Paloma

After packing up camp at Frisco, we got in the car and headed to the ferry to Ocracoke Island. If you are not familiar with Ocracoke, it is a remote barrier island off the coast of North Carolina that is only accessible by ferry. We got to the ferry dock around 1pm and there was already a significant line. We waited about an hour just to get on a ferry! I learned my lesson; if you are planning this journey, get to the ferry dock as early as possible.

Our first stop on Ocracoke was the pony pens. The Ocracoke ponies are known as Banker Ponies but they are not ponies at all, but small horses. The ponies are believed to have come to Ocracoke from a 16th or 17th century European shipwreck. In the 1950s a local boy scout troop took over the herd and had the only mounted troop in the nation. In the 1960s, the herd was taken over by the National Park Service. Currently, there are 17 ponies in the herd and you can help care for the animals by adopting a pony.

When planning a visit to Ocracoke, be sure to check out the NPS calendar. About once a week, a ranger talk is led at the pony pens that allows you to get up closer to the ponies and allows you to feed the ponies if you so please.

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