We went back up north today to visit the Wright brother's museum. We had rain when we woke up but by the time we were ready to leave the sun was shining and it was another hot day. The museum covers a large site with a building for all the information and then outside there are the four markers for their first flights and the hill they used to fly their gliders from. Sounds boring? Far from it! I'm sure everyone has heard of Orville and Wilbur Wright and the first flight in a manned, heavier than air machine. However we learnt so much more such as how to control pitch (elevators) roll (wing warping) and yaw (rudder) - the principles of flight along with how to make the best wing profile. They started by flying an unmanned glider from the hill in 1900 then moving on to a manned glider the following year. It was on December 17th 1903 that they finally managed to fly a distance of 852 feet which took 59 seconds. Sadly after the fourth flight the "plane" was caught by a gust of wind and blown over. It was damaged beyond repair. However Orville and Wilbur went on to lead the world in aviation. There is a replica of the plane that was donated to the museum in 2003 - the centenary of the first flight. We had an interesting talk from a Ranger who also showed us the parts of the plane And also made me a Junior Ranger for correctly answering a question!
From Kill Devil Hills we drove down to Bodie Island to look at the lighthouse. The current lighthouse is the third that has stood here and was built in 1872. It stands 156 feet tall and was renovated from August 2009 to March 2013 and made climbable by the public. We had already decided not to climb it which was just as well as it was closing but not because of the weather but it was too late!
Back at home we watched the weather deteriorate until we had a wonderful thunderstorm.
Our last day on the Outer Banks and we chose to use it as a quiet day. We went and did a little of shopping and to look at Avon Pier. This was built by two brothers in 1963 after two years of construction. It stretches 665 feet into the Atlantic and the crooked bends are testament to the forces of Mother Nature over the many years. The pier is the only remaining one in operation in Cape Hatteras National Seashore. It is world famous for its many records especially with giant Red Drum that frequently school just off the end of the pier.
Awake at 6.45am (before the alarm went off), tea in bed then up at 7.20am. Cases packed and ready by 8.30am and then it took Eddie about 50 minutes to pack the car, take everything out and repack it - probably more than once! Richard and I took the opportunity to wander across to the Atlantic beach - I couldn't believe that we had been there for a week and not made it over. We found a very attractive beach with a dilapidated pier - just ripe for some photography but it was too late. Hey ho I knew we should have gone sooner.
Here are a few photos of Windscape where we have been staying.