To read about other countries we've visited, just click on the following links:

Iceland, Finland, Estonia, Russia, Mongolia, China, Thailand, Cambodia and South Korea

Germany, Poland, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Israel, Jordan and Denmark

Hawaii, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, Nepal, India and England

Latvia, Lithhuania, Ukraine, Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, Albania, Greece, Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Ethiopia, Kenya, Zimbabwe, South Africa, U.A.E. and Denmark.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

5/15: NC's High Flying Wright Brothers & the Outer Banks

After leaving southern Virginia this morning, we drove to North Carolina's Outer Banks, an area which we had last been to about 25 years or so ago when we were camping. We had so looked forward to coming back to this area of the US on this trip once our plans to come East changed.

The Monument to a Century of Flight at Mile Marker 1 on the Outer Banks, also known as OBX!

Most Canadians (or at least most of a certain age!) are familiar with this poem written by a Canadian.
Each panel marked achievements in the history of flight.

A few miles down the road was the Wright Brothers National Memorial.

The path with four stone markers marked the distances of each of the four flights the Wright Brothers took on December 17th, 1903. Even though the first flight only traveled 120 feet and lasted 12 seconds, it changed the world.

Also part of the memorial was the monument at Big Kill Devil Hill where the Wright Brothers climbed up the then sandy dune to endlessly practice flying before their momentous successful flights on flat land nearby. We read that with each step they took trying to pull and push their plane up the sand dune every time, they fell back half a step.

The monument was erected to mark the centenary of the first flight and to honor the North Carolinians who assisted the Wrights.

A replica of the Kitty Hawk:
The famous photograph of Orville Wright's first flight with his brother Wilbur pushing the plane was taken by a man who had never used a camera before! Imagine capturing the photo that then swept around the world.
Bodie Island Light Station, built in 1871 south of Mile Marker 22, is one of four lighthouses on the Outer Banks.
We walked to the wildlife viewing platform but, though we didn't see any wildlife, the stroll along the marshland was wonderful.

Steven and I have always loved the lowland country of the Carolinas with its marshy areas since our first visit.

We had visions that our drive south to Cape Hatteras would be much like this stretch of road with sights of dunes interspersed with ocean views but alas, those were almost non-existent. Instead, we saw one housing development after another and figured the lucky homeowners must have paid exorbitant sums to enjoy their prime real estate.

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, located about 50 miles south of the Wright Brothers Memorial, was built in 1870.

For a few minutes we entertained the notion of climbing to the top of the lighthouse but reconsidered and only got as far as the entryway!
On the way back north to our hotel in Nags Head near the beginning of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, we stopped to walk along a deserted stretch of dunes.

That evening, we drove over to nearby Roanoke Island, where 116 men, women and children planted 'the roots of English society on the shore of Fort Raleigh in 1587, 20 years before Jamestown.' They eventually came to be known as the 'Lost Colony' as sadly nothing is known of what happened to them.
These small defensive structures, known as earthworks, were commonly built by European expeditions in the late 1500s. The purpose of the earthwork is unknown as it was too small to provide space for all the explorers. Documentation shows the settlers lived in a palisaded fort but it's never been found.

The Garden Club of North Carolina created the Elizabethan Gardens in 1951 very close to the Fort as a memorial to the Lost Colony.

As it was well past eight when we were wandering around the Fort and the Gardens, everything was locked up tight for the night. However, my Sir Galahad gallantly hoisted me up on a planter so I could see over the wall and take the following photos of the Gardens!

Until our visit that night, I hadn't known that Roanoke Island played a significant role in the Underground Railway.
Next: SC's Brookgreen Gardens, one of the top ten US Gardens.

Posted on May 18th from Neptune Beach, FL.

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