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3.17.2015

Portsmouth Island, Outerbanks | Vacationing



A while ago while cleaning up one of the guest rooms, I came across my old digital camera.  That had an old memory card in it.  That still had pictures of our first vacation together.  I loaded them up on the computer and immediately realized how far cameras and technology have come in 4 1/2 short years.  I do believe my iPhone 6 has better quality pictures!

We decided that we would camp on a deserted barrier island south of Ocracoke, NC.  It is part of the Cape Lookout / Cape Hatteras National Seashore.  At the tip of the island, there is the abandoned village of Portsmouth, NC.  The buildings are still maintained, and the area that is apart of the village is quite large.


Our plan was to stay for a week and explore.  Camp.  In a tent.  Sit on the beach with Hunter (who was 2 at the time) and puppy Diesel.  We had researched.  We bought gear. You can see that budget vacationing has been our thing for quite some time.  This was the extreme in that our showers were to consist of using a camp shower that you have to hang above you in order to work!  I had cut off most of my long hair at that point as well, purely to make it easier to wash during this excursion!  We were excited.


Then, we got there.  Apparently there are these things called green head flies.  They sting when they bite.  But, the sting/bite/welt doesn't last long.  However, they were BRUTAL and none of the fly spray we bought touched them.  After the first night, we had to make a decision.  We (and the dogs) were miserable after less than 24 hours.  Scott ran back to where the ferry dropped us, as it's the only place to get any kind of cell signal.  He called the company that runs the ferry.  We had two options.  Leave that day- last ferry was at like 1pm.  Or wait two more full days.  We bailed.  The deciding factor was the mass amount of beached jelly fish we found while walking the beach in the morning.  Somehow we managed to not step on any, neither did the puppies.


The neatest thing was looking down the beach in either direction and seeing no one.  The only human life we saw the entire time was the National Park Ranger on his four wheeler.   I think some of them actually live in the houses in the village during the summer.


I did get to explore the village a little bit before heading out, though. There was a lot more to see further in. We talk about leaving the bears with family and taking off to Ocracoke to stay in a beach house.  There is a ferry that runs between Ocracoke and Portsmouth Island that we could take to get back there for the day.




We wound up driving inland a little bit and staying at a campground in North Carolina.  That was after a night at a hotel.  Which was also the point when we started to figure out that the boys prefer me to Scott.  The room had 2 queen beds.  Diesel was going through a phase in his puppyhood that he would whine incessantly when I was out of sight.  He still kind of does, when he gets scared / nervous.  When I went to bed, it was me and the pup in the bed.  When I woke up it was me and the boys in the bed, and Scott sprawled out on his own bed.  Still the case 5 years later, except for I don't get the luxury of my own bed.

We still count this vacation as a success- mostly because we were able to be on a deserted island and be miserable and not kill each other.  The second part was more enjoyable when we were staying at the campground.  I still have to go through those pictures and see what we got, but stay tuned!

Linking up with Green Fashionista / Chesire Cat / Martinis & Bikinis,  Live Randomly Simple, Oak & OatsA Compass Rose, and All Kinds of Things

24 comments:

  1. That sucks about the flies and the jellyfish!!! It looks like you got some beautiful pictures of the island regardless. And a fun story to tell now! Camping is so not my thing, but if I had to do it...I would want it to be at a beach :)

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  2. Biana Perez10:16:00 AM

    That sunset picture is just gorgeous!! I've heard so many people talk about how amazing the outer banks are and now I see it!! xo, Biana - BlovedBoston

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  3. Oh that looks and sounded so dreamy... until the flies came into the picture! What little beasts! Those sound AWFUL! But I love that you guys made the most of your vacation time and yes, total SCORE on not killing each other ;)

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  4. I don't know if we could camp like that now. The biggest problem was sand EVERYWHERE. We'd let the dogs play in the ocean, and then walk back, and they'd lay in the sand and dry off... then get in the tent... There was just no way around it!

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  5. I'd pick the Outerbanks over Myrtle Beach and most other areas! There are a lot less tourists in the area (I think, anyway) so it's easier to... enjoy! Also, a lot of the small towns (like Ocracoke) don't have large hotels- they mostly have beach houses to rent.

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  6. Haha that's what I figure! PLUS I scored points for going along with it to begin with! :)

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  7. The photos are gorgeous, but the flies sound miserable! Glad you were able to save your vacation & get away from them!

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  8. Apparently through all our research, we missed the memo about the flies- we were there during the middle of their month long (I think) breeding season, so they were worse than what they would be normally. If we go back, it'd be like September!

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  9. It was an experience, for sure!!

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  10. Camping on the beach looks wonderful! I'm hoping in the next couple years we will be able to do more camping with Juliet. Love some of those little beach houses you discovered, they are adorable!

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  11. Carrie Williams10:35:00 PM

    The OBX is one of my favorite places to visit especially since I live just up the road in Va Beach. I usually visit Frisco Woods camp ground but I an interested in checking out Bear Den. What a beautiful sunset!

    Carrie
    www.ahouse2myhome.com

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  12. I have a really strong fondness for islands....though not for camping! That's too bad about the flies and the jellyfish, I think you guys made a good choice to go back instead of putting yourself through more torture.

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  13. I'm not sure I could do tent camping anymore- especially more than a night or two! And, I'm not sure how it would go with little ones, either!

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  14. It was always the more popular option in Tennessee, as well. Now that I live in Florida, I'm partial to the Gulf, though!

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  15. Yeah it was really the only choice lol! If we could have gone back the next day, we would've stayed another night. But we weren't sure we could do two more full days! Islands/ beaches always put me at peace, but I love the mountains, too!

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  16. Jordyn Brown10:51:00 AM

    This sounds like the coolest vacation...minus the scary flies part. The photos you got were gorgeous, I would definitely love to explore somewhere like that :)

    xoxo, SS

    The
    Southern Stylista

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  17. I would love to go back again; we talk about it every year! But then we get caught up on exploring somewhere new! I think staying in Ocracoke would be the way to go!!

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  18. Christie8:14:00 AM

    I know first hand how bad those flies can bite! My grandmother and great-grandmother lived on Portsmouth Island, so I've made the visit there to see what their lives were like on that little island. I had to run through a swarm of those bugs...it was crazy! I'm not letting my husband read this post, though, because he's never been and I want to visit again. It's worth it to me to see the pictures of my family on display in the school house and places. However, I do not plan on camping there. You are very brave to attempt that!

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  19. That's soooo neat that your grandmothers live there! The flies are indeed, horrendous- they were chasing us in the Jeep! I wouldn't let the flies deter from visiting- it would also be VERY different going for the day than it would be trying to camp, even over night! It's an absolutely gorgeous place though. I wish when we were there, the buildings are open! The church was, but the visitors center was not!

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  20. Kerri Taylor11:11:00 AM

    look at that view with no one around! just spectacular! and yay for not killing each other hehe. thanks for linking up!


    cheshirekatblog.com

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  21. Hahaha every day it is a battle! :) It's crazy to me that these places still exist so close to home!

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  22. Gorgeous pictures! I've always wanted to check out the outer banks, and now I think you've just sold me :-D

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  23. I love it! The Outerbanks has such a different vibe than Florida beaches. I'd love to go back with out puppies and check out the village again!

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