Getaway to Outer Banks

It has been a long time since Storm and I drove to Ocracoke because we prefer to fly there and cut the 6 hour drive from Raleigh down to just 45 minutes.  However since we have not yet figured out how to get the Prius airborne (although Lord knows Storm has tried), this time we drive over to the coast and along the way we learn some interesting things.

Wright Brothers Memorial Visitor Center Before (and apparently also After) Renovations
Wright Brothers Memorial Visitor Center Before (and apparently also After) Renovations

For instance beginning this weekend the Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center is closing for renovation, and a temporary building will be in its place for the 2 years needed for the building improvements.  For those of you concerned that they will lose the orange paint when they upgrade the building, you can rest easy.  Turns out that the visitor center itself is on the national registry of historic places and must be restored to its original specs including the orange paint.  The Wright Flyer has been moved to the NC Museum of History so if you are in that area and want to save yourself a long drive to see it, stop in and check it out.

We never knew this sculpture was around the loop
We never knew this sculpture was around the loop at the Wright Brothers Memorial

We are surprised to find a sculpture called December 17, 1903 on the site that we never noticed before.  If you visit the memorial be sure and drive the loop around to the south side of the Wright Brothers monument to see this imaginative work of art.

We also discover that a few swans have already winged down from Canada headed to their winter refuges near here.  We see a dozen or so at the Pea Island Wildlife Refuge on the way down to Hatteras.  If you want to see hundreds wintering near the coast you have to wait until January and head to the refuges near Swan Quarter and Lake Mattamuskett (dress very warmly as the swans like it much cooler and windier than most people do!).

To our great sadness, we find that if you time it right (and by that I mean wrong) you can spend 3 hours traveling from Hatteras Island across the ferry to Ocracoke.  Admittedly it has been years since we made this trip, but it used to take about 45 minutes for this portion of the journey.  With the additional dredging required by the storms and a reduced autumn boat schedule, the 2.5 hour ferries from Cedar Island or Swan Quarter are a much better deal considering that the drive to Hatteras adds a couple of hours.  Since most of the attractions along the coast are closed for the season anyway, save yourself 2.5 hours and catch a mainland ferry until things speed up hopefully next summer.

Here are a few more photos with comments from the trip.

Belle the wonder dog put on a retrieving show on the Manteo Waterfront for us
Storm enjoys the Wright Scultpure
Storm and Dean offer Orville some flying machine advice
At Jockey’s Ridge you can park your dog!
On the hilltop at the Wright Brothers Memorial
At Pea Island while searching for swans (us not him), this deer startled us then posed for a photo.
From the Swan Quarter Ferry returning home, I caught this Cormorant taking flight
While waiting 2 hours for the Hatteras Ferry, we checked out a fishing boat’s King Mackerel catch
Storm has fun at the Blackbeard Museum on Ocracoke
Ocracoke Lighthouse
Dean and Terrie looking for shells on a nearly deserted beach north of Ocracoke


About Sunny Weathers

Pilot, motorcyclist and full time RVer. Follow me as I travel all over the US in my Country Coach RV volunteering, making new friends and pursuing a constant outdoor temperature between 70F and 80F. I'll share the fun and the tribulations and any great survival tricks I learn!

2 Replies to “Getaway to Outer Banks”

  1. Deb and Charlie, glad to know you are back on the East Coast. Hope I can see you before you head west again.

    1. Sunny Weathers says: Reply

      We will be sure and get up with you when we get back to NC – visiting friends and relatives in Delaware right now. Looking forward to seeing you!

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