Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Ocracoke to Buxton

Woke up when we did today – no schedule and our distance to travel was not far.  This is really a nice cottage.  I was impressed with the new furnishings and paint but realized when I took a shower they had really thick towels and high end shampoo and soaps.  So old time look with high end small things!  I would definitely stay here again. 

We drove a short way to the Pony Restaurant – in reading back we had eaten breakfast here I 1998 – easy as the distance was only a block or two and it had good ratings.  We ordered French toast and ham and split the order – just the right amount.  Coffee was great and the food was good. 

We headed north at about 10:00 with a stop at the Pony Pen and a walk over to the ocean.  Not sure how many ponies but they were enjoying their breakfast.  The National Park Service provides food and a vet when needed but otherwise the ponies live pretty much on their own in a large fenced area.  The morning was very cloudy with lots more wind than yesterday but things are expected to clear later in the day. Very few people out and about.  We saw one person at the Pony Pens and no traffic at all. 

Pony Pens

No one in either direction

When we got to the end of the island we pulled up in line for the ferry and loaded within about 10 minutes.  The ferry here is much smaller – about 20-30 cars or trucks.  The crossing was about an hour.  Still very cloudy, windy and there were some small swells, unlike yesterday which was very smooth.  We experienced a few rock and rolls but it was not uncomfortable.  We passed two ferries in the channel as we crossed.  It was obvious they had to dredge a channel for the ferry travel and you could see the red and green bouys along the channel.  Most of the way we were within sight of land.
Our Ferry to Hatteras

Driving on the Ferry

Interesting when we drove off the ferry we were right in the town of Hatteras.  Ben wanted to drive as far south as you could go on the island before we headed north – not far – to a museum of the Wrecks of the Atlantic which was a strange looking building.  We did not go inside.  The huge houses were built right on the ocean and we could not help but wonder how they fared in the hurricanes.

Monster Houses on Hatteras as we exit ferry

We looked around in Hatteras Village for a bit and then headed north to Buxton where the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is located and where we would spend the night.  Keeping an eye out for our motel and for a place for lunch along the way; we headed first for the Lighthouse.  We discovered with reading the past blogs we had come back for a short visit in 2005 spending several nights in Nags Head and coming south to Buxton to see the recently moved lighthouse.  This was a “recovery vacation” after Jane had worked a month – 6 weeks after the Hurricane Katrina response of the Red Cross.  It was funny reading the blog because about all Jane did was sleep!

At the lighthouse we enjoyed seeing and photographing the lighthouse, looking for the old cape, and the old campground.  Ben was delighted to find a denim shirt that was “perfect”!  The sun has come out and it is a pleasant day – still windy but very pleasant. 

Hatteras Light in Buxton

Back in Buxton we settled on Diamond Shoals Restaurant for lunch – had soup – Jane Basil, Tomato, Crab Bisque and Ben Clam Chowder.  Both were super excellent.  We shared an order of large shrimp in a rice coating to dip in sweet chili sauce….again super excellent…. Really nice lunch and not heavy at all. 

Tomato Basil Crab Bisque

Shrimp with Sweet Chili Sauce

Our lodging – Cape Hatteras Motel is right on the old cape.  It is RIGHT on the ocean – Ben asked them isn’t this about where the hurricane cut through the island – they said yes, the road and a lot of the beach was totally washed away and had to be restored and the road rebuilt. I remember the road was out and the Red Cross provided food for several days or weeks - don't recall how they got it there. It was during Hurricane Sandy in 2012 . Our room is
on the lowest floor but we still had to climb about 10 steps to reach the rooms.  We are probably 30 feet from the surf and with all this wind there is very heavy surf as you can see in the photos.  Nice deck outside the rooms with rocking chairs – I thought how wonderful I can sit and watch Ben fly his kite….nice thought but the wind blows the sand and it bites into your face so you don’t sit there long!  Enjoyable for a short time but not extended or restful. Ben opted not to fly his kite saying the beach was so narrow here he would hit the buildings or fall into the rough sea!  He made a wise choice!  There is always tomorrow. A photo indicates how close to the water we are now.
Taken from floor above us

Ben hiked down along the beach but said there was about a 4 foot drop down to the surf most places.  Makes you wonder how long the motel is for this world!!  Interesting – the place is FOR SALE.  Don’t think I would want to buy it but it is a lovely place to stay for a week – day or whatever time you have to enjoy the beach.

There were a lot of people in Ocracoke yesterday but things here in Buxton seem slow. Most places look like they are in the midst of the spring clean-up to ready for the summer crowds.  I believe they were hit with one of the hurricanes last fall so imagine they are just now getting some things back in shape.

We did some restaurant research and almost went back to Diamond Shoals for dinner but chose Captain’s Table instead.  It was good as well – Jane had NC Shrimp and Ben had blue fish.  We were able to get Senior Portions again which was more than adequate for about ½ the cost of most dinners.   I forgot to take any photos but fish and shrimp are fish and shrimp.  Hush Puppy report – a bit too much flour for both of us – I still think Sanitary #1 but Ben says Ocracoke Oysters #1. 


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