Fleeton Year of Adventure travel blog

Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse (replica) at Manteo

We saw magnolias, honeysuckles, azaleos still in bloom

Roanoke was famous as one end of the Underground Railway during the...

The earthworks of Fort Raleigh on Roanoke Island - site of the...

Replica of Sir Walter Raleigh's ship the Elizabeth

Bodie Island Lighthouse - rebuilt 1872 after the old one was blown...

You go over miles of causeways and bridges in the Outer Banks...

We're starting to see more reminders about the Civil War now.

We're also learning lots about German U-boat activity off the US coast...

The most beautiful, and the tallest in the US, is the Cape...

Detail at the top.


After finishing up the sights at the Wright museums at Kitty Hawk, we headed south and on to the smaller, inside island of Roanoke. It was famous for many things - in the 1800s it was the site of battles in the Civil War, and when won over to the Union side became a major destination for freed and escaped slaves, who built up a community there (until all the white folks came home from fighting, anyway). Earlier, Roanoke was famous because it was the original destination of Sir Walter Raleigh's ships which were sent to form colonies, the most successful of which was Jamestown. At Roanoke several attempts were made, until finally it became the home of the "Lost Colony", which vanished with no traces between visits from England. All that is left now are the earthworks of the original fort from the first visit, and a large study centre, with research still continuing. Roanoke's biggest town is Manteo, which does feature a rebuilt shallows-type lighthouse, and some Elizabethan-type activities including a replica of one of Raleigh's ships. After Roanoke we went back to the Outer Banks (Bodie Island at that point)and went to the Bodie Island lighthouse. It is not open for climbers, and indeed on the windy, not-to-warm day we were there, there was a wedding taking place on the lighthouse steps. The bride looked cold. It was Saturday - we saw other weddings taking place on the very windy beach, including one with the bride posing with her horse (couldn't see a groom anywhere!) We were out on the beach trying to find old shipwrecks which were supposed to be visible, but no luck. The "Graveyard of the Atlantic" museum was shut for the winter, so we couldn't even see it. However, along the way we were starting to see more historic markers about battles, both the Civil War, and also about German U-boat troubles during the first and second World Wars. Our last "sight" for the day was the magnificent Cape Hatteras lighthouse, which was moved to it's present site 10 years ago, after the old site was almost engulfed by the sea. (My photo doesn't do it justice, since it was a cloudy, dark afternoon by then.) It too was closed for climbers, but we did wait around until dusk to see it's light come on. All the lighthouses have small National Parks museums attached to them, with details about the buildings, ship-wreck stories and wreckage, and in this case, even pieces of a German U-boat sunk off-shore. After darkness had come, we drove down to the south end of Hatteras Island and caught the little free ferry over to the next island, Ocracoke, and found their campsite for the night.



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