Tuesday, September 4, 2007

August 26, Day 2 of the Real Thelma and Louise

I was woken by Beagle Bob looking me in the face. He wanted to go out for a potty break. When he and Bonnie stepped outside I took the opportunity to curl my hair for the first time in several days. I still skipped the make-up after all this is vacation isn’t it? Bonnie came back in and we both took a nap since it was too early for anything to be open. About 9, we saw the campground owner’s wife outside and Bonnie went and paid her $50 for 2nights. The one we we just spent, and asked that she hold the spot for us tonight. Told her we would be back after sightseeing today. We took off and found the coffee house and I had my first caffe mocha in 8 days. I was in heaven so I ordered a slice of lemon poppy seed bread to go with it. We drove just a few blocks and came to the beach. It was Beagle Bob’s first visit. At first he would run when the waves would come in, making sure not to get his paws wet. That is until he saw a bird and started chasing it, he go so enthralled in the chase that he forgot and went into the water. He was wet up to his belly. We walked the shore for a long distance until I had more shells then my little cup would hold. Our drive continued north on the outer banks. The RV turned into the waiting line for the Cape Hatteras ferry, and we were flagged to come straight on board. It was a free ferry and the trip would be about 40 minutes.

We drove straight to Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. It stands 208 feet tall

and is the tallest in the United States. The lighthouse is painted black and white spirals with a red base. It’s light can be seen for 20 miles, warning ships of the submerged sand bars where so many ships have foundered. It was erected in 1869-1870 and was lit for the first time December 6, 1870. In 1999 the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse made a historic half mile journey away from the pounding waves of the Atlantic to a new and more secure location. The lighthouse was cut from it original base, hydraulically lifted onto steel beans and traveled along railroad tracks to it present position. This amazing 23 days trip has ensured that the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse will be standing proud for many, many years.

After stopping for gas in Rodanthe, we drove on to Bodie Island lighthouse.
(They pronounce it Body). It is encircled by two black and three white
bands, stands 150 feet high and is equipped with a first-order Fresnel lens. It flashes its 160,000 candlepower beacon 19 miles over the ocean. Originally built in 1847, the lighthouse was rebuilt with improvements in 1859. In 1862 Confederate troops blew up the structure to prevent its use by the Union forces that occupied the Outer Banks. On October 1, 1872 the present tower was put into operation and is the third lighthouse built on this site at a cost of $140,000. The keeper’s quarters is now restored and is used as a visitors center.

Lunch called us at Slammin’ Sammys Offshore Grille and Stillery. Prime Rib sandwiches with extra pickles for Bonnie, I had a huge Grilled chicken and black bean salad.

After lunch, we made a stop at the vistor’s center. They gave us directions to the last lighthouse of the day, just as sprinkles starting hitting us. 25 miles later we were at Currituck Beach Lighthouse and in a nice downpour. It was by far my favor and the most beautiful one to me, all done in single laid red bricks. It stands 158 feet tall, and its flashed first beacon December 1, 1875.

It was 25 miles back to the main road that brought us up from Ocracoke Island. While driving back in the rain, Bonnie was programming Phyllis (the GPS) and she ask me what I thought about Plan B. She suggested instead of driving 75 miles back south out of our way and paying another $30 for the Ferry tomorrow, and having the 3-4 hour ferry trip, that we just stay on the mainland and head towards home now. The $25 she had already paid for the campground would be lost, but she would gain that back by not paying $30 for the ferry. It sounded like a plan to me. So I followed her directions and took the new route. As we hit the main highway, we kept seeing signs, watch for bears. We commented on them, and then as I was driving I said to Bonnie, wouldn't that be fun to explain to your insurance man, about hitting a bear. I no sooner had those words out of my mouth, until I saw a bear coming out of the woods, onto the shoulder. I quickly stopped the RV, but by the time we got the camera up, he was gone. What excitement. We also saw signs warning of Red Foxes. But we never saw any of them.

The rain went from sprinkles to heavy as we drove 190 miles, until we stopped in Williamston NC. At a Holiday Inn, it was difficult driving and we decided we sure didn’t want to find a RV park and hook up in the rain. After splitting the cost of the room, it was $41 each and a good hot shower and great night sleep was had by all, including Beagle Bob who stayed in the camper!

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