Full moon in full view during lighthouse tours

Posted July 11, 2014

— The Cape Hatteras and Bodie Island lighthouses on North Carolina's Outer Banks offer an extra-special view during an extra-special tour just about once a month during a full moon.

Hillary Harrison, who works for the National Parks Service, leads the 30-minute trek up the tall, tight, dark, humid tower at Bodie.

"This is a really unique opportunity to feel what it was like to be a lighthouse keeper," she says. "To really get a feel like what it would be to be a keeper, you have to climb at night."

To get to the balcony atop the 142-year-old tower, Harrison guides her charges up 219 winding, metal stairs, taking questions and offering lessons along the way.

"Have you ever wondered why lighthouses are painted differently?" she asks.

Then she provides the answer. "So you can tell where you are during the day. Each lighthouse has a unique pattern."

Tourists at the top get a close-up view of the light that greets ships as far as 19 miles out on the Atlantic and a new appreciation for the full moon. 

Full-moon tours on July 12 are $8 per adult and $4 for children (11 and under) and seniors (62 and older). Tickets must be purchase in advance on-site. Each lighthouse will host two tours, starting at 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.


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