Surviving the Outer Banks: Day Eight

Good evening, everyone! Matthew here, signing on from the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina (OBX). This is the last blog post authored from the OBX, as we’re regrettably beginning our 16-hour trek home tomorrow morning.

If you’ve been following along, you’ll know we’ve done a lot of outdoorsy/adventurous things on this vacation. In the beginning, I can’t say I was all that thrilled with the idea of a bog-standard beach vacation – it’s all too domestic for my taste – but this one has turned out to be quite a lot of fun, really.

A few firsts for the Pearons: lighthouses, kayaking, parasailing, small aircraft flight (new to Valeri) and seeing a kite festival. Plus, it was our first real road trip together. We traveled with a couple of close friends on the US 101 in California last year (you haven’t read that one yet? ) – which was about five hours – but this was a whopping 16-hour journey. Granted, there was a break in the middle…but that’s a long time to be in the car by any standard. The not-so-awesome realization that I’m having right now is that we’re going to have to do the same thing again tomorrow. It’s going to be tiring, but we’ll make it through.

Anyway, you’re here to read about the adventures of today, not the troubles of tomorrow, so I’ll get to it. We started the day out by heading south toward Manteo – ultimately ending up at Ocracoke Island – which is a tiny little spot of land with a single road leading from end-to-end (roughly 13 miles, by our calculations). We couldn’t do this without a bit of sustenance, so we made a pit stop at Bros’ Sandwiches.

Matthew’s French Dip and Valeri’s Barbecue Nachos


     After feeding our faces, we resumed our southern journey toward Ocracoke (don’t worry – we don’t really know how to pronounce it, either; although, some very amusing attempts we made). Along the way, we encountered Hatteras Light House. We walked around the grounds a bit, took a few photos, then moved along…

Hatteras Lighthouse

The next leg led us to a ferry terminal, where we had ice cream while waiting to board the ferry.

Valeri begging for treats … as usual

We had experienced ferries in San Francisco, but not one that you and your car went on. Very big ship. Once the cars were all loaded like sardines, and the ship had left port, we were able to get up and walk around. The views were great out there – but you can only get so many shots of the sea/sky division before it’s played out.

View from the back of the ferry

An hour later, the ferry and its crew expertly delivered us to the shores of Ocracoke Island without incident.

Once we hit solid ground, we went on to the downtown area – which was more of a small village full of tourist shops and restaurants. Neat, but not something that would draw us for very long, which is why we turned back around and began our return journey.

To see how this went, please re-read the paragraph above.

One fascinating thing we noticed is that the seagulls follow the ferries around; when two ferries meet in the middle of their routes, several of the seagulls fly to the other ship and return back to their original port. This happened on both routes several times.

We made our last beach stop during our trip to Ocracoke.

All-in-all, there was a lot of sight-seeing today. Nothing too terribly interesting, but fun nonetheless. After we made it back to the house (stopping en route to pick up some delicious Chinese food), we sat down and watched a couple of movies with some of our remaining family members. It was a nice, easy night – which gives us plenty of time to pack up for tomorrow’s drive.

Here is to safe travels and favorable traffic patterns!
Matthew, signing off.

“At the beach, life is different … time doesn’t move hour to hour,
but mood to moment.”


More photos can be found by clicking the PhotoStream icon here.

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