July 23, 2013

Ocracoke Light Station

FIRST OF TWO. I really wanted to see the Ocracoke Light Station while we were vacationing.
Little did I know that it's closed to the public, so no climbing to the top for me, but Bryan and I still decided to pay the structure a visit. I mean, it's not like it was far away or anything, and we didn't have anything else to do either.

It's actually a pretty cool lighthouse. It was built in 1823, which makes it the second oldest lighthouse in the country still in use. It replaced the Shellcastle Rock lighthouse that was built in 1793; it was often defenseless against Mother Nature, so it was frequently inoperative when it was needed most - during storms, tides, and winds. So the Ocracoke Light Station was built in its place. The light, itself, is 75 feet above sea level and can be seen for 14 miles in all directions. The light has also been fueled on whale oil, porpoise oil, and kerosene, but currently it's electric. If you scroll towards the bottom of this post, you'll see a house with a reddish-colored roof next to the lighthouse. It used to house the lighthouse keeper and his family, but today it's a private residence.

Not being able to climb to the top of the lighthouse and see the view was kinda a bummer, but I'm still glad we went to visit. It may have been overcast, but it made for a cooler day, which was a relief. And the best part of all - no crowds! I guess being closed keeps the lighthouse from being a big tourist trap, but I appreciated it. We were better able to see it in its true beauty.


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