The hottest day of the trip, we got on the Ferry from Ocracoke and began heading south. Our first stop of the day was at the Bodie Island Lighthouse. The lighthouse is located south of Nags Head near Oregon Inlet. Because of the heat, we chose not the climb it, but we did walk out to the marsh overlook.
In 1837, a search began for a spot for another lighthouse along the dangerous Outer Banks. They settled on a location in Pea Island, on the other side of Oregon Inlet because Lieutenant Napoleon L. Coste, the leader of the expedition said “more vessels are lost there than on any other part of our coast.” Soon after construction began, there were major structural problems and within a few years, the tower began to lean and the lighthouse was abandoned. A second lighthouse was commissioned nearby, but only two years later, it was destroyed by Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. The current lighthouse became operational in its current location in 1872.
I really wanted to come back here and attempt to get a night sky shot of the lighthouse, like the Hatteras Lighthouse shot. But, unfortunately, it rained all night long so we missed our chance. I will have to come back and try again another time.
For this stop on our trip, we camped near the lighthouse at Oregon Inlet campground. I was nervous about this campground because there’s a warning on the website about the 24/7 construction that is happening on the Bonner Bridge (the bridge that spans Oregon Inlet) but I didn’t notice either the light or the noise. It is really hard for me to separate my feeling about this campground from the incessant heat that day. At this point in the trip, I learned that I was not made to tent camp on the beach in the summer and I was ready to head back north. The last time we were in the Outer Banks, this was one of my favorite campgrounds.
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Our first night of the trip, we stayed at Laurel Hill State Park in Pennsylvania. We got in late and had to set up camp in the pouring rain. We had a lot of driving to do so we left before we really got to explore the park, but what I saw I liked and I would like to visit there again when I had more time to relax and explore the nature of Pennsylvania’s highlands.
Anyway, from the park it was a twisty-turny road through rural Appalachia. We made our first stop along the way at the C&O Canal Visitor’s Center (left) so Chris could get his first National Park passport stamp of the trip. The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal is a 184.5 river system that was designed to connect the east coast and the Great Lakes. The towpath trail is a popular biking spot that runs from Cumberland, Maryland to DC.
After exploring the canal trail a bit we continued south and made our next stop in Fredricksburg, Virginia. We visited some of the sites at the Fredricksburg Battlefield (above) and the Fredricksburg Cemetery. Fredricksburg was a Civil War battle that ended in a Confederate victory and over 12,000 Union casualties. This was the first Civil War Battlefield I had visited and it was hard to reconcile the history and the tragedy with the beautiful scenery that has sprung up in over 100 years since the bloody battle.
It was a short drive from Fredricksburg to Williamsburg where we set up camp for the next two nights. More on that next week. Thanks for stopping by! For more information on the C&O Canal and Fredricksburg, visit the National Park Service. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page.
We had a warm up a few weeks ago that had me thinking spring was on its way. But, today its supposed to snow, so I’m sitting here thinking of summer and working on planning our summer camping trips. We are planning another week long summer road trip, but instead of heading north, we are going South to North Carolina’s Outer Banks. We also have weekend trips planned to Port Crescent State Park (on the tip of Michigan’s thumb), Wilderness State Park, and one night at the hike-in Jack Pine Campground at Ludington State Park. We are also planning on camping somewhere for the solar eclipse that is coming in August. It looks like it is going to be a busy summer and I’m hoping that being better about planning, we will make better use of those precious summer weekends!
About the Photo:
This photo was taken on our last trip to the Sleeping Bear Dunes for the National Park Service 100th Anniversary. It had been a while since we’d done Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive since it was closed when we visited the park in March. The first stop on the drive gives you a breathtaking view of Glen Lake. Because it was a free admission day, it was tough to squeeze in and get a shot, but it was totally worth it!
Nikon D3100 with 18-55 kit lens, handheld
August 28, 2016