Where we live we are a skip and a jump from many wonderful locations on North Carolina’s barrier islands. These destinations offer so much to see in regard to our state’s history, and the natural beauty that exists therein.
On a recent Saturday, we made our destination the Cape Lookout National Seashore, barely one-half hour from our Beaufort, North Carolina home. A short ferry ride from the quaint little town of Harkers Island is all it takes to get to the lighthouse. The passenger ferry itself is an enjoyable 15-minute ride to Cape Lookout. There is a certain mystique in traveling towards this historic lighthouse that so many ships dating back hundreds of years have done in the dark of night to reach the shores. The lighthouse is currently closed, so you can only stand next to it and admire its awesome beauty. The whole idea for us was to explore the island and all that nature has to provide there. The lighthouse is more symbolic, is a force guiding you to this beautiful island like it has so many ships throughout history.
We started with some photo opps around the lighthouse before setting out on an all encompassing island hike. The lighthouse keepers, who are the only folks that stay on the island overnight, offered us some interesting facts and figures regarding the lighthouse, along with some good cheer to send us on our way.
Walking these gorgeous beaches was exactly what I (Gerry) needed for this brief getaway, amidst a time period when getaways have been sparse. There’s so much to take in when you’re on the barrier islands. There is the ocean view and the view of Harkers Island across the inlet. There’s an amazing amount of wildlife that is detailed in the many signs that offer a description of them. There are also detours off the beach, down sand covered pathways, that are also accessible to all-terrain vehicles. I feel if you travel by a motorized vehicle, you are really diminishing the experience. This is an occasion best travelled by foot, therefore not blocking out any of the sounds of nature. The whole while the lighthouse looms over you to remind you how to get back to your initial destination.
After our long hike, we spent some time sitting on a deck overlooking the ocean, resting and reflecting on the experience. A few hours on the island was all we needed to fulfill our day! Next, we boarded the ferry to cross back to Harkers Island to complete our day’s journey.