterman statue in 1939 for the New York World’s Fair. The statue at Land’s End is a replica of the one created for the World’s Fair. A plaque on the base reads: “A memorial to all Maine fishermen who have devoted their lives to the sea.”

Land’s End Beach and a Clifftop House

While I was taking pictures, Bob was looking through binoculars.  He spotted a lighthouse way, way, way out in Casco Bay.

Halfway Rock Lighthouse in Casco Bay

I took this photograph of the Halfway Rock Lighthouse with a lens having a 35 mm equivalent focal length of 600mm.  The photograph is heavily cropped.  Like I wrote earlier, this lighthouse was way, way out there!  If you click on the link “Halfway Rock Lighthouse” (in red), there is a map that shows where in Casco Bay the Halfway Rock Lighthouse is located.

Before starting our drive back to Route 1, we browsed the Land’s End Gift Shop.  We made two purchases: a packet of Downeast Maine Wild Lupine Seeds and a small pillow for Stacey that reads “Shut the Duck Up”. 

Leaving Land’s End, we stopped at the trail to Giant’s Stairs.  Bob walked part of the very narrow trail, which was waterlogged in places. 

He didn’t find the stairs.  He kept seeing houses and didn’t want to go on private property. 

We stopped at Mackeral Cove, both coming and going.  On our way back to Route 1 we drove down to the cove.

Mackeral Cove

Our last stop before leaving Bailey Island was at the Cribstone Bridge.  This bridge connects Bailey and Orr’s Islands.

Cribstone Bridge

We walked across the bridge to Orr’s Island and walked back to Bailey Island.

It was only 10:30 am when we completed our planned sightseeing activities, so we decided to add another point of interest–Pemaquid Lighthouse.

As we were driving through Wiscasset we decided to stop for lunch at Red’s Eats.

Red’s Eats

After a 2-hour wait in line, we got our food.  We ordered two lobster rolls and one large order of onion rings. 

Red’s Eats Lobster Rolls and Onion Rings

Was it worth the long wait in line?  YES!

I had some leftover lobster.  We dropped it off in the refrigerator in our motel room and continued to Pemaquid Point Light, which is located in Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Park.

Pemaquid Lighthouse and Keepers House

Bob hiked below the lighthouse to the ledges.  I felt my balance was off, so I didn’t make the descent.  On hindsight, I believe I could have made this hike, if we had taken our hiking poles out of the car!

Bob’s view of the lighthouse from the ledges

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse

We stopped at Harbor Ice Cream in New Harbor, shortly after leaving Pemaquid Point Lighthouse.  Bob ordered sugar-free vanilla ice cream.  He said it was the best vanilla ice cream he has ever eaten.

This blog post concludes Day 4 of our 10-day Maine vacation (June 28-July 7, 2019).

– TO BE CONTINUED –

Maine Vacation: Lighthouses, Island Hopping, Boothbay Harbor, a Fort and a Museum

We got up around 5:00 am naturally, without an alarm.  We slept well.  Our king-sized bed was firm and comfortable.  The room temperature was comfortable.  We were showered and dressed by 6:30 am.  The bathroom is small, the shower stall smaller still.  The bathroom is adequate, though, with hot water, sufficient lighting, an exhaust fan, a new vanity, and clean.  I am, once again, thankful that we booked a room at Pioneer Motel for our week-long stay in Maine.

It rained (and thundered) overnight.  Sitting outside on our covered porch at 6:30 am this morning I hear birdsong and see water puddles all over.  Across the highway the trees are shrouded in fog.  It is early enough on a Sunday morning that there are moments when there is no traffic noise from the highway.  

The weather forecast for today calls for scattered showers and thunderstorms, with a high of 68 degrees.  There is a 50% chance for rain.  I believe today will be our worse day weather wise.  The rest of the week looks lovely.

We went shopping at Hannaford Supermarket in Damariscotta and then went to breakfast at McDonald’s.

We spent half the day sightseeing in the Boothbay Harbor Region and half the day relaxing.  It was a long 2 days travel to get here.  A little downtime is good.

Our first sightseeing stop was on Southport Island, where we saw the Cuckolds Lighthouse.

The Cuckolds Lighthouse can be seen in the distance from the Newagen Boat Dock at Cape Newagen on Southport Island.

Our second stop was at Capitol Island. 

I searched online for a description of Capitol Island.  I found a perfect description of the island on a Knickerbocker Project Stories page. Capitol Island is:

“a quintessential summer community on an island just three-quarters of a mile long and 700 feet at its widest point. It is a place where everyone-knows-everyone, and the main dirt road of 15 mph is busier with local foot traffic than cars. By and large, the properties on Capitol Island are owned by the original families of the 1870s—translating to one of Maine’s most intact historic summer communities.”

I visited Capitol Island for the first time in May 1983 with my ex-husband.  We stayed several nights at Boulder Lodge, a cottage owned by his mother’s family.  Between 1983 and 1990 my ex-husband and I spent several vacations at Capitol Island.  With the exception of one year, when we spent an extended vacation on the island alone, we vacationed with my in-laws.  In 1987 my parents visited us at Capitol Island.  In 1989 friends visited us at Capitol Island.  In 1990 my sister-in-law and two nephews visited us at Capitol Island.  I loved it on the island.  My vacations were always peaceful and restful.  I am thankful for the opportunity I had to revisit Capitol Island one more time.  I am happy that I was able to show Bob the island that I have talked about with him over the 20 years that we have been married.

We parked the car at the “casino”, just over the Capitol Island Bridge.  The casino is a community center, not a gambling institution. 

Capitol Island Bridge

We walked from the casino to the dock at the end of island and back.  The island has changed very little since I was last here.  The landscaping is different, with more flowering bushes now.  Some of the homes have been updated.  I noticed no cottages that had fallen into disrepair.  I noticed that Boulder Lodge still belongs to my ex-husband’s mother’s family, as evidenced by a sign posted at the cottage. 

a place on Capitol Island called “Pig Cove”

Boulder Lodge

Turtle Rock

I, and others, have walked out to Turtle Rock at low tide.

The dock at the end of Capitol Island

Capitol Island’s “Back Beach” — Boulder Lodge and this place were my favorite places on Capital Island.

We stayed here only a few minutes.  I would have stayed longer, explored a bit, if the mosquitoes and gnats weren’t so bad.

This is the main dirt road on Capitol Island

Boulder Lodge is the cottage on the left, surrounded by trees.

This beautiful home was formerly known as the Albonegon Inn.  It is now a family owned home and available for rental through Airbnb.

I don’t know how I managed to see the sailboat to the left of the Albonegon Inn.  It was so foggy!  Fog horns were blowing the entire time we were on the island.

On our way back to our car a man and woman were approaching their car parked at Boulder Lodge.  I couldn’t help myself.  I asked if they knew my ex-husband’s mother’s family.  Not only did they know the family, they WERE members of the family.  My ex-husband’s maternal uncle owned the cottage, when we stayed there.  The man walking to his car was my ex-husband’s cousin, the uncle’s son! We chatted for a few minutes, reminiscing.  We soon went our separate ways.  We returned to our car; the cousin and his wife began their drive to Portland ME.

Our third stop was in Boothbay Harbor, where we walked from our car, across the footbridge and back to our car.  We will be visiting Boothbay Harbor a few more times this vacation.

Boothbay Harbor Footbridge

Boothbay Harbor Footbridge

Lupines

Our last sightseeing stop this morning was at the Fort Edgecomb State Historic Site in Edgecomb ME.

Fort Edgecomb was built in 1808–1809. The two-story octagonal wooden blockhouse is the centerpiece of the historic site.

This map shows this morning’s sightseeing route.

We finished sightseeing around 11:30 am and returned to Pioneer Motel.  We relaxed until 4:30 pm, at which time we went out to find Hendricks Head Lighthouse, located on Southport Island, and to get something to eat.  We saw Hendricks Head Lighthouse twice, once before dinner and once after dinner.  Before dinner, rain and fog impacted our viewing of the lighthouse.  At times we could barely see the lighthouse. 

Hendricks Head Lighthouse

Bob took this picture of me, while I was photographing Hendricks Head Lighthouse.

The picture that I took from that vantage point is displayed below.

Hendricks Head Lighthouse

After dinner the fog and rain were replaced with cloudy skies and sunshine. 

Hendricks Head Lighthouse

Note also that before dinner that the tide was pretty low.  After dinner the tide was in.  Remember the picture that Bob took of me out by these rocks?  I walked out on the beach to the base of the rocks that you see in the foreground, when I took the close-up before dinner picture of the lighthouse.  Water surrounds those rocks in the after dinner picture.

We ate dinner at Robinson’s Wharf (Lobster roll for Bob and a fish fry for me).   We ate inside, although we would have preferred outdoor seating.  Unfortunately it was raining.

On our way back to Pioneer Motel we stopped at the Ice Cream Hut in Boothbay for dessert.  

Ice Cream Hut and Shell Museum

In addition to ice cream there is a shell museum, miniature golf and arcade games.  We had ice cream and walked through the seashell museum, which is housed in the covered bridge.

This blog post concludes Day 3 of our 10-day Maine vacation (June 28-July 7, 2019).

– TO BE CONTINUED –

Chincoteague Vacation – Day 6

On Day 6 of our vacation (Thursday, April 11th), after eating breakfast, we went to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.  We drove, rather than ride our bicycles.  It was a chilly and windy morning, with a temperature reading of 49 degrees.

We saw NINE wild horses in the lighthouse parking lot and watched as they walked down Beach Access Road to the Wildlife Loop. 

Wild Ponies in the Lighthouse Parking Lot

Wild Pony in the Lighthouse Parking Lot

Wild Ponies in the Lighthouse Parking Lot

Wild Ponies Walking Down the Beach Access Road Towards the Wildlife Loop

Wild Ponies Walking Along the Beach Access Road to the Wildlife Loop

There are 8 wild ponies in these two pictures; however, we saw a total of 9 ponies.

Wild Ponies Walking Toward the Wildlife Loop

One of 9 Wild Ponies Making its Way to the Wildlife Loop

This was the straggler, the 9th wild pony.

Seeing the horses was really cool.  We have always seen evidence that the horses have been on Beach Access Road, but had not seen them there before.

Before leaving the Wildlife Refuge, we visited the Assateague Lighthouse.

Assateauge Lighthouse

The Assateague Lighthouse stands 142 feet high.

After visiting the lighthouse, we returned to the warmth of our vacation home.  Bob turned on the heat for the first time since our arrival.  For the next few hours I washed, dried and folded two loads of laundry; we ate lunch (ready-made lasagna and cheesecake); and we relaxed, enjoying the peaceful setting of our Airbnb vacation home, Tranquil Shores.  

Around 3:00 pm we left for one more visit to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. We drove around the Wildlife Loop three times.

Wildlife Loop Snake

Wildlife Loop Great Blue Heron

Wildlife Loop Cattle Egret

Wildlife Loop Turtle

Turtle Crossing the Road at Wildlife Loop

Wildlife Loop Little Blue Heron (adult)

We drove also to the beach and back, along Beach Access Road.  We were saying so long, until next time, to a place that we have grown to love.

Leaving the Wildlife Refuge, we picked up a 12-inch sub at Subway to share for dinner and went to Island Creamery for ice cream.  Yes!  We ate dessert first.

Returning to our vacation home around 5:00 pm we discovered piles of dirt had been placed in the deep holes (craters in some instances LOL) on the road to Tranquil Shores.  Thankfully a resident pulled in after us.  We didn’t know if we should drive on the grassy area to the right of the dirt piles (to go around them).  She told us it was okay.  According to the resident, the piles of dirt will be graded the next day.  I passed this information to our host, as I thought he might be interested.  Our host replied: “I’m so glad we finally have it getting done. Last winter was so hard on the road!  Corralling all the neighbors to pitch in was a project in and of itself!”  

TO BE CONTINUED

Our Outer Banks Vacation – Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands

[NOTE: I uploaded this blog post during the afternoon on October 10 but backdated the published date to September 29, the date of the day’s activities detailed in this post.]

20170929_102612533_iOSThe beginning of a new day

Bob, Jim, Sandy and I departed our Flight of Fantasy beach house at 7:00 am, en route Ocracoke Island. A little past Duck, two deer walked across N.C. Route 12. The deer are small here and darker in color than they are in Pennsylvania.  We hopped onto U.S. Route 158 at Southern Shores.

We made two stops: one for fuel and the other for breakfast at McDonalds before leaving U.S. Route 158 and hopping back onto N.C. Route 12 to Cape Hatteras. We began our drive down this part of N.C. Route 12 at 8:03 am.

We arrived at the Herbert C Bonner Bridge  around 8:10 am. One lane was closed due to bridge construction, but we were held up only a short time for the closure. Along N.C. Route 12 we encountered standing water in front of sand dunes and excavators moving sand. There was standing water and sand on the road, as we were driving through Rodanthe. There was standing water on the road in Avon. There was a lot of standing water at Hatteras Village shortly before the ferry terminal. We arrived at the Hatteras ferry terminal at 9:20 am.

20170929_132314792_iOSHatteras ferry terminal
We are in line to board the ferry from Hatteras Island to Ocracoke Island.

Sandy and I went to the bathroom and ran back to our car, as it was moving toward the boat! We boarded the 9:30 ferry at 9:29 am.

_LG24973Moving away from Hatteras Island

There are only five vehicles on our crossing.

_LG24978Our ferry boat was not crowded.

We have ridden this ferry at least two times before. This is the least number of vehicles we have seen on a crossing. The ferry has always been full! By the way we planned for a 10:00 am crossing. Being able to catch the 9:30 am crossing was a bonus! The crossing wasn’t as smooth, as I remember. We were a bit more buoyant, with waves rocking us up and down. We were fortunate to catch a 9:30 crossing, as there was no 9:30 crossing on the N.C. DOT schedule that I looked at. A crew member told me they were on the fall schedule, which was not provided on the website.

_LG24980Jim looks like he is enjoying the ferry crossing.

We arrived on Ocracoke Island an hour later. There was some sand on the road between the terminal and the town of Ocracoke. It is a 13-mile drive from the ferry terminal to the town of Ocracoke.

At approximately the halfway point between the ferry terminal and the town of Ocracoke we stopped to see the fenced-in Ocracoke ponies and the beach across the road. The ponies were at the barn, behind wooden railing. We took a walk on the boardwalk trail to another observation area, hoping to see ponies grazing in the open field.

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Sandy on boardwalk trail to look for ponies.

There were no ponies in the open field. We did encounter several spider webs and a bird, while on the trail.

_LG24988The bird sang a lovely song for us.

At the beach, located across the street from the pony enclosure, we enjoyed watching the shorebirds and found some pretty seashells.

_LG25015Ocracoke Island shorebird

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_LG25031Ocracoke Island Shorebird

_LG25035Ocracoke Island Shorebirds in flight

_LG25042Ocracoke Island Shorebird

_LG25048Jim and Sandy leaving the beach, walking back to our car.
Sandy has seashells in her hands.

I wish I had thought to take a picture of the seashells that Bob and I collected.  We gave the seashells to our granddaughters, upon our return home from vacation.

A main form of transportation in the town of Ocracoke appears to be golf carts and bicycles. Both transportation methods were seen throughout the town.

While in the town of Ocracoke we visited the Ocracoke Island Lighthouse and the David Williams House Museum.

The Ocracoke Island Lighthouse is North Carolina’s oldest lighthouse still in operation.

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Ocracoke Island Lighthouse

_LG25053The water under the boardwalk leading to the lighthouse was quite high.

While at the lighthouse we were greeted by a friendly cat.

_LG25062the lighthouse cat

_LG25063All four of us took turns petting the lighthouse cat.

_LG25068Great balance, Sandy!
The lighthouse parking lot was somewhat flooded.

Leaving the Ocracoke Island Lighthouse, we drove around Silver Lake to the Ocracoke Island Visitor Center and the Ocracoke Preservation Society.

_LG25072Ocracoke Island Lighthouse, as seen across Silver Lake

_LG25074Ocracoke Preservation Society

The Ocracoke Preservation Society is located in the restored David Williams House. This was the first time Bob and I visited the Ocracoke Preservation Society. Admission was free; donations readily accepted. Inside is a museum that consists of permanent and changing exhibits depicting island life from days gone by, as well as a gift shop.

Before leaving the town of Ocracoke, we ate lunch at Jason’s Restaurant.  We pulled into Jason’s Restaurant at 12:30 pm. Bob and I ate at Jason’s the last time we visited Ocracoke Island. We once again enjoyed great tasting food and excellent service.

We departed Jason’s Restaurant at 1:20 pm, en route the Ocracoke ferry terminal. I telephoned ahead of time to determine the fall schedule crossing times. The next ferry would be leaving at 1:30 pm, followed by a 2:00 pm crossing.

20170929_174459276_iOSOcracoke Island Ferry Terminal
We are in line waiting to board the ferry to Hatteras Island.

20170929_174357458_iOS
Hurricane Maria caused some road damage at the Ocracoke Island Ferry Terminal.

We caught the 2:00 pm ferry to Hatteras. There were many more vehicles on this crossing than the one from Hatteras. We arrived on Hatteras Island at 2:55 pm. On our way to the Ocracoke ferry terminal I learned that Denise and Nic and Nancy and Donnie had also come to Ocracoke Island. They were eating lunch about the same time as us, across the street at Howard’s Pub. Denise said that she texted me to ask if we were still on Ocracoke Island. I never received that text, while on the island. I learned the next day that the sending of Denise’s message had failed.  Internet service is a bit sketchy on Ocracoke Island.

On our way back to Corolla, we stopped at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.

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Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

_LG25077The Circle of Stones

The Circle of the Stones used to sit in the exact spot where the lighthouse stood for more than a century before it was moved to its present location.  The stones, each weighing 3,000 pounds or more, are engraved with the names of the 83 keepers of the lighthouse since it was originally built at Cape Point in 1803.  The stones are arranged in a semi-circle to form an outdoor theater called Keeper of the Light Amphitheater.

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Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse has not always resided in its present location. In 1999, because of the threat of shoreline erosion, the lighthouse was relocated 2,900 feet from the spot on which it had stood since 1870.

In September 2012 when Bob and I visited the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, we drove over to the original location of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.

E9194290 4x6Original lighthouse location (September 2012)

In September 2012 the Circle of Stones marked the location of the original lighthouse, before it was moved. Those stones now form an outdoor theater called Keeper of the Light Amphitheater.  I shared a picture of the amphitheater earlier in this post.  This article explains why the Circle of Stones was moved.

This year we once again drove over to the original location of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.  But for the informative sign in front of the beach area, we would not have known the location of the lighthouse before it was moved to its present site.

_LG25087Cape Hatteras Lighthouse on the beach near where the original lighthouse was located.

Continuing our drive North, we planned to stop at the Inn at Rodanthe.  The entrance road was flooded, so Jim took a picture of the house made famous by the movie “Nights at Rodanthe” from the passenger seat when Bob pulled on the berm of N.C. Route 12.

We planned an ice cream stop at Dairy Queen, while on Hatteras Island. The two Dairy Queens that we passed, though, were closed. We stopped at Dairy Queen in Kill Devil Hills, having our dessert before dinner.

We returned to our beach house around 6:30 pm.

Tonight’s dinner was hamburgers, baked beans, cole slaw and potato salad. For dessert we had cake and ice cream, in celebration of Brenda’s birthday. We sang happy birthday to Brenda, and she blew out her candles.

Video courtesy of Bob.  If you are not able to view the embedded video, please click here for the direct link.

For Jim’s account of today’s activities, please click here.

Our Outer Banks Vacation – Bodie Island and Wright Brothers National Memorial

[NOTE:  I uploaded this blog post during the afternoon on October 8 but backdated the published date to September 28, the date of the day’s activities detailed in this post.]

I appreciate the force of nature. The past two days we have experienced consistent strong winds and angry seas. Today, as I watched the sun rise while sitting on the beach, the wind was calm and the waves seemed almost normal. I haven’t seen one yet, but I heard that the pelicans are back.

_LG24910The dawning of a new day

The wind is calm, and the waves seem almost normal.

If you are not able to view the embedded video, please click here for the direct link.

IMG_20170928_065802Bob took this picture of me sitting on the sand, capturing today’s sunrise.

_LG24920The sun has risen!

What a fine day for sightseeing!

We were en route Bodie Island shortly after 9:00 am, arriving there around 10:00 am. For the next 45 minutes we admired the lighthouse from various vantage points.

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Bodie Island Lighthouse

A boardwalk that leads to an overlook of the wetlands offers very nice views of the lighthouse.

_LG24926Sandy is walking on the boardwalk toward the wetlands overlook.

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Sandy and Jim on the wetlands overlook

_LG24934Bodie Island Lighthouse, as seen from the wetlands overlook

Before leaving Bodie Island I heard a National Park Service employee say that the Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry would begin crossings again at 1:00 pm today. This information was good to know, as we are planning a trip to Ocracoke tomorrow.

From Bodie Island we attempted to drive to Pea Island Wildlife Refuge, but the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge was closed until 1:00 pm to allow for time to remove sand and water from the roadway on Hatteras Island.  We made a U-turn at the bridge and drove to the Wright Brothers National Memorial, located in Kill Devil Hills.

After paying the admission fee of $7.00 each, we found parking in the parking lot in front of the Visitor Center.  The Visitor Center for the Wright Brothers National Memorial is closed for a renovation project.  The visitor center has been closed since November 2016 and expected to reopen in late summer/fall of 2018.  A temporary facility near the parking lot has an information desk where you can speak to a National Park Service employee, five small poster-style exhibit panels to learn more about the Wright brothers’ story, and a bookstore.

During our visit we walked to the First Flight Boulder and Flight Line which mark the location where the Wrights first flew, peeked into the reconstructed Wright brothers’ camp building and hangar, walked to the top of Big Kill Devil Hill to the base of the Wright Memorial, and saw the 1903 Bronze Sculpture of the First Flight featuring a life size model of the 1903 Wright Flyer.

_LG24941Wright Brothers Flight Line

The numbered markers mark the landing spots of the Wright Brothers’ first four flights on December 17, 1903.

_LG24945First Flight Boulder

The boulder marks the spot from which the Wright Brothers’ first flight was made.  The picture displayed above shows the flight path as well.

_LG24946Sandy and the First Flight Boulder

_LG24948Wright brothers’ camp building and hangar

_LG24958
Big Kill Devil Hill and Wright Brothers Memorial

Sandy stayed inside the car, while Bob, Jim and I hiked to the top of Big Kill Devil Hill.

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Wright Brothers Memorial on top of Big Kill Devil Hill

The view from the top of Big Kill Devil Hill was spectacular!

IMG_20170928_120517Jim is photographing the view from the top of Big Kill Devil Hill.
We could see all the way to the Atlantic Ocean.

_LG24960Life size model of the 1903 Wright Flyer

_LG249641903 Bronze Sculpture of the First Flight
(Wright Memorial in the background)

_LG24965This sign provides information about the first flight witnesses.  I read the sign, but was more interested in recreating the scene shown on the sign.  As I positioned myself to take a picture, other tourists began walking up to the bronze sculptures for a closer look.  Getting the picture I wanted meant waiting until those people departed the grounds.

_LG24967
Jim, Bob and Sandy found the only shady spot to wait for me,
while I waited to take my picture.

I like to think that I am a patient person.  My patience was just about running out, when the grounds were vacated.  I had to quickly compose my picture, as I noticed more tourists arriving.

_LG24968My recreation of the photograph of the first flight witnesses

We were glad that it was possible to drive to the base of Big Kill Devil Hill, as well as to the Sculpture of the First Flight. The three points of interest were spaced far apart!

Prior to leaving on vacation, Jim learned that a friend (another member of the Vulcan Riders and Owners Club of which Jim and Bob are members) would be vacationing in the Outer Banks at the same time as the four of us.  “Rabbi” and his wife Vonna were vacationing in Salvo on Hatteras Island, until they were evacuated earlier in the week.  We didn’t think we would be able to meet up with Rabbi and Vonna because they had gone home to Virginia.  Jim received a message (today I believe) from Rabbi that they were back in the Outer Banks and staying in Kitty Hawk.  Jim and Rabbi made plans for the six of us to meet for lunch at 1:00 pm at Mama Kwans Tiki Bar & Grill in Kill Devil Hills.

The first thing I noticed at Mama Kwans was the old van covered with stickers.  I took a picture of Rabbi, Vonna, Jim and Sandy beside that van, after we had eaten lunch.

_LG24971Sandy, Jim, Rabbi and Vonna at Mama Kwans

Rabbi attended at least one VROC motorcycle rally that Bob and I attended.  That rally was the Wolfman Wandering Rally #3 held in Richmond, Kentucky in June 2009.  Rabbi doesn’t recall meeting Bob or me at that rally; we don’t recall meeting him either.  Rabbi is planning to attend the 20th anniversary of the Southeast Vulcan Riders and Owners Club (SEVROC) rally in May next year.  Bob and I plan to attend that rally as well.  So, we will meet again….

After lunch we returned to Flights of Fantasy (our vacation beach house), returning there around 3:00 pm.

Much of rest of the afternoon and evening was spent relaxing in (or sitting on a deck of) the beach house. Sandy and I did go for a short walk to beach access 7, a boardwalk that leads to the beach.

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Sandy at the Beach Access 7 Boardwalk

20170928_222956188_iOSThe view from the end of Beach Access 7
The green house is our beach house.

20170928_223133743_iOSSandy at the end of Beach Access 7
The green house is our beach house.

Sandy and I returned back to our beach house just in time to see the sun set.

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I photographed Brenda photographing the setting sun.

Tonight’s dinner was leftovers.

I retired to our bedroom around 8:30 pm, as many of my fellow vacationers were sitting down to watch the football game—Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers.

For Jim’s account of the day, please click here.

July 2 Sightseeing Activities – Oneida Lake

We spent 3 days and 2 nights in the East Syracuse, NY area.  This blog post is a continuation of sightseeing activities on Sunday, July 2 (day 2 of our weekend getaway).  In previous blog posts, I wrote about an unplanned stop in Manlius NY and a planned stop at Chittenango Falls State Park.

From Chittenango Falls State Park we drove to Verona Beach Lighthouse and then drove around Oneida Lake. A friend suggested that we visit The Wild Animal Park in Chittenango NY, en route the lighthouse. We planned to visit the animal park but opted not to do so, when we saw how busy it was!  We were stopped for several minutes in traffic that was entering the animal park.

According to a Wikipedia article, Oneida Lake is the largest lake entirely within the state of New York. The lake is about 21 miles long and about 5 miles wide with an average depth of 22 feet.  The shoreline is about 55 miles.  While not included as one of the Finger Lakes, Oneida is sometimes referred to as their “thumb”. Because it is shallow, it is warmer than the deeper Finger Lakes in summer, and its surface freezes solidly in winter.

The Verona Beach Lighthouse is one of three identical lighthouses on Oneida Lake.  The other two lighthouses are located in Brewerton and Frenchman’s Island.  The Brewerton Lighthouse was constructed to mark the juncture of the western end of the lake with the Oneida River.  The Frenchman’s Island Lighthouse was constructed to mark a pair of islands in the southwestern portion of the lake.  The Verona Beach Lighthouse was constructed to mark the entrance to Wood Creek Canal from the eastern end of the lake.  We saw only the lighthouse at Verona Beach.

The Verona Beach Lighthouse is
approximately 85 feet tall.
Construction of the Verona Beach Lighthouse was completed in the summer of 1917.
Picturesque beach view from Verona Beach Lighthouse

Leaving Verona Beach, we began our drive around Oneida Lake.  We stopped for lunch at Y HILL Express, located in Blossvale at the intersection of Routes 49 and 13.  Bob had a chef salad for lunch, with a big chocolate chip cookie. I had a tuna melt sandwich with a soft serve twist ice cream cone. Lunch was good and our least expensive meal so far on this trip.

We made two other stops, while driving around Oneida Lake.

We stopped at Lakeview Park in Cleveland.  The park overlooks Oneida Lake.

Cleveland, NY – Lakeview Park

This lovely gazebo honors those who died on September 11, 2001.

_LG22378
Cleveland, NY – Lakeview Park Gazebo
Cleveland, NY – Lakeview Park Gazebo
Cleveland, NY – Lakeview Park Gazebo

Our last stop, during our drive around Oneida Lake, was in Brewerton.  We visited the Oliver Stevens Blockhouse Museum on the grounds of the former Fort Brewerton.  You may read all about Fort Brewerton and the blockhouse by clicking here.

Replica of Oliver Stevens Blockhouse

The Oliver Stevens Blockhouse houses a museum with collections of local artifacts, including native materials. Here are a few photographs inside the museum. All photographs were taken on the second floor of the museum.

This is what we saw, when we reached the second floor of the museum.
Note the arrowheads above the rocking horse.
These arrowheads were found on the Fort Brewerton grounds
and nearby locations.
A Model of Fort Brewerton

From Brewerton we continued our drive around Oneida Lake to Bridgeport, where we headed south to Green Lakes State Park — the subject of my next blog post about our weekend getaway to the East Syracuse, NY area.

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