Although most people think that the Wright Brothers flew at Kitty Hawk, their flight was really at Kill Devil Hills.
We made a quick visit to the park before I went to the dentist to see where the first successful sustained powered flights in a heavier-than-air machine were made by Wilbur and Orville Wright. We went to the Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center, and circled the 60-foot granite monument atop 90-foot tall Kill Devil Hill. Then we went back another day because we had not seen the Centennial of Flight exhibit.
The Wrights thought that the information on lift had already been documented; that they could use a rudder like a boat rudder; and a propeller like a boat propeller. All wrong. The lift data was flawed, the boat rudder won't work on a plane, and all the work on props had been trial and error.
Bob had said that he didn't understand the way that the Wrights controlled their airplane, and the ranger at the visitor's center explained it. Pitch was controlled with the left hand (the engine throttle was in the right hand), and there was a hip cradle which controlled the yaw and roll. One of the Wright's breakthrough's was to link the roll and yaw into one control.
He said that the Wright Bros only patented one item and that was the control system for flying, and that all airplanes today use that system. They didn't bother to patent the prop design which is 81% efficient - modern ones are only 85% efficient.
Wilbur died in NYC in 1912 of typhoid, but Orville lived until 1948, and became wealthy.
The Wright Brothers National Memorial is open 9am-6pm in the summer and 9am-5pm the rest of the year.
$3.00 - 7 Days
$20 - Annual
Now if you get a beach house make sure you get a Hot Tub with it, for us that's a DEAL BREAKER if there is not one. Let me tell you, there is NOTHING BETTER than sitting in the hot tub with a Mamosa or a Corona and watchin' the tide roll in!!! :o) IT'S 12 O'CLOCK SOME WHERE!!
This is one beautiful lighthouse. This is the third to be built on this location, this one was lighted in 1872. With a first-order light, it's visible for nineteen miles. The first lighthouse was 1 foot out of plum, and $1,400.00 had to be spent to straighten the tower. In 1854 a new fourth-order lens was installed, by 1859 the tower was beyond repair. A new one was built for $25,000.00, 80 feet tall with a third-order lens, lit July 1 1859 and 1861 the war leved. This tower was finished and lit on october 1 1872 with a first order lens that can be seen for nineteen miles at 156 ft above sea level. The tower today is on auto pilot, also has a museum.
The pier is always a happening place at the beach, yes? This one has a restaurant or diner at the entrance but we didn't try it. Some of our group did do some fishing from the pier with the greatest excitement being the catch of an Angel Shark about 4 feet in length that happened to take a bite out of Michael as he attempted to remove the hook... Ouuch! Not a serious injury however, but an attention getting one!
The cost to fish from the pier is $8 per day which is good for 24 hours. I'm not sure if you can simply go onto the pier and if any cost is associated with this... I forgot to ask! As with lots of piers on the North & South Carolina coasts, this one has been beaten up a bit from the recent storms and hurricanes the past few years.
I Love the Beach! "I always have and probably always will!" That's a line from an old beach song with beach music being unique to North & South Carolina. There is also a dance called the "Shag" that goes along with the music, but that's another story for another time...
I spent the first day here on the beach catching some rays and enjoying the sights (you guys know what I mean!). The beach itself is a bit steep compared to others I've visited... I'm not sure if this was deliberate or natural. It did make for some difficult walking as you walk up & down and up & down again and so it goes the whole way. But the beach was very clean, well-kept and generally good. Very few shells to be found and no shark's teeth... bummer!
The waters off the Outer Banks of North Carolina can rightly be called America's graveyard of ships. Lighthouses saved many more ships from a watery grave. This is the third construction of the Bodie Island Lighthouse. The first one (built in 1847) was only 54 feet (16 m.) high, but was poorly constructed. The first big hurricane to come along took it out. The second one built a short time later was taller (80 feet-24 m.) and constructed better, but was destroyed during the War for Southern Independence. The third (and current) version was built in 1872 due to concern from the local captains. This lighthouse is nearly twice as high as the second (156 feet, 47 m.) For awhile, the third version of the lighthouse seemed doomed due to flocks of geese crashing into the lens (you can't just go down to the True Value and replace it, folks) and the poor grounding during electrical storms. The lighthouse was electrified in 1932, eliminating the need for an on-site keeper. It is now part of the national park service. The light house is closed to the public, but there is a visitor's centre.
Every night, after supper, families and friends gather on top of Jockey Ridge to fly kites, slide down the sand dunes, and have fun. The everpresent stiff breeze and great views draw crowds every night. There are so many different kinds of kites that the sky is full of them. The variety and colors are stunning.
The park closes at 9:00, so he rangers ride around on ATVs at 8:30 to move people out., so get there early and have fun. Although it is windy all day, the sand is HOT until after supper..... During the day, you'll see people hang gliding on the dunes, and lessons are offered at the park.
Jockeys Ridge is a fun and FREE was to spend an evening outside, relaxing, and having fun.
Time to Go Fly a kite!
Call me a hopeless romantic, but when I see a sunset such as this or a sparkling sunrise, I feel it is meant to shared with someone... Though we are made better for the experience even if alone, it is a special time and view somehow wasted unless we share it!
I must say that this is the first time I've ever been to the beach in June without swimming in the ocean. There's a good reason... The water is really cold! It seems that an unusual condition has brought the prevailing wind from the west and off of the Sound instead of the normal wind from the Atlantic. The result is a water temperature of 58 degrees when we arrived and not much warmer when we left.
This also caused a lack of fish to be caught from the surf as well as from the pier. Oh well, it's a good thing the pool is there! It was cold too but began to warm as the week progressed.
This picture was taken from the upper deck of the house facing the beach and ocean. You can see the distance from the beach access and as you return there is a shower to wash the sand from your feet... a nice touch! Nags Head does it good!
Ok, you have to be a crazy photo buff like myself to get into this, but since the sun does not set on the ocean you have to wake up at sunrise to catch a sun/ocean shot. To me, it was absolutly worth it!. The colors are amazing! We are talking dramatic here. So grab that cup of Joe, and go shoot like a pro.
One of the benefits of getting older is hopefully some greater common sense... Notice that I did say "hopefully".
And so, I think I will just say nothing here and draw your attention to the sand, the waves, the sky and...
The tallest and largest sand dune on the eastern seaboard. It provides panoramic views of this part of the Outer Banks. Some folks might even enjoy kite flying and hang gliding. On both occasions when I brought along guests from France and Spain, we came here for an easy view of both the sound and the ocean. I never will forget (after I threw Fernando's flip flops down the hill), he pulled me UP the dune by my sunburnt leg.
I have a fascination with Lighthouses. I think they are so mysterious, and lonley, and haunting. They are the overseers of the ocean, beckoning the boats to safe passage. On your drive down the
main road through the Outer Banks, there are many to stop and gaze at, or learn the history of, or simply get that camera and be all cool and artsy. Morning is a great time to shoot these, because of the wonderful colors in the sky as backdrop and the interesting shadows that rake across the fields.
We loved Jockey Ridge, it may have been my favorite thing that we did in the Outer Banks. It is defiantly a workout to get to the top but it is worth it once you get to the top and see the view. It is free which is another bonus of visiting. We were here for about 2 hours so I would say to allow yourself at least that much time to visit . Not only is there hiking but you can fly kites, windsurf, hang glide, etc. There is so much to do for everyone!