Life and Times

Life and Times from 2019

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Life and Times from 2000

Outer Banks 2017

Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3

Part 2

The next morning, we left around 10:00 to begin our adventure.  We started out with breakfast at Diamond Shoals Restaurant.  Diamond Shoals is a favorite of mine on the Outer Banks.  I first went there in 1993, and have always had good experiences there.


Elyse makes a neutral expression for the camera at Diamond Shoals.

Elyse makes a neutral expression for the camera at Diamond Shoals.


After this, we headed down to the ferry.  The idea was to travel all the way down to the end of Ocracoke Island and then do everything that we wanted to do on the way back up.

We made good time going down to the ferry terminal, and soon we were in the queue to board.  Due to the number of cars waiting, we ended up sitting out three ferries.  In the meantime, we checked out Hatteras Landing, which was a nearby shopping center and marina.


The lines to board the ferry.

The lines to board the ferry.


A pile of stuffed animals in one of the stores.  We eventually bought one of the dolphins in the t-shirt, though not from this store.

A pile of stuffed animals in one of the stores.  We eventually bought one of the dolphins in the t-shirt, though not from this store.


Houses near the ferry dock.

Houses near the ferry dock.

Houses near the ferry dock.


The Merritt, a dredging vessel owned by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

The Merritt, a dredging vessel owned by the US Army Corps of Engineers.


When it was​ finally our turn to board, we were guided onto the MV Roanoke, a Hatteras-class ferry.

On the ride over, we mostly stood by the railing, watching and photographing.  I also moved to the upper level lounge for a time in order to get some shots from up there.


Beach houses in Hatteras, seen from our departing ferry.

Beach houses in Hatteras, seen from our departing ferry.


Three people riding a powerboat, presumably on their way to go fishing.

Three people riding a powerboat, presumably on their way to go fishing.


Signage and buoys in the water along the ferry route.  These were new since my last visit, as the alternate route that the ferries were using in 2014 is now the permanent route, and is now marked as such to aid navigation.  Signage and buoys in the water along the ferry route.  These were new since my last visit, as the alternate route that the ferries were using in 2014 is now the permanent route, and is now marked as such to aid navigation.

Signage and buoys in the water along the ferry route.  These were new since my last visit, as the alternate route that the ferries were using in 2014 is now the permanent route, and is now marked as such to aid navigation.

Signage and buoys in the water along the ferry route.  These were new since my last visit, as the alternate route that the ferries were using in 2014 is now the permanent route, and is now marked as such to aid navigation.  Signage and buoys in the water along the ferry route.  These were new since my last visit, as the alternate route that the ferries were using in 2014 is now the permanent route, and is now marked as such to aid navigation.


Elyse stands at the rail with the wind blowing through her hair.

Elyse stands at the rail with the wind blowing through her hair.


The Roanoke's superstructure.

The Roanoke‘s superstructure.


View from the railing of the Roanoke.

View from the railing of the Roanoke.


The Hatteras, a River-class ferry carrying, among other vehicles, beer and snack food trucks.

The Hatteras, a River-class ferry carrying, among other vehicles, beer and snack food trucks.

The Hatteras, a River-class ferry carrying, among other vehicles, beer and snack food trucks.


Plant growth in the water.

Plant growth in the water.


The Frisco, another Hatteras-class ferry, carrying another beer truck.  My mother, sister, and I rode the Frisco in 1997.

The Frisco, another Hatteras-class ferry, carrying another beer truck.  My mother, sister, and I rode the Frisco in 1997.

The Frisco, another Hatteras-class ferry, carrying another beer truck.  My mother, sister, and I rode the Frisco in 1997.


Two groups on powerboats, out fishing.

Two groups on powerboats, out fishing.


More people out fishing.

More people out fishing.

More people out fishing.


The Croatoan, a River-class ferry.  The Croatoan, a River-class ferry.

The Croatoan, a River-class ferry.

The Croatoan, a River-class ferry.


The Southern Cross, a powerboat from Midlothian, Virginia.  The Southern Cross, a powerboat from Midlothian, Virginia.

The Southern Cross, a powerboat from Midlothian, Virginia.


The Floyd J. Lupton, another River-class ferry.  Back in 2014, our ferry, the W. Stanford White, was right behind the Lupton on our way back from Ocracoke.  The Floyd J. Lupton, another River-class ferry.  Back in 2014, our ferry, the W. Stanford White, was right behind the Lupton on our way back from Ocracoke.

The Floyd J. Lupton, another River-class ferry.  Back in 2014, our ferry, the W. Stanford White, was right behind the Lupton on our way back from Ocracoke.

The Floyd J. Lupton, another River-class ferry.  Back in 2014, our ferry, the W. Stanford White, was right behind the Lupton on our way back from Ocracoke.  The Floyd J. Lupton, another River-class ferry.  Back in 2014, our ferry, the W. Stanford White, was right behind the Lupton on our way back from Ocracoke.


The Roanoke's wake.

The Roanoke‘s wake.

The Roanoke's wake.


The passenger lounge on the Roanoke.  This was the only air conditioned passenger area on the ferry, but considering how nice of a day it was, it saw very little use on our crossing.

The passenger lounge on the Roanoke.  This was the only air conditioned passenger area on the ferry, but considering how nice of a day it was, it saw very little use on our crossing.


Berthing at Ocracoke.  The Chicamacomico, another Hatteras-class ferry, is nearby.  I remember watching the Chicamacomico carrying a truck containing hazardous materials across by itself in 1996.  I could only assume that the hazmat designation required that the truck travel solo.

Berthing at Ocracoke.  The Chicamacomico, another Hatteras-class ferry, is nearby.  I remember watching the Chicamacomico carrying a truck containing hazardous materials across by itself in 1996.  I could only assume that the hazmat designation required that the truck travel solo.


Arriving on Ocracoke, Elyse commented that she thought that the road looked a lot like southern California, with all of the dunes and such.  I’m not sure if I agree, but take a look for yourself.


Looks like SoCal?

Looks like SoCal?


Arriving in the village of Ocracoke, Elyse noticed the various modes of transportation that people were using.  There were lots of people riding bikes, and lots of people in golf carts.  Elyse wanted to take a golf cart for a spin.

But first, we made an elevator stop at the Anchorage Inn.  Elyse filmed the elevator while I waited in the car.  She then invited me to check it out for myself.  I wanted to see the views from up there, so I took a ride as well.


Elyse’s video of the Anchorage Inn.


Detail of the elevator buttons.

Detail of the elevator buttons.


The view from the top floor.

The view from the top floor.

The view from the top floor.


I also paid close attention to the fire alarm closest to the elevator.  I was quite surprised that the hotel was able to get away with an installation like this.


The fire alarm at the Anchorage Inn.  The fire alarm at the Anchorage Inn.


The horn/strobe was mounted at the normal height, but the pull station was mounted very high – even higher than you would see in older buildings.  But this was a newer​, post-ADA installation, where pull stations are required to be mounted much lower than they used to.  How they got away with this ADA fail, I will never know.

We eventually parked in a public lot at the south end of town and rented a golf cart for two hours.  I figured, why not?  It let Elyse have her fun driving and maybe learn a thing or two about driving, plus I got to photograph everything that I want to photograph from the golf cart while Elyse did the driving.  Our guidelines from the rental place were that golf carts were not allowed to go north past Howard’s Pub (we would get a ticket if we strayed outside the village), we had to follow all of the usual traffic laws, we needed to signal our turns with hand signals, but otherwise, have fun with it.


Elyse takes the golf cart for a spin.

Elyse takes the golf cart for a spin.


First stop was Ocracoke Lighthouse.  Unlike when I went in 2014, this time, the interior of the lighthouse was open, and a National Park Service employee was on site to answer questions.


The base of the stairs inside the lighthouse.

The base of the stairs inside the lighthouse.


100 gallon tank at the base of the stairs.

100 gallon tank at the base of the stairs.


View upward, towards the top of the lighthouse.  View upward, towards the top of the lighthouse.

View upward, towards the top of the lighthouse.


These stairs aren’t original, having replaced the original wall-mounted stairs some time during the 1950s or 1960s.  Visitors aren’t allowed to climb this lighthouse due to the lack of safety features on the stairs, and because you have to crawl through a small tunnel when you get to the top in order to access the lighthouse balcony.


Elyse in the driver's seat of the golf cart, ready to take us to our next stop.

Elyse in the driver’s seat of the golf cart, ready to take us to our next stop.


Riding along Lighthouse Road.

Riding along Lighthouse Road.


From here, we went in search of food.  Oinc’s, where Pete and I had lunch in 2014, was gone (we later learned that it had become part of the Ocracoke Oyster Company), so we ended up going to the Back Porch Lunchbox, which sold sandwiches and hot dogs and such.  Elyse was most taken by the Gatorade’s being sold in cans rather than plastic bottles, which was something new for both of us.


The Back Porch Lunchbox.

The Back Porch Lunchbox.


Canned Gatorade.  I never would have expected Gatorade to come in a can.

Canned Gatorade.  I never would have expected Gatorade to come in a can.


Elyse poses with her can of Gatorade.

Elyse poses with her can of Gatorade.


She ended up getting a hot dog, and I got a turkey sandwich.  Not a bad meal.

We then went down a bunch of little streets in the golf cart, going down to the water tower and back up.


Riding along British Cemetery Road.  The Anchorage Inn is ahead.

Riding along British Cemetery Road.  The Anchorage Inn is ahead.


Riding along Highway 12.

Riding along Highway 12.


Elyse found this shrimp sign, next to the fire department, to be rather amusing.

Elyse found this shrimp sign, next to the fire department, to be rather amusing.


The water tower.  The water tower.

The water tower.


Golf cart selfie.

Golf cart selfie.


I used the selfie camera on my phone to get a photo of Elyse driving the golf cart.  Yes, she's really driving it!

I used the selfie camera on my phone to get a photo of Elyse driving the golf cart.  Yes, she’s really driving it!


"Drive like your kids live here" sign.  I find these signs to be some of the most obnoxious things that you can post along the side of the road.

“Drive like your kids live here” sign.  I find these signs to be some of the most obnoxious things that you can post along the side of the road.


Seeing this scene, I couldn't help but think that this was the setup to a bad joke.  Something about fowl traversing some sort of thoroughfare.  Seeing this scene, I couldn't help but think that this was the setup to a bad joke.  Something about fowl traversing some sort of thoroughfare.

Seeing this scene, I couldn’t help but think that this was the setup to a bad joke.  Something about fowl traversing some sort of thoroughfare.

Seeing this scene, I couldn't help but think that this was the setup to a bad joke.  Something about fowl traversing some sort of thoroughfare.  Seeing this scene, I couldn't help but think that this was the setup to a bad joke.  Something about fowl traversing some sort of thoroughfare.


Ocracoke School.  There's only one school on the whole island, and this is it.

Ocracoke School.  There’s only one school on the whole island, and this is it.


Ocracoke School activity bus.

Ocracoke School activity bus.


We eventually ended up at the Ocracoke Variety Store, back at the east end of town.  There, Elyse was amused by these peaches, which had something coming out of the top end of them.

We eventually ended up at the Ocracoke Variety Store, back at the east end of town.  There, Elyse was amused by these peaches, which had something coming out of the top end of them.


The area where Oinc's used to be, now being used for other purposes.

The area where Oinc’s used to be, now being used for other purposes.


Elyse drives the golf cart.

Elyse drives the golf cart.


We eventually made it back to the parking lot where the car was parked.  There, at my suggestion, Elyse stayed with the car, and I went to return the golf cart.  All in all, we had a fun time with the golf cart, and Elyse got a little bit of “stick time” in as far as learning how to drive went.  She did a pretty good job driving the golf cart, too.  She made a few mistakes, but on the whole, not bad.

Once we were back in the car, we headed out of Ocracoke, going back up toward the ferry.  Arriving at the ferry terminal, we found out that the ferries were experiencing a delay.  We ended up waiting for what felt like forever, and had to sit out two ferries, which came almost back to back, before there was room for us.


While we were waiting, I got photos of a nearby beach area.

While we were waiting, I got photos of a nearby beach area.

While we were waiting, I got photos of a nearby beach area.

While we were waiting, I got photos of a nearby beach area.  While we were waiting, I got photos of a nearby beach area.

While we were waiting, I got photos of a nearby beach area.

While we were waiting, I got photos of a nearby beach area.


The line for the ferry at the Ocracoke terminal.

The line for the ferry at the Ocracoke terminal.

The line for the ferry at the Ocracoke terminal.


"Welcome to Ocracoke Island" sign.

“Welcome to Ocracoke Island” sign.


Meanwhile, while I photographed, Elyse sat in the car, entertaining herself on her phone.

Meanwhile, while I photographed, Elyse sat in the car, entertaining herself on her phone.


I had hoped that we would get a River-class ferry for the return trip, but we ended up getting the Roanoke again for our trip back.  That seems to be how it always works for me, getting the same ferry going out and back.


Life raft in a can.

Life raft in a can.


Same Roanoke, same superstructure, but now heading back towards Hatteras.  Same Roanoke, same superstructure, but now heading back towards Hatteras.

Same Roanoke, same superstructure, but now heading back towards Hatteras.


Buoys and such in the water.  Buoys and such in the water.

Buoys and such in the water.

Buoys and such in the water.  Buoys and such in the water.


The Frisco passes us, heading towards Ocracoke.  The Frisco passes us, heading towards Ocracoke.

The Frisco passes us, heading towards Ocracoke.

The Frisco passes us, heading towards Ocracoke.  The Frisco passes us, heading towards Ocracoke.


The Croatoan passes us, also heading for Ocracoke.  The Croatoan passes us, also heading for Ocracoke.

The Croatoan passes us, also heading for Ocracoke.


The Hatteras passes us, sailing mostly empty towards Ocracoke.  The Hatteras passes us, sailing mostly empty towards Ocracoke.

The Hatteras passes us, sailing mostly empty towards Ocracoke.


Our wake.

Our wake.


A sea gull flies overhead.

A sea gull flies overhead.


Elyse is all smiles on the ferry.

Elyse is all smiles on the ferry.


Getting off of the ferry, we made tracks back towards Buxton.  On the way back, we stopped at Durant Station Condominiums in order for Elyse to film the elevator.


The elevator at Durant Station Condominiums.


We then continued along, stopping to photograph a strange political sign that we spotted on the side of the road in Frisco.  I suppose that it’s proof that wingnuts can be found everywhere, even in more touristy areas.


Okay, then.  Clearly, someone couldn't move on once the election ended.

Okay, then.  Clearly, someone couldn’t move on once the election ended.


We also spotted a Futuro house in Frisco, but owing to the low light conditions plus rain, we didn’t stop.  Something for next time, I suppose.

We had dinner at Angelo’s Pizza, which was a few doors down from where we were staying.  I went to this restaurant in 2014 with Pete, and so I knew that they were good, plus they had an arcade with a number of vintage games in the back.  We then went to Super Wings to get that dolphin plush, which she named “Pedrick Squeakfish”, and then to the convenience store next door to our hotel to get some ice cream.  All in all, not a bad day.


Penny jar at Super Wings, which I spotted while we were buying that dolphin plush for Elyse.  I found that "Find a job!" part to be a bit obnoxious.  Clearly, people don't think before they put notes like this on public display.  It reminded me of that similarly obnoxious box sign from Virginia Beach.

Penny jar at Super Wings, which I spotted while we were buying that dolphin plush for Elyse.  I found that “Find a job!” part to be a bit obnoxious.  Clearly, people don’t think before they put notes like this on public display.  It reminded me of that similarly obnoxious box sign from Virginia Beach.

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Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3

Part 2