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My sister and her family live in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  Each summer, they spend a week on the Outer Banks.  This year they invited me along.  We stayed on Bald Head Island, the southernmost point of the Outer Banks, off Cape Fear.  It’s a beautiful and quiet spot, and rather secluded, relying upon a ferry for connection to the mainland.  British troops built a fort here during the American Revolution, and a second fort was manned by Confederate soldiers during the Civil War.  There’s a famous old lighthouse—called “Old Baldy”—built in 1817.  There are a few hundred houses, a post office and some small shops, a large wetlands preserve, and miles of open beach.  We slept late, swam a lot, read many books, and played poker at night.  Here are some pictures.

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The island is full of massive live oaks, wreathed in Spanish moss.

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Old Baldy stands ninety feet high. There are 108 steps to the top, which I climbed for a five-dollar fee. The hexagonal walls are built of brick and plaster and braced inside by beams of yellow pine.

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Another view of the beautiful weather-beaten structure. The lighthouse beacon was used until 1930, and it was used to broadcast a radio signal until 1958.

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We used chicken legs as bait to catch crabs. This was the only keeper.

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A small chapel near the town center.

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The view from the home we rented, overlooking a tidal salt marsh.

 

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The decaying wall of the lighthouse.

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