Starting to put up the photos from vacation. All the light houses are now up. They are extras, side effects of being on the coast. The only one I went in was the Bodie Island light. Couldnt go on the balcony because of the 30+ mph winds. The Cape Hatteras Light was the same but I knew the wind had closed the balcony and didnt climb it.|
|Days 1 and 2|
Day 1: Jun 15
After leaving Jax went to Ft. Frederica. I think I was there a long time ago, before there was visitor center. Started to look for a geocache but it required wading a creek and just didnt want to do that.
Didnt plan on stopping but needed gas and it was only 3 miles from the exit I got off on so went to Ft. King George.
Drive to SC and got to Ft. Moultrie with an hour to go before they closed. This was long enough to do the inside of the fort. The Endicott bunkers are all visible after 5pm and drove around Sullivans island. What I thought was a WWII observation tower turned out to be the Charleston Light at Sullivans Island after some research. Missed some batteries on the island since there was no map. Did a geocache outside the fort at Osceolas grave.
Went back across the harbor for Ft. Johnson. Stopped at Battery Cheves for a cache but the phone is unreliable and under tree cover just had me running around in circles. Walked around the Charleston Battery Park downtown. The back across the harbor again to stay outside Patriots Point.
Day 2: Jun 16
Did the USS Laffey and Clagmore at Patriots Point before the ferry to Ft. Sumter. Ended up giving mini tours and answering questions for people at the fort. Took some pictures of Castle Pickney on the ferry to and from. Visited the USS Yorktown after coming back to Patriots Point. Somewhere in all this destroyed my hiking boots.
Drove north to attempt Ft. Caswell. Stopped at the Oak Island Lighthouse but it was closed. Withing sight did a geocache at just outside the Coast guard station. Talked to the guy at Ft. Caswell, the baptists who own it are having summer camp and no visitors except on weekends for the summer. Drove on to Southport, NC. Found a Walmart and new hiking boots. Had problems getting a room 2 hotels were full.
Vacation entry is going slowly. Ended day 2 in Southport N.C. needed to take a ferry first thing in the morning. Almost didn't get a hotel in the area. Tried 2 places before finding on with a room. Also destroyed my hiking boots. They have been around for maybe 15 years so its not a surprise. Had to find new ones.
On the way to the ferry came across Ft. Johnson. Only the officers quarters remained. Took some photos of light houses in the distance (Old Baldy, Oak Island). Took the ferry over to Ft. Fisher. Passed the Ft. Fisher Aquarium and then came back to it after the fort. Then did the battery down the road.
Drove on to the USS North Carolina an then Ft. Macon. Did a cache at the fort. Then another drive to the Cedar Island Ferry Terminal.
The terminal is nowhere. Its and hour drive from Morehead City though nothing. The last half hour is in wildlife refuge that is all marsh. You pass some houses at the end, a little store that claims to be the last stop before a 2.5hr ferry (with wifi) and a mile later the landing. There is an abandoned hotel near the landing. No where to stay. Went back to the store. They claim the hotel is open but you have to call. Went back there, there is a number but no service. None (and no wifi) at the store. Driving backwards found a hotel at Sea Level. They had closed. Saw people in the restaurant and they gave me a room ringing it up on the restaurant cash register. Left the key on the dresser as instructed. It was a nice room.
|Day 4: The Outer Banks|
Took the ferry over to Ocracoke in the morning. Did not need reservations. Ocracoke is more of a place than Cedar Island it has hotels, restaurants and such. Went to the Ocracoke Lighthouse, did a geocache at the cemetery and attempted another near the sign Ft. Ocracoke. Ate breakfast, drove up the island and stopped to see the ponies.
At the other end of the island took another ferry across to Hatteras. Did a geocache on the ferry. The ferry takes a crazy route because of sand banks. We did a 180 around the buoy in question.
Graveyard of the Atlantic museum was unimpressive, no photos. Got lucky and there was a lecture by a local on Hatteras part in the Civil War including the battles at Ft. Clark and Ft. Hatteras. Another geocache in the parking lot.
Drove further north. Stopped at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse but they were not letting people on the balcony so didnt climb it. Next stop was the Bodie Island Lighthouse. Climbed it but couldnt go out on the balcony either.
Ended the day watching the Lost Colony Play at Roanoke. Im seen worse but thats only because I saw that Custer Reenactment out west. Potatoes come from South America not Virginia.
|Day 5: Roanoke, Kitty Hawk|
I think the fort at Roanoke (Ft. Raleigh) is wrong. Its just too small to be the fort for a colony. It compares to some of the redoubts at Yorktown to comparative structures like the fort at Jamestown. The archeologists may have found something, they need to go back and look more. Spent more time at the Gardens than the fort.
Next stop was Kitty Hawk. There is a big monument on the hill. Its not the important thing to see. The first flight took place in the field by the visitor center. There is a smaller rock and then 4 even small markers to mark where the first flights landed. Geocache at the rock.
Drove to Norfolk for the USS Wisconsin. You have to go through the whole several floors of the Nauticus museum and the Hampton Roads Naval Museum to get to it. The ship itself seems bigger than the North Carolina but not as much is open yet. Leaving the Wisconsin tried to take a boat tour of the harbor but it got canceled at the last minute because of weather. The sky opened up 40+ mph winds blowing rain and hail in apocalyptic craziness for half and hour, then drizzle.
|Day 6: Virginia Forts|
Started out first thing at Ft. Norfolk. Its currently on an active army base used by the Corps of Engineers so was not allowed to take pictures towards the modern building. Found a geocache on the property unexpectedly. Its supposed to be a multistage cache that was currently inactive but the final cache was there. Logged it.
Crossed over to Ft. Monroe and took some pictures of Ft. Wool on the way. Last time I was at Ft. Monroe it was an active base, now its a National Park and much better since you dont feel like your being watched and picture taking is allowed. There are still a lot of army signs up about things you shouldnt do however. Old Point Comfort Lighthouse is just outside Ft. Monroe.
Finished the day at Yorktown. There was a lot more there than I expected. Did 2 geocaches ad walked all over the town and inner works, then did the driving tour out to the surrender field and other sites. Did everything for a 3rd geocache down on the beach that was virtual but didnt log it.
|Day 7-9: Jamestowne, friends, reunion|
Yes Jamestowne with the stupid e at the end. Not the touristed up place next door the actual National Park of the real site. There are two forts on the site parts of the reconstructed original one and on top of that a Confederate earthwork.
Spent the night in Raleigh with Roberto and his kids. Went to the family reunion in Kinston the next day at 1pm. Left there at 3:30 and drove straight to Jacksonville. The first Krystals you hit coming south is just outside Brunswick.
On Monday came home.