Field Trip Friday: Ocracoke, NC

Things are slowly getting back to normal after the loss of our sweet Emmy.  And one of the things I had in the works before all of that was this idea of sharing some of my yarny adventures with y’all. 🙂  So every once in a while I’ll pop in an extra post on Fridays featuring some of the most fun places I’ve crocheted/knit in, or even some visits to independent yarn stores.

To start off, I’ll refer you back to my post in which I crocheted on the Bahamian beaches of Disney’s Castaway Cay!  And now I’ll tell you all about one of my favorite places, Ocracoke, North Carolina.

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View from our room.

I’ve lived in North Carolina all my life (32 years at the time of this writing), but didn’t truly experience Ocracoke until two years ago in the spring of 2014.  I suppose that’s because we tend to visit beaches and places that are a little more… well… accessible.  There are two ways to reach Ocracoke: by ferry or by small plane.  My family once took a summer vacation in which we visited the lighthouses of the Outer Banks, (with the exception of Cape Lookout).  To be honest, we didn’t really even visit the Ocracoke lighthouse.  We were traveling up the coast, and we crossed by either the Swan Quarter or Cedar Island ferry after dark.  To date, that is still one of my favorite memories from my childhood – the ferry, at night, under a full moon, with no land in sight.  We could see the light from Ocracoke’s lighthouse, but it was too dark to see much else, and we had to make the ferry at the other end of the island before midnight so that we could get to our hotel near Hatteras.

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Fast forward to more recent years, and my mom and my sister and I have instituted a new tradition of going to the beach for a girls’ weekend every spring during the beach “off season.”  For a few years, we were attending the Coastal Women’s Conference at Fort Caswell in February.  But February is so cold, especially at the windy beach!  So we moved our weekend to mid-late March.  Things at the beach don’t tend to truly start up until April, so sometimes it’s good because there are less people, but sometimes it’s bad because everything isn’t open yet.  Fortunately for us, the places we enjoy most are the natural places that don’t really have “seasons.”  Ocracoke is rich in these places, with undeveloped beaches and walking trails such as Springer’s Point Nature Preserve and Hammock Hills Nature Trail.

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Beautiful undeveloped beaches

Of course, everywhere I go, I like to locate the nearest independent yarn shop to visit.  Coming up soon, as I get back into the swing of things, I’ll try to share about two shops near Ocracoke that we visited this year.  One of the two is a place that we visit absolutely every time we visit the island.  The other is one we’ve been trying to visit each year, but weren’t able to until this year.  But I’m getting ahead of myself. 🙂  We always stay at the Ocracoke Harbor Inn when we visit the island, which provides a fantastic view from our room, and a great little hangout spot by the water.  One of my most favorite things to do on vacation is relax, and my favorite way to do that in Ocracoke is to perch myself in an Adirondack chair by the harbor and crochet while soaking up the sun and enjoying the salty breeze.

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Now you can see why I need to sit in the sun for a while! I’m SO pale!

It seems that there’s never enough time when it comes to Ocracoke.  We arrived on Thursday evening, had a beautiful day Friday (when we walked the Hammock Hills trail and crocheted by the water), and a drizzly-cloudy day Saturday that we spent visiting Hatteras.  We rushed to pack up on Sunday morning to make sure we caught the ferry before it gets too late in the day.  According to Google, the drive between Ocracoke and Timberlake, including ferry time, should take about 6 hours.  It always takes us longer than that since we stop for lunch, and the lengthy travel time sometimes makes us consider skipping Ocracoke, but once we arrive it’s always worth it.

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