July 4 . . . Friday

The wind whipped and whirred around our cottage all night. I felt it swaying the whole cottage. At first I was not sure it was moving the cottage, but then when I got up to go to the bathroom around midnight it became apparent it was moving. I was so glad we were not still in the tent. We would've gotten no sleep. The bed was very hard and I heard my back cracking all night. We slept better on the air mattress in the tent.

As I was falling asleep the night before I was reading news reports about all the shark attacks right here on the coast where we are staying.
We can see the pier from our beach behind our cottage in Avon North Carolina. One of the most recent attacks happened right here. That is rather intimidating.
We had set our alarm for 5 a.m. My app showed this view of the sun getting ready to come up near us. One app told me it's light would be seen at 5:23 a.m. and sunrise was at 5:53 a.m.
We got to the beach right around 5:25 a.m.  We could see the faint light coming up over the ocean.
We started walking toward the pier. This is a fishing pier which attracts sharks also. Another good reason not to get in the water here. Apparently they are going to be shooting off fireworks tonight at this pier. I'm sure we could find another campground and enjoy the fireworks here, but I think we are going to do tourist things on this side of the Outer Banks and work our way back. Who knows where we will be tonight.
At 5:53 at the pier the sunrise was a bit underwhelming.
On the walk back we walked closer to the water and for a while stopped to wait for the waves to reach her feet so I could snap a photo.
As the morning proceeded on, however, the sunrise peeking through the clouds became a little more exciting.
I sat down on the beach and just watched for the longest time. Eventually I started building a sandcastle in the sand. I'll be said it look more like an arena, so I invited him to join me and we kept building. At one point he had dug so deep he was sticking his foot into it. 
When we first walked onto the beach we saw a holes everywhere. I did not take us long to figure out they were sand crab holes. It was fun watching them crawl. They would hide from my camera. Next we saw soon after we hit the beach a seagull who seem to be playing there with the ocean. It would get just close enough to where the waves would crash in and then sometimes have to fly forward if the wave came in to strong. Then you would see it eat something off the beach. I think the waves were bringing in little fish or something else we could not identify for the birds to eat. I spent hours watching the birds and photographing them and the sunrise.
We did not want to leave the beach.
I took a lot of photos of heavy playing in the waves. He was making me nervous because we were told the last person to get shark but was standing in calf deep water. I am deserved to be standing in a lot of calf deep water.
Before we left the beach I gave the cameras to hubby so I can least have a photo of me on the beach. 
This is the boardwalk to the beach from our cottage. 
This is the same boardwalk looking the other direction.
This is our view of the beach from the deck at our cottage. It was beautiful.
This is the couch overlooking the deck overlooking the ocean where I could sit inside and see the ocean.
Even sitting on the couch blogging I could feel the house continuing to sway. The wind was still whipping and worrying around the cottage. A few times at the beach I got sand in my eye which was not too pleasant.
This is the dining room area. It is three rooms that are open with the bedroom and the bathroom off to one side or the other. 
It had a huge kitchen, but all we made here were to you and coffee.
This is the hard bed where we slept. We did not utilize the bedrooms and bathrooms downstairs, but we did use the laundry room to wash up and dry some of our clothes. I was glad not to have the wet clothes in a trash bag for a week where they would have been stinking badly.

Can I say it is just really weird sitting on the toilet and feeling your whole huge cottage sway.
We can see the pier from our deck and are wishing well the folks who are staying here tonight watching the fireworks display from their deck. I wish it were us.
For the first time since we left home we can finally feel the sunshine on our skin. I'll be says he thinks he is doing this right as we sit on the deck looking out at the ocean. 
To pelicans came to visit us on the deck. They seem to want to get into the Jacuzzi. The Jacuzzi was dirty and we did not get in it. They also just kept looking at me as if to say "feed me. "
We made our way to Cape Hatteras lighthouse, the largest lighthouse in the country. We paid eight dollars each and were able to take the 287 steps to the top. I had to take a rest had a few landings for just a minute.
The view was amazing. This was one of the things I had seen while doing research that I thought I would want to do, and I'm glad I did. Behind us in this photo is a point where the land goes the farthest out into the Atlantic Ocean.
This is a photo of the way back down the steps.
We drove through the end of the Outer Banks at Hatteras where we waited for the ferry. I was excited as I had never taken my car onto a fairy before. I am not sure I have ever been on a ferry.
We were surprised at how many cars they fit onto the ferry. There were four rows of cars. We think there were about 30 cars. We almost did not make it onto this ferry and were the second to the last car to enter.

The car wobbled on the ferry and it did not take long for me to start feeling seasick. However, when I got out of the car and realized it was OK to walk around I was fine. There were some people on the ferry who were feeding the seagulls and they were amazing to watch floating along side our ferry. I kept very busy trying to photograph them and am anxious to see what I got when I get home.
We passed some other fairies quite a few times and were able to see what you look like. 
Out in the middle of nowhere I suddenly got very good cell phone service. I was playing with my maps app to locate where we were. I learned that the ferry actually took sort of a big half circle to avoid going through a protected area for a crab breeding ground. Apparently it was quite a huge area. The trip on the ferry took an hour. We have paid a lot of money to ride boats that felt like a similar experience on rivers. It was amazing that this was free.
When I first got off the ferry the view was to sand dunes on either side of us. It was a 13 mile trip to Oracoke. 
One short area had nice green trees along the road. We found it always nice to see green trees which seemed more rare on the Outer Banks.
We drove through town and found it quaint and unique with various places to shop and eat along the roadside. There was a Silver Lake which was beautiful to see. We visited the Oracoke Lighthouse. You could go in side the door but not up the steps. I thought it looked like a Dutch lighthouse. I'm not sure why, it just does.
We stopped at a food truck to eat. I always see food trucks on TV and want to go eat at one. We do not have one where we live. I suppose there are food trucks at the fair, but that is not the same. The food truck was called Eduardo's taco stand. 
I had a shrimp taco with mango salsa and it was really delicious. I've never had a shrimp taco before so this was unique.
I'll be at a beef burrito that was huge and delicious. It had in it beef, black beans, cheese, rice, lettuce and little bits of veggies.
After we rode the ferry back, which was another hour trip, we drove our way back up the Outer Banks. It was 64 miles from there to Nags Head where we wanted to see some other things. We drove right into a bad thunderstorm. As I saw it coming across the field, I could not resist stopping the car to try to take some photos of it. For a moment I felt like a storm chaser. For some reason we just cannot seem to get away from the rain on our vacation trip. We have not let it stop us. It has always seemed to work in our favor as we pushed on.
We stopped at the Bodie lighthouse just as the rain was passed through. Timing is key. You can climb up this lighthouse to, but the last trip goes up at 4:30 p.m. and it was about 5:30 p.m.
In Nags Head, we found a restaurant that our waitress at the Whales Tail had recommended. It was called Fishheads. The view out the dock over the Atlantic ocean was amazing.
We had a corner table on the deck that also overlooked the beach. I did a lot of people watching. I kept shaking my head at all the stupid people swimming near the pier where people were fishing. With all the shark bites this June in this area, these people are stupid to be in the water.
We had simple hamburgers and fries and it was actually pretty delicious. The service was good too. What a great meal for 4 July – a good old American hamburger.
We saw Jeanette Spear and actually got out of the car, but after we saw it was two dollars a person, and knowing we needed to find some place to spend the night, we decided we might try to hit it when I came back through on the way home.

We were also looking for Jackie state park to climb the highest sand dunes but we must have drove by them. So we want to do them again tomorrow.
I ended up at a campground in Kitty Hawk. We tried to find an inexpensive hotel, but nothing was under $200 and we were not willing to spend that. When I saw the neighborhood for the campground that we were driving through seemed to be nice, I felt a lot better. Our last experience of a tiny campground with wind blowing our tent had us a little worried. This campground was a nice grassy one with the tent spread out. We picked a spot right in front of our car to make it easy. It also has a nice bathroom and shower. There seem to be a lot of families here with young children and everyone seems to be fairly quiet. Since we have been up since 5 a.m., we are ready to sleep.

You're getting good at setting up this quickly. 

It seemed a lot of the people at the campsite gotten their cars and left around 9 p.m., probably to go watch some fireworks. We laid in the mattress in the tent and saw some fireworks in the distance and felt good to have seen some at least. 

We feel very hot this evening and are anxious for the tent to cool down and go to sleep.  Tomorrow we want to check out Kitty Hawk and maybe wild horses before driving towards home.


Tammy said…
Gorgeous views you had!!

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