Paul and I have wanted to explore North Carolina (especially the Outer Banks) for years; how wondrous to finally be here.
Manteo boasts no “box stores” and no hard liquor. At first, I was a bit disappointed when I could not order my signature Bloody Mary at Poor Richard’s, but the deli sandwich made up for it. Didn’t miss those golden arches, that’s for certain.
We sat next to a park ranger named Tim at the bar, and thanks to him we ended up spending the next morning at Bodie Island Light Station #380.
Tim had told us about John Gaskill and we were both eager to meet him and pick up a copy of his book, John Gaskill Remembers. Mr. Gaskill is the son of the last lighthouse keeper on Bodie Island and can be found signing books and answering questions at Bodie Island Visitor Center, which is located in the home he grew up in. This man is fascinating as well as delightful. Hard to believe he is ninety-four! Can’t wait to dig in to his book.
Tim told us all about John Gaskill, but didn’t mention that he himself would be leading a guided tour that day as well. He had recently transferred to Cape Hatteras, so I was pretty impressed at how much Tim knew about the local flora, fauna, etc. etc. Tim, thank you so much – you are great at what you do!
My dinky camera does not do the marsh justice (camera is on the Christmas List : ) I tried to get a decent shot of the blue crabs skittering sideways through the water but no such luck. Believe me when I say this place is beautiful.
Bodie Island Lighthouse is in the process of being preserved; if you love lighthouses, you will want to see what this one looks like normally, and find out more about it here.
We met a volunteer couple (Latta and Janice Johnson) while on our marsh walk who just happen to be from Chattanooga, Tennessee. This is so exciting to me, why? Because as of November, we will be on a six month sit just outside of Chattanooga! We are hoping to catch a fall cruise on their river boat, The Southern Belle before it docks for the winter.
Meanwhile, back in the town of Manteo…did I show you the view from our digs at The Roanoke? This is basically what you see from the porch…
And a bit further down the boardwalk and you find yourself across from this beauty…
As per usual, we found ourselves a great indie bookstore, Manteo Booksellers. I came across a Leonard Cohen book I’d never seen before, Beautiful Losers written in 1966. Mr. Cohen, I love your songwriting, your songs, and the artists you collaborate with. I have for decades now. But what is up with this book? Yikes…Right. My point is that this particular bookseller certainly knew his/her stuff – a truly unique selection.
It is hard to get a feel for a place when you are spending only a night or two. I did feel very at peace here and would recommend it more as a romantic spot for couples (or a calming place to find oneself, or an educational spot for those who cherish marine life) than a place you would go to party. For that, you might go to, say, Okracoke. Which just happens to be our next stop.