We were Top Dogs at Frisco Campground on Hatteras Island, between Bodie Island and Ocracoke Island. Frisco Campground had 50% occupancy rate yet we still scored the best campsite. We were on top of a ridge with views east and south all the way to the ocean. Great breezes blew through our site, keeping bugs and heat away.
Oregon Inlet Campground was nice. Frisco Campground is gorgeous! Very hilly, in a sand dunes kind of way, Frisco offers all kinds of camping spaces. We saw spaces with full shade and total privacy, spaces stuck on hillside, and ones like ours in full sun.
Walking in Frisco Campground is really good — varied terrain and lots of turns in the road keeps the walk interesting. The hills are good for our legs and lungs. We walked to the beach a couple of times, not a long hike and downhill all the way from our site.
The best thing about our site was sitting out at sunrise looking over the entire campus. No bugs, nice temperatures, fine breezes, and great views. The only downside is minor — we couldn’t hear the surf noise.
I skipped an important day — moving our Airstream house from Oregon Inlet Campground to Frisco Campground. We stopped at Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge and at Chicamacomico U.S. Life Saving Station Museum, then Austin’s Seafood in Rodanthe before heading into Frisco.
Pea Island NWR is a nice stop with maybe 18 parking places but with no RV parking. We parked on the highway right of way, apparently okay. We found nice porches, spotting scopes for viewing migratory birds, nice displays, and a great gift shop. A walkway across the highway takes one through the dunes to the beach, too.
The U.S. Lifesaving Station Museum was really cool. How did this 1874 building survive all those storms? Against all odds, it seems to us. So many hurricanes, so much destruction and relocation of man-made assets over many years, yet this almost 140 year-old coastal life saving station is in great condition. Its survival depended too upon withstanding relocations by storms and by crews.
We’d worked up a healthy appetite for fresh steamed seafood and, based upon a recommendation from Andy Thomson, we tried Austin’s Seafood in Rodanthe. No seating, your choice of steamed or fried, and ready in only ten minutes. This was perfect for us. We carried our bagful of shrimp, crab legs and two ears of corn to Frisco Campground where we feasted on our hot very fresh steamed seafood. Wow, thanks Andy!
While at Frisco we spent a day sightseeing. Climbing the 257 steps to the top of nearby Cape Hatteras lighthouse is best done in the cool of the morning. It was 80 degrees by the time we got there, a little cooler than our expected high temps. The climb was easy and quick and so worthwhile. Winds were around 25mph at the top, well higher than at ground, and we could see forever from the observation deck. Crowds were light so we were able to spend awhile enjoying the view.
Next we drove down to Hatteras Village which was a bit of a disappointment. Almost nothing vintage there, perhaps attributable to wipe-outs by hurricanes time after time. A museum, Graveyard of the Atlantic, provided a literally chilling experience. It couldn’t have been over 65 degrees in there. Brrrrr.
The museum has some nice displays. We came away, though, shaking our heads at the absence of any coherent thread throughout the exhibits. There were six or eight separate displays in the big hall, including a ghost ship (it ran aground under full sail and the responders found not a single person, dead or alive, aboard), to the Civil War, to a two-wall display of one, two, and three stage SCUBA regulators, the history of sport fishing in Hatteras, and the Titanic.
The display on the regulators didn’t address their significance in wreck-diving or how advances in design and technology changed diving. Sort of the same throughout the exhibit hall — nice displays with a few really interesting information boards, but the curating didn’t do anything for us.
We were going to comment about the Titanic exhibit in particular but the person at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum’s information desk was pointedly NOT addressing visitors — she seemed thoroughly engrossed in her paperback. Bound to improve, if they have an alternate means of receiving feedback.
Our last touring stop in Hatteras Village was the US Weather Bureau Station. This was built in 1901 and served until 1946 as a Weather Bureau Station with lookouts and manual recording of hourly weather observations. Their website claims this is the only station of its kind that remains in its original state.
The building served various purposes after decommissioning in 1946, and was restored in 2005 to its original appearance. The building now houses the Visitors Bureau and several rooms with displays about service as a Weather Bureau Station. We enjoyed the displays and seeing the excellent condition of this old building.
The Visitor Bureau folks were very nice and helpful discussing our trip’s next legs, from Hatteras Island to Ocracoke Island and then to Cedar Island. That’s another story for another day. Until then,
See you down the road!
Jim and Debbie