Road Trip Day 4: Buxton to Wrightsville Beach (aka as A LONG Day)


Lighthouse at Cape Hatteras.

Today was very eventful.  It began about 9:15 a.m. when I paid $7 to climb 268 steps to the top of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.  It was not pretty.  Thankfully, there were landings every 30 or so steps to catch your breath and to wait for your legs to stop burning.  There was NO way I would have made it to the top had I still been smoking.  Here was the view from the top:


I then made my way to wait for the ferry from Hatteras to Ocracoke Island.  The travel guide said the ferries left every half hour.  I got there at 11:03, and the ferry didn’t leave until 12:05 p.m., and takes 40 minutes.  I had made a reservation on Ocracoke Island to take another ferry back to the mainland at Cedar Island that left at 2:00 p.m. and cost $15.  The ferry finally arrives on Ocracoke Island and my car won’t start!  I couldn’t believe it!  My car has run so good on this whole trip, and wouldn’t start.  The ferry attendant gave me a jump start and said it was the battery.  I was afraid to turn the car off after that.  I had to rush to make the next ferry, and it was 13 miles through wilderness to get to the ferry and of course, my cell phone said “No Service.”  Once I got close to the ferry there were places to stop and get a sandwich, but I was scared to turn the car off, so I rushed to the ferry. (I didn’t want to get stuck on Ocracoke Island with car repairs!)  I figured if I broke down at the ferry at least they would know what to do and who could help.  I bravely turned off the car to wait to board the ferry, and quickly started it again, and it did start.  HUGE relief!  Of course, the ferry terminal on Ocracoke had NOTHING to eat.  The car has worked fine ever since the jump start this morning – but I’m still going to go to a tire/battery place tomorrow to have the battery checked.

The ferry ride from Ocracoke Island to Cedar Island took two hours and ten minutes.  Once off the ferry, it was a good 25 to 30 miles before I was back in civilization.  I was SO hungry.  Luckily I had some snacks in the car to help tide me over.  I left the ferry terminal at Cedar Island at 4:10 p.m. and drove for about 3 1/2 hours and made it to Wrightsville Beach. 

I passed through Camp Lejune, and on the fence surrounding the base are all sorts of banners and signs welcoming loved ones back home from their tours of duty.  There is also a sign saying that all signs will be removed every Thursday.  No place to stop to take photos – and also I didn’t go to the Beirut Memorial that honored the soldiers that died there in 1983. 

I am staying tonight at a very nice hotel called the Blockade Runner (no doubt named after the most famous of all blockade runners, Rhett Butler).  It’s a lot more than I wanted to pay, but very nice.  I have a view of the Intracoastal Waterway (my friend).  I was so tired and stinky when I got here a little before 8:00 p.m., that I just took a quick shower and went to dinner in the hotel.  I was so happy that every entre on the menu was also offered in a petite size.  What and ingenious idea!  I wish more restaurants would offer this option.  I ordered a nice citrus salad and a petite crab cake dinner that came with vegetable risotto and three asparagus spears.  It was delicious, and just enough.

Tomorrow it’s only 180 miles to Charleston.  I’m excited to go back and explore the city.  I’m going to take one of the tours. But first, I’m going to enjoy this hotel until checkout at 11:00 a.m., and the free breakfast.

I also just realized that I left my pillow at the Comfort Inn in Buxton :-(  I guess it's onto Wal Mart tomorrow to buy a new pillow and pillow case.  I also need to do some laundry….

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