Orville, Wilber, and the Outer Banks

Today we left Williamsburg. There’s still much we have not seen, but must move on. The weather has not improved–our drive to the Outer Banks of North Carolina was overcast with drizzle and some pretty steady rain. We are now settled in at the Camp Hatteras RV Park in Rodanthe in the Hatteras National Seashore. The RV Park borders on the Atlantic on the East and Pamlico Sound on the West which gives you some idea of how incredibly narrow and fragile the Outer Banks are. There are about six other rigs in the park which has over 400 spaces, must be the off-season. We’re in the front row closest to the Atlantic–just a short walk across the dunes. I can hear the waves roll in as I blog. When we pulled in it was nearly dark, overcast, and chilly, so tomorrow morning will be a surprise. May even see the sunrise, but I doubt it.On our way down the Outer Banks to our campground, we stopped at the Wright Brothers National Memorial, at Kill Devil Hills, that’s fascinating. It’s a big field/dune with two replica buildings.wright-field.jpgThis shows the field with the two replica buildings and the visitor center (to the right) shot from the hill where the monument stands–an Orville-and-Wilber-eye-view as they launched their early glider flights.wright-hangar2.jpgOne building served the Wright Brothers as a small hanger where they assembled their gliders and the Wright Flyer, from parts they built in Dayton, and the other a camp that served as their summer living quarters, which was very, very basic. They would have been very impressed with our Airstream. In the field are four granite markers indicating the landing spots of the first powered flights they took on December 17, 1903.wright-planes.jpgThe above is an exact reproduction of the Wright Flyer which was flown with limited success in 2003, then donated to the National Park Service.rig-at-wright-monument.jpgOur rig at the base of the monument (which is under repair and fenced off). The inspiration for the design and structure of the Airstream is based on aircraft fuselage construction, so I guess, in some small way, we came full circle today.Léna’s asleep, so I’m blogging solo tonight. She’ll probably have something to add in the morning.

A P.S. from Léna…

At the information center at Kitty Hawk, on a black granite stone, was engraved the poem ‘High Flight’, by John Gillespie Magee, the one that begins ‘Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth…’ (google it; it’s worth it). It has always moved me, but beneath it, was written something else I hadn’t known. John Magee was an American, who’d joined the Canadian Royal Airforce during the dark days of the Battle of Britain, before the U.S. enetered the war, and at nineteen, September 3, 1941, he’d written this poem. In December 11, that same year, his Spitfire crashed in a mid-fog collision over Tangmere, England. I cried, thinking of the other poems he never got to write, and the gift this one poem was to all of us.

Explore posts in the same categories: Airstream, campground, Historic Sites, people, Weather

2 Comments on “Orville, Wilber, and the Outer Banks”

  1. Diane Gallo Says:

    We are all so lazy. We won’t google tho we might click. But if you paste, we might actually read the damn thing. Here you go. Love, Diane

    High Flight

    Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
    And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
    Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
    Of sun-split clouds — and done a hundred things
    You have not dreamed of — Wheeled and soared and swung
    High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
    I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
    My eager craft through footless halls of air.

    Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
    I’ve topped the windswept heights with easy grace
    Where never lark, or even eagle flew.
    And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
    The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
    Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

  2. Mona Morrison Says:


    Sounds like you and Bruce are having a wonderful, challenging time making memories that will be with you forever. I’m happy for you and for letting me share in your journey.

    I truly enjoyed the pictures. Lighthouses are one of my favorite places to visit.Oh!what a gorgeous, colorful sunrise. Surely, Sunrise and Sunset are truly God’s handwriting.

    The poem is so moving, I got all “mooshy” inside. Thanks for sharing.
    Sounds like ya’ll had some new challenges. I was in the truck with you as you described your ride. FU….N!

    Glad you included pictures of you, Bruce ,Sprocket and your home on wheels. Now, I’ll be able to recognize you as you go wheezing down the highway and/or hopefully, when I meet you.

    Good night and Good morning :)
    Have an exciting, fun day.

    Hugs to your all, Mona

    Last night, this early AM was Winter; then came Spring, followed by Summer , then Fall and back again to Winter.
    Can you imagine all this in one day? Strang….e

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