Our Outer Banks Vacation – Bodie Island and Wright Brothers National Memorial
[NOTE: I uploaded this blog post during the afternoon on October 8 but backdated the published date to September 28, the date of the day’s activities detailed in this post.]
I appreciate the force of nature. The past two days we have experienced consistent strong winds and angry seas. Today, as I watched the sun rise while sitting on the beach, the wind was calm and the waves seemed almost normal. I haven’t seen one yet, but I heard that the pelicans are back.
The wind is calm, and the waves seem almost normal.
If you are not able to view the embedded video, please click here for the direct link.
Bob took this picture of me sitting on the sand, capturing today’s sunrise.
What a fine day for sightseeing!
We were en route Bodie Island shortly after 9:00 am, arriving there around 10:00 am. For the next 45 minutes we admired the lighthouse from various vantage points.
A boardwalk that leads to an overlook of the wetlands offers very nice views of the lighthouse.
Sandy is walking on the boardwalk toward the wetlands overlook.
Sandy and Jim on the wetlands overlook
Bodie Island Lighthouse, as seen from the wetlands overlook
Before leaving Bodie Island I heard a National Park Service employee say that the Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry would begin crossings again at 1:00 pm today. This information was good to know, as we are planning a trip to Ocracoke tomorrow.
From Bodie Island we attempted to drive to Pea Island Wildlife Refuge, but the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge was closed until 1:00 pm to allow for time to remove sand and water from the roadway on Hatteras Island. We made a U-turn at the bridge and drove to the Wright Brothers National Memorial, located in Kill Devil Hills.
After paying the admission fee of $7.00 each, we found parking in the parking lot in front of the Visitor Center. The Visitor Center for the Wright Brothers National Memorial is closed for a renovation project. The visitor center has been closed since November 2016 and expected to reopen in late summer/fall of 2018. A temporary facility near the parking lot has an information desk where you can speak to a National Park Service employee, five small poster-style exhibit panels to learn more about the Wright brothers’ story, and a bookstore.
During our visit we walked to the First Flight Boulder and Flight Line which mark the location where the Wrights first flew, peeked into the reconstructed Wright brothers’ camp building and hangar, walked to the top of Big Kill Devil Hill to the base of the Wright Memorial, and saw the 1903 Bronze Sculpture of the First Flight featuring a life size model of the 1903 Wright Flyer.
The numbered markers mark the landing spots of the Wright Brothers’ first four flights on December 17, 1903.
The boulder marks the spot from which the Wright Brothers’ first flight was made. The picture displayed above shows the flight path as well.
Sandy and the First Flight Boulder
Wright brothers’ camp building and hangar
Big Kill Devil Hill and Wright Brothers Memorial
Sandy stayed inside the car, while Bob, Jim and I hiked to the top of Big Kill Devil Hill.
Wright Brothers Memorial on top of Big Kill Devil Hill
The view from the top of Big Kill Devil Hill was spectacular!
Jim is photographing the view from the top of Big Kill Devil Hill.
We could see all the way to the Atlantic Ocean.
Life size model of the 1903 Wright Flyer
1903 Bronze Sculpture of the First Flight
(Wright Memorial in the background)
This sign provides information about the first flight witnesses. I read the sign, but was more interested in recreating the scene shown on the sign. As I positioned myself to take a picture, other tourists began walking up to the bronze sculptures for a closer look. Getting the picture I wanted meant waiting until those people departed the grounds.
Jim, Bob and Sandy found the only shady spot to wait for me,
while I waited to take my picture.
I like to think that I am a patient person. My patience was just about running out, when the grounds were vacated. I had to quickly compose my picture, as I noticed more tourists arriving.
My recreation of the photograph of the first flight witnesses
We were glad that it was possible to drive to the base of Big Kill Devil Hill, as well as to the Sculpture of the First Flight. The three points of interest were spaced far apart!
Prior to leaving on vacation, Jim learned that a friend (another member of the Vulcan Riders and Owners Club of which Jim and Bob are members) would be vacationing in the Outer Banks at the same time as the four of us. “Rabbi” and his wife Vonna were vacationing in Salvo on Hatteras Island, until they were evacuated earlier in the week. We didn’t think we would be able to meet up with Rabbi and Vonna because they had gone home to Virginia. Jim received a message (today I believe) from Rabbi that they were back in the Outer Banks and staying in Kitty Hawk. Jim and Rabbi made plans for the six of us to meet for lunch at 1:00 pm at Mama Kwans Tiki Bar & Grill in Kill Devil Hills.
The first thing I noticed at Mama Kwans was the old van covered with stickers. I took a picture of Rabbi, Vonna, Jim and Sandy beside that van, after we had eaten lunch.
Sandy, Jim, Rabbi and Vonna at Mama Kwans
Rabbi attended at least one VROC motorcycle rally that Bob and I attended. That rally was the Wolfman Wandering Rally #3 held in Richmond, Kentucky in June 2009. Rabbi doesn’t recall meeting Bob or me at that rally; we don’t recall meeting him either. Rabbi is planning to attend the 20th anniversary of the Southeast Vulcan Riders and Owners Club (SEVROC) rally in May next year. Bob and I plan to attend that rally as well. So, we will meet again….
After lunch we returned to Flights of Fantasy (our vacation beach house), returning there around 3:00 pm.
Much of rest of the afternoon and evening was spent relaxing in (or sitting on a deck of) the beach house. Sandy and I did go for a short walk to beach access 7, a boardwalk that leads to the beach.
Sandy at the Beach Access 7 Boardwalk
The view from the end of Beach Access 7
The green house is our beach house.
Sandy at the end of Beach Access 7
The green house is our beach house.
Sandy and I returned back to our beach house just in time to see the sun set.
I photographed Brenda photographing the setting sun.
Tonight’s dinner was leftovers.
I retired to our bedroom around 8:30 pm, as many of my fellow vacationers were sitting down to watch the football game—Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers.
For Jim’s account of the day, please click here.