Another day flies Wright by…

(Wednesday’s recap)

I initially started putting the day of the week at the top of the post to let others know what day’s activities were included in case I posted on a day other than the actual day itself. This has proven to more useful to help me remember what day it is – when you aren’t defined by work/school schedules or other markers you sort of lose track! Although we have already experienced so many things, we still have plenty left to look forward to.

Mom, we’ve had a whole lot of fun family time. – Emmitt Graham

This morning began like any other Wednesday morning we slept in past 8am and then took our time getting breakfast started. The slow, quiet morning is something that rarely happens at home so I soaked in every minute of it.

So far this vacation has been full of firsts and this morning was no different. A few days ago the boys found kites at a nearby beach store and today we tried them out. Emmitt, of course, chose a Bumblebee kite and Levi picked out a U.S. Navy one. There isn’t exactly a shortage of wind around here and today was just the right amount for flying. They were so serious and quickly grasped the hang of it.

It was fun to see how high they could fly the kites. Every now and then, we’d get to see a nose dive right into the sand!

The first few days here the weather was warm but not overly humid and the constant breeze made it very relaxing to sit outside. After our short visit to the beach, we were all very hot and sticky. The air was thick and the breeze back at the campsite had laid down. To catch a little relief we decided to eat lunch in the camper while the kids watched Scooby Doo.

After lunch we left the camper to head to the Wright Brothers Memorial and Kitty Hawk. As we drove we soaked up more of the heavy air and sunshine for a few minutes when we saw this on the horizon…

This is the second time this week we have watched a storm roll in. It is quite the sight to see over the uninterrupted skyline. Due to the dark sky, we were able to see the Bodie Island Lighthouse working in the distance. We previously read about the light pattern (on 2.5 seconds, off 2.5 seconds, on 2.5 seconds and off 22.5 seconds), but it was neat to see the lights in action.

As quickly as the storm popped up, it passed and a few miles north it hadn’t even rained.

Our history lessons from yesterday continued today with a stop at the Wright Brothers National Memorial. Behind the boys is the area marked with the first four flights of the Wright Brothers.

A monument was started in 1928 and dedicated in 1932 to commemorate the Wright Brothers’ first flight.

It was interesting to see a replica of the first plane. The exhibit also included real items from their flights. Nick was especially intrigued by the partial crankcase of the four cylinder engine that was on display.

It’s pretty impressive to think the first successful airplane was built in a airplane hanger and workshop like the building on the left. The building to the right is a recreation of the home the Wright Brothers lived in during their stay in NC.

A boulder marks the spot where the first four flights took off. It isn’t every day you get to stand where someone who made history once stood, but today the boys did. In addition to the Wright Brothers standing in this place for the first flights, Orville Wright stood where Emmitt is and Amelia Earhart where Levi is on the date the memorial was dedicated.

From the boulder, there is a path marking each of the first four flights. The first flight went 120 feet and lasted 12 seconds. The second flight also lasted 12 seconds but this time went 175 feet. The third flight went 200 feet in 15 seconds. They made great progress on the fourth flight, traveling 852 feet in 59 seconds.

Emmitt, our future track star, is faster than a plane…well at least faster than the first plane. He ran the 120 foot path in 9.45 seconds!

The memorial taught us many surprising facts. One such fact described how the brothers alternated turns flying and flipped a coin to see who would go first. We also discovered the boys had a few things in common with them. For example, Wilbur, the older brother, was intellectually motivated, a good student, an athlete and had a great memory. Orville, the younger brother, was more impulsive with a creative mind and always exploring new ideas with experiments. Sound familiar?

We found a nice seafood restaurant in Duck called Sunset Grille overlooking the sound for dinner before heading to attempt #2 of the wild horse tour in Corolla. The sky looked gray when we started but it cleared up and turned into a beautiful evening. Here we are before heading out.

The tour begins with a drive to the end of the paved portion of NC-12 where the road turns into a beach. Technically, NC-12 continues onto the beach known as 4×4 beach. This is appropriately named since you must use a 4-wheel drive vehicle and reduce the air pressure in your tires. (We encountered a few folks who didn’t follow those signs and received assistance – for a fee – from the tow truck that drove up and down the beach.)

There were two towns on this northern stretch of beach with a few hundred houses and sand roads. The pictures below were taken from the beachside of the dune. Most houses are behind the dune but we were able to drive in these subdivision like areas.

In several of the areas, there were wild horses roaming. We even saw their “deposits” left in someone’s driveway. The horse below is the bachelor of the first town.

The horses could also been seen along the ocean in their attempt to escape the flies. It looked like a scene from a movie.

The tour also took us past a restored life saving station. There are a few of these stations along the island and a neat part of history.

The boys are worn out as we head back to camp. Emmitt fell asleep before we left town and Levi looks like he is close behind!

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