Travel Diary
November 6, 2002
Rodanthe, NC

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Rodanthe is in the middle of North Carolina's Outer Banks. It's about 35 miles north of Cape Hatteras. Cape Hatteras is possibly best known for its lighthouse. The Hatteras Light is the tallest brick lighthouse in North America. It is made of 1,250,000 bricks that were made in Williamsburg, VA.

Hatteras lighthouse

Like Cape Cod, the land of Cape Hatteras is a constantly changing bit of sand. As a result, the coastline is changing pretty dramatically every year. The Hatteras Lighthouse was moved in 1999 to a new site approximately a half mile from its original location. The ring at the base of this picture marks the site of the original lighthouse location.

How far the lighthouse was moved

The original site of the lighthouse is very close to the water's edge, and will likely be underwater in a few years. This picture shows the fortifications that are still in place to protect the original site. The ring marking the original site is about 35 yards behind where Mary is sitting.

Seawall protecting the original lighthouse location

The Outer Banks is also home to several wildlife refuges. Our campground was very close to a protected migration area that was home to many ducks, geese, and other water birds. Here's one of the more interesting birds that we saw fishing.

Small heron

We got to see several turtles in the refuge along with the birds. They were swimming near a path that went over the water. This picture is looking down on a turtle that was looking back at us.

Wild turtle checking us out

The humans on the Outer Banks are also avid fishermen. We saw many trucks driving around with their fishing gear. It was interesting to see because most of them have special carriers for the poles, coolers, and other gear that mounts to the front of their trucks. This truck was carrying 13 fishing poles.

Thirteen poles and a cooler

We also visited the Roanoke visitor's center and saw a film called "The Lost Colony." It was interesting to learn about this original English colony and the mysterious disappearance of those original settlers. It was also neat because Pete's Aunt Dina (who we visited on Cape Cod) wrote the script for the film.

Finally, we visited an aquarium on Roanoke Island. It was a small aquarium, but did a great job showing us what the birds and the humans were fishing for. We got an up close look at a river otter, more local turtles, a sand shark, a few alligators, and more.

River otter

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