Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Answers... some recent questions:
  • A reader recently asked about renovations and repairs to the lighthouse. I have seen some evidence of work being done at the lighthouse, but was off-island for more than a week, so I'm not up to date about the progress. Apparently the light is still on. I'm guessing the workers will turn it off only when they need to in order to do their work.
  • Another reader asked about the Ocracoke Preservation Society auction. The annual membership meeting is Tuesday, November 10, and the auction will be conducted after the pot luck dinner and meeting. There are just a small number of items to be auctioned, and you can read about them here:
  • One reader asked about bike paths on the island. For the last couple of years we've had a narrow concrete "sidewalk" installed adjacent to the main road through the village, and bikes sometimes use that. However, in the summer months cars and trucks must share our roads with bikes, pedestrians, strollers, skate boards, motorcycles, and eighteen wheelers. As I write, the state of NC is building a wide bike path from the NPS campground to the village. A narrower extension to the road has already been laid down from the campground to the pony pen.
  • One other reader asked about Loop Shack Hill. The hill, the site of the Navy's WWII radar tower, is on NPS property. Take NC Hwy 12 north, out of the village. Go just a short distance past Howard's Pub and a private house at the edge of the village. You will see a hill on the sound side of the road. If I'm not mistaken, there is speed limit sign there, by the road. Walk up the hill and you will find the base of the radar tower, overgrown with cedars. On the other side of the hill are the remnants of the concrete block communications buildings, rusted remains of other towers, etc. Keep two things in mind: 1.) This is NPS property, so please do not disturb artifacts, or remove any property (many of us hope that some day the Park Service will recognize this site as historically important), and 2.) The area is often covered with Prickly Pear Cactus. You have been warned!
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a reprint of an article Philip wrote about sailing aboard the historic two-masted schooner, Mary E. It was originally published in the Washington Post in 1976. You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous8:41 AM


    Thanks for the directions to Loop Shack Hill. It's now the latest new destination spot on my next Ocracoke-vacation to-do list.

    At moments like this I recall the opinion of my cousins who visited Ocracoke years ago and proclaimed "There's nothing to do there."

    They prefer vacation attractions of a more retail-oriented nature.

    What appeals to me about Ocracoke, is a concept expressed by the writer Wallace Stevens in his poem "The Snowman," who describes an observer who "nothing himself, beholds Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is."


  2. Right now, the easiest way to find Loop Shack Hill is to look for the base of the soon to be installed Beach Jumpers memorial that is in place next to Hwy 12 as described by Philip.