Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bodie Island Lighthouse

MST – Day 61 – 4-24-11 – North End of Bonner Bridge to ORV #2 – 5 Miles
Today was Easter Sunday, a day that Danny and I had agreed to take off from hiking, but we ended up doing a few miles anyway because…we’re hikers.  And even five miles became an adventure.
First, though, I wanted to attend an Easter service at a local church, and there was only one on the island – Fair Haven United Methodist Church.  Currently I belong to Avondale Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, but I was raised as a Baptist.  Well, the Methodists are right next door to the Baptists in terms of their worship style, so memories came flooding back.  Danny went along too.  She grew up in the Jewish faith so this was quite a different experience for her, I’m sure.  The church was very small but the sanctuary was filled with visiting family and friends for this most important day for Christians.  There was much sharing of joys and concerns of the congregation and the hymns were very familiar.  It was comforting to be sharing the story even though I was away from my home church:  “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.”

After church we changed into hiking gear and drove across the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge (no walking!) to Bodie Island and parked at the first ORV ramp.  I was a little nervous about getting my car out of the sand later (but I did, of course).
We strolled along the roadside, talking about this and that, not paying much attention to our next landmark.  The mosquitoes were especially vicious and I stopped to apply some bug spray.  The nozzle got twisted and I inadvertently sprayed myself right in the eyes. 
Crying tears helps in this kind of situation and even yelling helps a little (Danny didn’t take it personally).  My eyes were burning fiercely and I had to bend over to keep from falling down.  I was afraid that I had done real damage.  Danny was thinking fast on her feet to get water, but the tube from my water bladder is designed not to flow freely so that wasn’t enough.  She was carrying only Gatorade.  The fastest course of action was to soak a bandana with Gatorade and apply it to my eyes.  It didn’t make the burning worse and eventually it began to ease. 
What now?  Do we continue on or go back to the car?  The pain was diminishing so we decided to continue on to the Bodie Lighthouse where there were water facilities.  We walked forward until we realized we had missed our landmark.  Again – what now?  Hikers are stubborn, so again we opted to keep going.  But backtracking on a hot day while pressing a Gatorade bandana first to one eye and then the other is something I do not want to repeat in my lifetime.  We found our error, got onto our trail and enjoyed the walk through the marshland.
Now I am spoiled for walking up to lighthouses rather than driving up to them, the anticipation and the first glimpse of these unique structures from the trail.


We found three dollar bills lying on the ground along the trail, probably slipped out of someone’s pocket when they reached for their water bottle.  We carried it to the lighthouse and put it in the donation box.  By the time we reached the lighthouse my eyes were just feeling itchy as though I had been crying (uh, yeah) and I flushed them with water in the bathroom.  No permanent damage done…but, boy, did that hurt.  A lesson to always carry water and a bandana…and maybe use bug wipes or creams instead of sprays…

Getting Closer

Best one of all

Bodie Lighthouse and keeper’s quarters

The Bodie Lighthouse is not open for climbing, so after visiting the small museum in the keeper's quarters we walked on to our second car, picked up mine, and then went our separate ways for a little time off in the afternoon.  Danny wanted to get to her writing and I went in search of a coffee shop with wi-fi.  Alas, there was no such thing on Easter Sunday, but I found an outfitter where kiteboarders were gathered and I stopped to watch for a while. 

What guy with his shirt off?  I’m looking at the kites…

Read Danny’s tale of today’s hike here. 

The happiest man is he who learns from nature the lesson of worship. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

1 comment:

Danny Bernstein said...

Lovely day.
Great memories