Lighthouses have been part of the American psyche for centuries. For many of us, there is a certain romance in the stories of the lonely keepers and their families who lived in beautiful but remote locations to operate and maintain the beacons that guided ships and their crews safely through dangerous waters. Today, though, the keepers are no more. The lighthouses are automated and only visited by the Coast Guard on an as-need basis and for regular maintenance.
Along the Outer Banks in North Carolina are five lighthouses, four of which can be easily accessed by vehicle. This one is the Bodie Island Light overlooking Oregon Inlet to Pamlico Sound. The National Park Service maintains this facility these days, including a small museum in a building a few hundred feet away from the lighthouse. The light automatically comes on at dusk and shuts off with daylight in the morning.