2018 Vacation Day 5: Cape Lookout National Seashore

Our rainy-day fears were completely unwarranted!

Well, maybe not completely - it did happen to storm while we were browsing the Visitor's Center, but it quickly passed and we were on our way.

We boarded the ferry and set off toward Shackleford Island.

This island is completely untouched. No electricity, no running water, no bathrooms of any kind, no trash cans. Tent camping permits are accessible to the public, but it's very primitive. And beautiful.

We walked along the beach and saw so many shells and creatures. Our time was limited because we had to be sure to get back to the ferry at a designated time, but we took in as much as we could in two hours.

[caption id="attachment_4376" align="aligncenter" width="200"] Luke[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_4375" align="aligncenter" width="200"] Gabe[/caption]

This island is known for it's wild ponies. No one knows for sure how they arrived on the island, but they have been there since the 17th century. Before we knew it, the ferry had arrived and it was time to move on.

The lighthouse was on the next island. We peeked inside the lighthouse keeper's home where various displays were set up and then we queued up for the lighthouse tour.

[caption id="attachment_4392" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Firewheel growing wild on the island.[/caption]

It was a looooong way up these narrow stairs.

The hatch you have to climb out of at the top.

But the view was worth it!
The beach on this island is world-famous for shelling. Apparently people come from all over the world to collect the ginormous shells that wash up every morning.

I was disappointed to see that there were ANY shells to be found! I guess you really have to get there early.

The boys made the most of it!

The ferry picked us up and took us back to the Visitor's Center. The boys got to take turns driving the ferry.

We scarfed down a picnic lunch and then the boys went inside to turn in their booklets and were awarded with their JR Ranger badges.

We'd made good time so we decided to get a few hours of driving in even though we really didn't need to. The forecast was still calling for rain at each of our future stops, but we decided to take our chances and hope for the best!


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