We had to take off from Ocracoke for a non-reservable campground to make it through Memorial Day. Steve planned to take the Hatteras Ferry in the morning to get to the Frisco campground, which he was oh-so-sure would be easy-peasy to get into. Alas, I hassled him that we should get an early start just to be sure, but he was so convinced that we didn't arrive at the Frisco campground until around 12:30---and the sign said "Campground Full." Hmmmm...plan A out the window.
Plan B involved some irritability and lots more driving to Oregon Inlet, also a nonreservable campground. Fortunately, Plan B worked! It was kind of crazy, but we made it and there were still sites available. The campground is nothing special--all sites are sans hook-ups (someone didn't top off our water tank and that made our four nights here a bit more stressful than we would have liked....not naming any names, of course) and although there are showers, they are freezing cold showers. Fortunately, the wind was brisk, so the rig was comfortable and for at least two nights, the mosquitoes weren't so bad. Unfortunately, the wind wasn't always brisk enough to keep the mosquitoes at bay, so the littles got munched on pretty good. The beach was a pretty challenging 10 minute walk through the dunes and the beach was so-so at best, with lots of people driving on the beach. The surf was pretty rough, too. We drove to Pea Beach later which was deserted and super peaceful and also checked out Coquina Beach, which was a great, clean public beach, so we still managed to get our beach fix. :)
Although we'd planned to go to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, by camping at Oregon Inlet, it was a long drive back to it and we discovered that neither Genna nor Jake would be allowed to climb it, even if we carried them. We ended up not going...guess we'll have to save that for next time. We did visit the Bodie Lighthouse, which is under construction. We especially enjoyed taking the boardwalk over the coastal wetlands and watching the crabs digging around in the shallow water.
There is really so much to do here in this area. We spent a day at the Wright Brothers National Memorial. Although it was pretty crowded because it was Memorial Day weekend, it worked out just fine. The movie, although it said it was only 20 minutes, was actually a three-episode-set that lasted over an hour altogether but was great for telling the story behind the Wright Brothers' first powered flight. The girls earned another Junior Ranger badge, of course.
|Exact replica of the first successful powered airplane|
|This is the very sport where the first flight took off from.|
We also went to Roanoke Island to the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. I had to convince Steve to go here as we had studied the "Lost Colony" in history and I thought it would be great to reinforce what we'd learned. I'm glad we did! They also had a great little movie, and the Ranger working during our visit was great. Jake charmed him and ended up with a badge, too!
We also visited North Carolina's most visited state park, Jockey's Ridge, known for its sand dunes. They had a great visitor center with super nice staff working. We spent a bit of time on the dunes, but it was a super sunny and warm day and Jake was not impressed with all the sand he got on his face and rubbed into his eyes. The wind was perfect for kite-flying, of course, so we watched quite a few kite-flyers. The girls completed a Dune Ranger program and earned stickers and patches. Even Jake got a patch, just for his good looks and charm, of course. :) Part of the Dune Ranger program involved picking up trash, and the collection of trash that Genna and I found included an unopened mini-kite, a ladybug. She was oh-so-delighted with her find! We were able to fly it at Coquina Beach later, and even she was able to fly it! Great find, Genna!
|The dunes at Jockey Ridge state park|
|We couldn't believe that he allowed his sisters to bury him|
|Genna would never have let them bury her unless Jake did it first.|
|Flying the kite that Genna fount in the sand|