Kitty Hawk, North Carolina is a very pretty place. It is a good mix of beauty and commercialism. I much prefer the beauty but I know some like the mini golf, arcades and amusement parks. While Hilton Head Island appears un-commercial, Myrtle Beach is very commercial and Kitty Hawk is somewhere in between.
Again there are miles and miles of beaches. There is also plenty of history including the Wright Brothers National Memorial (the place of the first powered, manned flight in history), several lighthouses, Civil War and WW II history. And of course the wild horses. Yes, lots to see and do in a beautiful place.
Our first day in Kitty Hawk. This is an island with miles of beaches down both the east and west sides, many small towns, multiple lighthouses and hundreds, perhaps thousands, of high end homes.
We just drove north until we came to the end of the road. Apparently there are wild horses on the sand dunes if we walk a mile or so north of there. Maybe later in the week.
I took three shots of a pier, expecting to use one picture. What I didn't see was the aircraft vapor trail heading straight for the sun. So I posted all three as it looks like an arrow piercing the sun. The some shots of a great sunset, highlighted by some Trumpeter Swans. The last shot is one of a sign that I had to do a double take on.
Kitty Hawk, NC. Famous for beaches and Orville & Wilbur Wright. The brothers were the first to invent and fly a powered, heavier than air flying machine. After years of experimenting, flying gliders, giving up then trying again, they finally succeeded on December 17, 1903. The first of four flights that day, piloted by Orville lasted just twelve seconds and went just 120 feet at an altitude of 12 feet. The last, piloted by Wilbur went for 59 seconds and 852 feet. 11 years later planes were being used as weapons in WW I and 66 years later Neil Armstrong took a small piece of one of the propellers to the moon. Not bad for a couple bicycle shop owners.
Today the site is a National Historical Monument. If you are ever in the area, it is worth seeing. The park is very well done and educational.
That's it for today as there was a Flames game and a Super Bowl to watch!
We have now driven the Outer Banks islands of North Carolina as far as the road goes, both north and south. Actually we could take a ferry to another island and keep going, but perhaps another day.
There are multiple lighthouses here and we have now seen three of them, including the Hatteras Lighthouse which is the tallest lighthouse on the eastern coast of the U.S. Unfortunately, they are all closed for the winter (?) so I can't climb them.
Today was a mixed bag of weather. It started off raining but was supposed to clear off in the afternoon. It did for about an hour and then back to cool (+11), windy with showers.
Sand. These islands are made up of sand. Lots, and lots of sand. The wind takes sand from one side of a dune and deposits it on the other side. So the dunes are always shifting and changing. Except where there is grass or trees. Or fences.
One odd thing is almost everything is closed. There is no one here in the "winter". Entire shopping centers are closed. No cars, no people anywhere. It is weird. Yet there is still traffic on the roads. No idea where they are going to or coming from.
Every day is what you make of it. But some days are just better than others. Today was one of those days. Great weather (sunny, warm (+15 F) with little to no wind) and a terrific day with the cameras.
It starts off with a walk on the beach to see one of our last Atlantic sunrises. Then a walk in a park. We didn't see any wildlife, but it was pretty. Then a tour in the back of a Hummer with no roof (so in the sunshine), down the beach of Currituck National Wildlife Refuge looking for the Outer Banks wild horses.
First, I didn't realize that homes were allowed here, but they are. The road ends so the home owners need a 4 wheel drive vehicle to drive up the beach, then over "ramps" to sandy "streets" lined with smaller trees and brush. Weird. Anyway. We found a few horses. And luckily they were on the beach. Apparently at this time of the year they tend to be in the trees. Between the horses putting on a show for us, the beauty of the beach and the weather, suffice to say, we had a great day.
Turtles anyone? Today we took a drive to the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. They advertise there are alligators (makes sense), bears, wolves, otters etc. in the park. What did we see? A few birds and more turtles than we could count with a computer.
As per usual we traveled down a small back road and came to Engelhard, a small town outside the park. We stopped at Gibbs Store where of course I spoke to the owner. He is fourth generation running the general store. His family settled in this place in 1680 and his Great Grandfather opened the store in 1895. The doors you see here were the original doors on the front of the store and the organ was his Great Grandmothers. He estimates it is over 130 years old.
Then a sunset over Lake Mattamuskeet the largest fresh water lake in North Carolina.
Not much today. We moved from Kitty Hawk NC to Williamsburg, Virginia. On the way we stopped in Norfolk for a car service, went to a mall (stop...my heart can't take the excitement), saw a couple aircraft carriers in the distance (no pics) drove through a long tunnel and then got a picture from the deck of our home for the next week.