Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Ever since our trip to Maine last year, we’ve had a bit of thing for lighthouses. Happily for us, the Outer Banks of North Carolina has some really cool ones.

During tourist season (which isn’t now), when it’s hot ‘n’ heavy, they actually allow you to climb up inside of some of them. I for one was grateful for all the “currently closed for climbing” signs. If I’m gonna have a heart attack climbing something, I’d prefer it had easy access for the paramedics. And maybe a helipad. Just sayin’. So no climbing for us. Just looking:

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse 1R

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

This was the first lighthouse we checked out on our list of four. Several cool things about this one: Built in 1870, this lighthouse sat back 1500 feet from the ocean. A hundred years later, it sat only 150 feet from the ocean’s edge. Erosion had placed this beautiful lighthouse in peril, so, in 1999 the entire lighthouse was moved intact about 2900 feet from its original position.

And that’s all the history you’re gonna get outta me. On with the visually cool bits. The base on this thing just blew me away. From a distance, it seemed like maybe some pot-smoking artiste had been commissioned to create the base. Upon closer inspection, it was probably the coolest part of this structure. The colours in the marble are just amazing:

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Door BR

The second lighthouse we went to see was very similar to the first one. No history lesson this time, just a picture:

Bodie Island Lighthouse 1R

The Bodie Island Lighthouse

Next, we went to see this one:

Ocracoke Lighthouse 1R

The Ocracoke Lighthouse

We had to take a (free!!!) ferry to go and see this one. Bob got pooped upon by a seagull, but you didn’t hear that from me.  I think it was divine retribution because he nearly drove me off my nut saying “Ocracoke” all the time.  He just wouldn’t stop!  Oh what, that doesn’t sound all that annoying? HAH!  Get someone to follow YOU around all day saying, “Ocracoke” then get back to me.

And, last but not least, was this unpainted beauty:

Corolla Lighthouse 1R

The Corolla Lighthouse

Corolla Lighthouse 2R

It was virtually impossible to get a good shot of this one because of all the trees (I’m not sure what a lighthouse is doing in the woods, but anyway). This one was interesting because it was surrounded by nature trails and other cool stuff.

Whalehead Club R

The Whalehead Club

The yellow building is called The Whalehead Club. I think it used to be sort of a hunting lodge for rich good ole boys. Now it’s just a museum with a really cool bridge leading to it.  

This concludes our Official Lighthouse Post.  Thank you for showing up. 🙂

 

I’ve never been a big fan of “tourist trap” places.  I prefer to see what’s on the street behind the one with all the souvenir shops on it, y’know?

When we first arrived in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, we were assailed by big flashy signs wanting us to come to Kitty Hawk (!!!) and see the Wright Brothers monument and museum (!!!).  Pfft!  Even I, the non-history buff slash museum hater in the bunch, know that this is the spot where Orville Redenbacher and that guy that Mr. Ed used to talk to invented the self-flushing toilet.

Speaking of which, have you ever noticed that those stupid toilets always either flush before you’re ready, hose down the whole bloody stall, or just simply refuse to flush at all even when you glower sternly and say, “Please.  Just flush, damn you!?”  And just what is it that lets the toilet know when it’s time to flush?  Ever wondered about that?  Hmmm?

Where was I?  Oh wright – Kitty Hawk.  It turns out you can see the whole shebang, dorky monument and all, just by driving by, pointing, and saying, “Yep, there it is.  That’s the spot.”

The other person is our gang (hint: the one who isn’t me) actually is a history buff slash museum lover, so we had to negotiate a few historically significant (apparently) stop-overs.  Roanoke Island was one of these.

What’s so fascinating about Roanoke Island?  Why, I thought you’d never ask!  It’s the scene of a great historical mystery!  (Yawn…oops!)

The story goes that some pompous English oaf, bent on pillaging and world-domination, pitched up on the beach with a bunch of his home-dawgs with the intent of opening a 7-11 and establishing a colony.  After a short while, the colonists discovered that they hadn’t brought quite enough clean underwear and food, so they took a vote and decided to send Pompous English Buddy back home to get more while the rest of them set about murdering the Natives to tide themselves over.

Okay, now here comes the (insert Phantom of The Opera theme here) mysterious part:  When Pompous English Buddy finally remembered to come back, three years had elapsed, and lo and behold the Native-murdering colonists had vanished into thin air.

Really?  This is your big mystery?  I guess it never dawned on these bozos that bumping off the indigenous folk might actually piss them off a bit.  No?  Sigh….