5/23/2001 – Day 47 – Frisco Campground to Nag’s Head & Roanoke Island – 78.1 Miles

After a cooler, cloudy night, the breeze had freshened this morning.  Breakfast was followed by camp-breaking tidying up and seasoned by the adventure of taking down our new REI canopy for the first time.  We managed to do it without flying off in the breeze and without any leftover pieces.

Diana rode her bike to the beach for one last, lingering look while I scampered around getting things ready to go.

We both decided that after four days camping in heat and humidity in a campground with only cold-water showers, it’s time for a night or two with a hot shower in the vicinity.  Accommodations await us in Nag’s Head.

We drove up the Banks with all the windows open, enjoying the wind washing over us.  We wondered if the winds had already arrived from the front that caused the horrible tornado in Joplin, MO.  

A brief stop at the Hatteras lighthouse gained us another teardrop admirer and several other lingering looks.  When we’re towing the teardrop, we never lack for interested parties and descriptive conversations.

We checked into our room, both took long, delightful showers, dined at chez Taco Bell, and then headed for Roanoke Island and Fort Raleigh National Historic Site.  This is where the ill-fated Roanoke Colony was founded.  The visitor’s center is being renovated so the actual amount of information and displays were pretty sparse.  We walked through beautiful woods to the actual site and then stuck our noses into the entrance of the nearby Elizabethan Gardens but decided $8 a pop for a late-in-the-day entrance fee was a bit steep.

We also checked out Celebration Island’s offerings.  Diana went in and around the place, I didn’t feel like it was worth the price of admission.  She’ll tell you more about what she saw.  The best thing there was a small ship (barque) reproduction called the Elizabeth II.  They say that in the summers they have taken it out on short trips.  In the small park the people answer questions while in costume and character.  There is a blacksmith, carpenter, Indian “village” etc.  The blacksmith made me a pretty nail with a rose faceted top when I told him my ggrandfather was a blacksmith and a McFarland.  I get the impression that this park may be on the block for closure.  That would be too bad.

Lightning-sparked fires on the mainland grasslands and peat bogs are filling the air with heavy smoke at times.  According to the ranger at Fort Raleigh, this will continue until heavy rains finally put it out.  Evidently peat fires are notoriously difficult to snuff out.

Back at the motel we relaxed and enjoyed being clean.  Tomorrow we’ll take a look at the location where the world’s first heavier-than-air flight took place.

Hattaras lighthouse and Camp-Inn Teardrop

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