Outer Banks: Sand and Light

The Saturday after Thanksgiving (2021), my mom and I enjoyed a relaxing morning enjoying views of the beach and placing our favorite board game ‘Trekking the National Parks’

The weather was frigid – not the best for walking on the beach until just before sunset.

I love beach walks -just listening to the waves crashing and the ebb and flow of sand and sea. With a lot of upheaval in the world, it is nice to just walk by the ocean. It reminds me that God is in control and if he can handle the tides and gravity then he can handle my worries.

One of my favorite parts of this beach walk were the seagulls who had personality plus. My photos barely do justice to the majesty of the sunset. Every set so vivid and gorgeous.

After checking out of the Hampton Inn (Corolla) on Sunday, we drove south to Hatteras Island along the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. (official site)

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse with its spiral design, is one of the most iconic lighthouses in the world. It the tallest brick lighthouse in North America – towering over 198 feet. The climb from top to bottom tediously treks 269 narrow steps – but the view is worth it.

I first visited Cape Hatteras Lighthouse with my dad in the 1990s. At the time the lighthouse was threatened by erosion and a debate was raging – should the lighthouse be moved? How can we save our beloved lighthouse. I remember (the innocent youth in me) praying that the lighthouse would be okay and Thank God…is still stands, although in a new location.

In 1999, Cape Hatteras was moved 2900 feet from its original location over the course of 23 days – this was a modern engineering marvel. WRAL (Raleigh TV station) did a great documentary at the time, which you can still purchase. It is worth watching.

We started our tour in the gift shop/ranger station. Due to the season/day, Lighthouse Tower tours (climb to the top) were closed, but that was fine by me. My knees weren’t prepared for the upward climb.

My mom and I love the lighthouse museum. It is located in the neighboring keeper’s quarters and tells the story about the lighthouse history, the perils of the outer banks (Graveyard of the Atlantic) and military history from the area.

I’ll dedicate a future post to the history of the Outer Banks, but I am always astounded by the fact the OBX were a battlefront in WWI and WWII. Hatteras Island and the surrounding coast was constantly be barraged by Nazi U-Boats. Our freedom is owed to many of the valiant efforts of our coastal heroes during WWII. To learn more…

My mom and I enjoyed the scenic drive up to the tip of Hatteras Island on Highway 12 before journeying back towards the Nags Head area.

We stopped for several gorgeous beach views along the way

As well as a photo op at nearby Bodie (pronounced Body) Island Lighthouse.

Unfortunately the lighthouse and museum were closed, so I will have to take time to visit on my next trip to the coast.

As an artist I fell in love with the mixed scenery around Bodie Island Light – from the marshlands and forest to distant sound shores – it feels alive. I was inspired to paint a lighthouse scene from our time there (I’ll showcase in a future blog)

For more about Bodie Island click here.

We finished our day with a delicious seafood meal at Miller’s Waterfront – the old time seafood restaurant provides guest with excellent service and fresh and affordable seafood. We capped it off with ice cream at Coastal Creamery OBX (yummy yogurt and ice cream)

Until next time…

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