22 May 2010

Another island that time has left behind... Portsmouth Island

If you've been reading along, you know how much I love the rustic-ness of Ocracoke and the fact that time feels almost suspended when I'm there.

But, just off the shores of Ocracoke lies another small island. And this one, time has truly left behind.

Reachable by boat ferry, Portsmouth Island is virtually uninhabited (um, that is by humans - mosquitos have found a haven here!). While at its hay-day, Portsmouth Island was a bustling community with a general store, homes, church and life-saving station, by the early 1970's it had been completely abandoned as its last residents left for other destinations.

Today, the village is on the National Register of Historic Places and part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and can be toured.

We had the adventure of touring Portsmouth Island a number of years ago, and may consider traveling back to show the kids this year...

Before I can get back there though... I'd like to share a photo tour with you - from our first trip.

Off in the distance, the village of Portsmouth stands. The easy walk down the dirt road is obstructed only by mosquitos...



At one time - as with all small villages, the General Store was a hub of activity and a community gathering places. Anything you could need or want was found here. Or, you'd have to head for a very long trip to the mainland!


Another hub of community activity- the Village Church.


And a home...


Throughout the islands of the Outer Banks stand century old trees. Trees molded by the sea winds into beautiful forms...


A view that is also hundreds of years old: From atop the Lifesaving Station of Portsmouth Island. Today, you can stand where men before you watch the treacherous waters for signs of trouble - men who risked their lives and lived in isolation in order to help those in need.


After a fun (read that how you will ;) ), hike through the marshlands.. you'll emerge on Portsmouth's virtually untouched beaches. Not even a footprint in the sand...


Just beautiful wind-swept sand, driftwood, and marsh grass.. And shells - if you love shelling, you must visit THIS beach!


And, at the end of our day, just our marks were left on the sand. The same footprints that that many before had left... that the sea would erase...

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