Friday, May 24, 2013

The Wright Stuff

We had been admiring this monument from the time we first arrived at Kill Devil Hills

On Wednesday we had a perfect afternoon on which to visit the Wright Memorial. Carolina Cow was so excited (and somewhat relieved that she wouldn't be making the climb).

Several things to note: 1) the place looked NOTHING like this 110 years was mostly a dunescape, an organic, fluid world of wind-blown sand; 2) Big Kill Devil, the hill the Wrights chose as the site for many gliding experiments, had migrated some 400 feet south of its 1903 location by the time the National Park Service decided to stabilize it--they did so with both native and exotic plants, btw, which in turn allowed the building of the monument; and 3) the Wrights did not actually launch their powered flights FROM the hill, but rather from level ground just north of it.

 First up: climbing Big Kill Devil

 The monument is made from granite quarried from Mount Airy, NC.

 It's quite a hike!
 I was so proud of this lady!

 Fabulous monument!
 The Brothers

Very attractive, really...(I meant the monument)
 Excellent view of the Atlantic.
 Our hotel...a very good, affordable experience for us!
 Looking south toward Jockey's Ridge
The town of Kill Devil Hills.
North...where Big Devil used to be. The town of Kitty Hawk sprawls in the background.
The marvelous centennial sculpture depicting the first flight!
 Orville taking off...and impressing the ladies...
 Wilbur sending brother on his way...

 Love the detail!
 Cheering them on!

 Trying to document the moment...
 There it goes!
Flight high, Orville and Wilbur
 An original sand-cast aluminum block...pure genius in design, a work of art by the sand caster
 Lovely exhibit hall.
 One of the key components of the Wright operation :-)
 Wright glider replica!
 Wright flyer replica!
 The flyer from another angle, glider in the background.
Yes they did!
 The original flight site
 First flight commemorative plaque
 Looking down the "runway"...and wishing the pretty lady with the tats wasn't smoking...
 Markers for the first four flights
 Comfy camp!
 Hmmmm...I think I could convert that stove into a pig smoker...
 Like the kerosene cook stove, too. Gotta have coffee!
Rack space up top

We had a spectacular visit to the Memorial!

Afterward, it was time for pizza and a tall, cool Carolina Blonde.

We saw one of these pass overhead...a stunning reminder of how far we've come in the past century, and a poignant reminder of how present war has been in our lives during that time.

Rest in Peace, Ohio's own Wright Brothers. So glad the Old North State could accommodate your needs and that you found the people here so hospitable!


The Bug said...

It was a pretty amazing visit. I still can't believe I climbed that hill!

NCmountainwoman said...

Wow! We skipped the Wright Brothers Memorial last time we were there because we had been so often before. I can see we really missed a lot. Next time we'll be sure to take it in to see the improvements.

Pixel Peeper said...

Great photos! I think you just added this to my bucket list.