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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Outerbanks - Day 2

The morning of day two seemed to come so quickly. The kids slept well all night while I awoke at times to the roar of the ocean and the pounding of periodic rain storms.  The wind would make a ripping sound through the side of our tent making us wonder how long it would hold up.  Although it was hard to climb out of bed in the morning, the peace and calm of the ocean made it worth getting up.

For Day 2 we had planned to explore the beaches at the lighthouse and hopefully climb to the top.  I started the day with bacon and pancakes for my little man and much to my delight, he ate pretty good.  Unfortunately that was really the end of eating good for the day.  We immediately headed to the lighthouse planning to make a day of it.  When we arrived, we found a path to walk before arriving to a little gift shop that opens when the ferry arrives.  At this point in the early morning, the sun was hot and I hoping this shop would open soon.  Once it did, we found some relief from the air conditioned store whose only refreshments were water. Very cold water!

We headed to the beach and Brayden immediately jumped in the still water.  After dealing with large waves since our arrival, we were pleasantly surprised to find that the other side of the beach had calm waters with essentially no waves.  We came across this little fellow in his shell and the kids enjoyed playing with him a bit before returning him to the waters.

We enjoyed this beach and finally felt like we were relaxing for quite awhile that morning.  Unfortunately our visit here was cut short, literally.  Ellie somehow managed to step on two seashells at the same time which created a vertical cut down her foot.  Since our emergency kit was at camp, we had to abort our lighthouse visit and head back.

We tried and tried that late morning to clean her foot and keep it covered but if you've ever wore shoes in the sand, you'll know what I mean when I say it was impossible. We wrapped it in gauze and tape, put socks and shoes on her only for her to tell me there was sand in her socks.  This was her playground and there was no keeping her out of it.

Lunchtime came and went and Brayden was not able to eat much at all.  Around early afternoon it occurred to me that I never saw him use the bathroom.  I asked and sure enough he had not gone all day and had no urge to.  He was also incredibly lethargic.  We forced water into him but he had no desire to drink.  It was around this time that we decided we needed to head to land.  This was not an easy decision.

I will admit that we were quite miserable at this point.  I would make someone something to eat only for them to tell me there was sand in their food. Our tent was caving in and we didn't know if it would make it another night.  We were hit again by more rain which would send us on a frenzy to cover everything up.  Below is a picture of our tent from the daytime wind.

Making the decision to leave the island was very humbling.  We both had to suck up our pride and admit that  our plans had failed.  Teagan was thriving here but the other two were just not doing well.  Ellie whined constantly about the foot pain.  Brayden was so tired that we were certain heat exhaustion was setting in.  We were both exhausted from the constant battle of the winds and rain.  We called the ferry that afternoon to see when our next opportunity was to leave.  Given that we were leaving 4 days early we feared the worse but were lucky enough to snag a spot on Tuesday's 10 am ferry.  Until that time, we planned to make the best of it.

Our first stop was to a little pier on the opposite side of the island from our camp.  Although the width of the island is quite narrow, half of it is covered in vegetation making it impossible to get to the other side.  This spot was a rare clearing.  Once we got there we were so surprised at what we found. Hundreds upon hundreds of crabs of all different sizes.

Each crab seemed to have a very long claw.  Some were so big it was as if they dragged it everywhere they walked.  We also found this guy dragging this huge shell.  The shell looked beautiful but it was his home so it stayed.

After the pier, Brayden was begging to go back to the lighthouse. He was beyond upset that we were leaving the next day so we decided to indulge his request.  Rather than go through the hassle of making dinner (and believe me, it was a hassle), we packed sandwiches in a cooler for a picnic dinner.  It was at this point that I gave up my paleo ways for convenience.  I don't eat bread or wheat typically but at this point exhaustion got the best of me and well, I'm human.  So back to the lighthouse we went, with Ellie all bandaged up again.

We had a pleasant evening of chasing seagulls, watching sheepshead fish (also known as convict fish) off the pier and looking for salamanders. Brayden explored the waters, at least until he saw how big the sheepshead fish were by the pier.

Interestingly, the teeth of these fish resemble that of humans giving them significant crushing power. Pretty scary huh?

But they can be pretty too...

Before leaving the lighthouse, we spotted one more thing of interest.

The horses of Shackleford Banks (our original destination you may recall).  Even though we see horses every day in Lexington, there was something intriguing about wild horses roaming on an island.

We left the lighthouse just in time to roast more smores.  This was a very brief roasting as the wind was really picking up.

This time Ellie joined us for the ghost crab hunting.  We found several interesting ones.

This late night venture ended quickly though after one scurried across Teagan's foot.  The poor child was terrified.  We then started to see them everywhere!  Big crabs, little crabs crawling out of holes.  Not just near the water as they had the previous night but right on our site.  It was very hard to convince three little ones to take a final restroom break with crabs crawling everywhere.

We were lucky that none of them crawled up through our little potty.  I don't think our kids would have recovered from that one!

Reflecting at the end of Day 2 was tough as we second guessed our decision to leave. We had so many adventures that day but the night proved that we made the right choice.  At least we ended our last night with this beautiful sunset.


So where did we go next?  Did we head home or out for another adventure?  Stay tuned to find out!

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