Rodanthe, NC Day 4

I woke up around 6 AM….couldn’t sleep. I worked on my blog as the sun came up. Bob and Auggie slept on. The sun brought blue skies, but cooler temps. A cold front moved in last night and today’s morning temp was only 72. How refreshing! Auggie got his morning walk and we prepared to leave for a day of sightseeing in Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, and Nags Head. As we left the park, a local church was giving away free bread. They gave us two loaves of Italian bread and some hoagie rolls. Those will come in handy! We left at 9:30 and the first 20 miles north were familiar from our travels earlier this week. The road from Bodie Lighthouse north was new. We had a list of places to stop today, so we would start at the farthest point north and work our way down. Stop #1was in Kitty Hawk at the Monument to a Century of Flight.

At the Monument’s entrance is a granite marker carrying messages across time to the people of 2013.

The Monument’s structure consists of 14 wing-shaped stainless steel pylons ascending in height from 10-20 ft. in an orbit of 120 ft., the distance traveled by the Wright Brothers on their historic first flight in 1903.

The flat faces of the pylons showcase black granite panels about the 100 most significant accomplishments in aviation in the first century. It was quite impressive. Stop #2–The Wright Brothers’ National Monument in Kill Devil Hills. 

We took the circle drive to the Wright Brother’s Monument.

The 60 ft. monument atop Kill Devil Hills honors the Wright Brothers and marks the site of hundreds of glider flights that preceeded the first powered flight.

This is the view from atop the hill looking down at the “landing field”.

It sits atop a 90 ft. sand dune, know as Kill Devil Hill, covered in grass.

We walked to the top and marveled at the magnificent structure.

At the top we had a striking view of Kill Devil Hills and the ocean.

This sculpture that sits behind and below the monument recreates the historic flight event. Wilbur can be seen running alongside the flyer as Orville gets ready for liftoff.

It was quite an exhibit. From there, we went inside the First Flight Centennial Pavilion. The pavilion has films on the evolution of flying and the challenges of flight.

At the Visitor’s Center, exhibits and programs tell the Wright Brothers’ story. There is also a full scale reproduction of the 1902 glider and 1903 flying machine.

In the grassy area of the park, a granite boulder marks where the first plane left the ground on December 17, 1903.
Smaller stone markers #1-4 chart the four flight paths, distances, and landings.

We did learn that the Wright Brothers traveled from Dayton, OH to the Outer Banks for their flight experiments because of the wind, slopes without trees and shrubs, and sandy soil for soft landings. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the Wright Brothers’ Memorial. Stop #3 was the site of the USS Huron shipwreck in Nag’s Head.

Designated in 1991 as North Carolina’s first historic shipwreck preserve, the USS Huron lies 250 yards from the beach. Although buoys may mark her bow and stern, she could not be seen today. From where I stood on the beach, I could see the Nag’s Head Pier.

On this highway, Beach Road, a mile and a 1/2 of the road is commonly known as Cottage Row.

Seven of the original 13 cottages still stand and approximately 40 make up what is known as Cottage Row.

Stop #4 was at Jockey Ridge State Park.

Jockey Ridge State Park is a series of 5 dunes with the highest hill varying from 90-110 ft. tall.

It is home to the tallest natural sand dune on the East Coast.

There were colorful kites being flown and hang gliders climb to the summit to swoop down a sandy incline. They offer a hang-gliding school here. We were too tired to climb, but we enjoyed the view.

Stop #5 was at the Brew Thru. It is the original drive-thru convenience store.

Almost bigger than their fun reputation are their world-famous T-shirts. We picked up a case of beer for a good price and did the drive-thru experience.

Stop #6 was to Jennette’s Pier.

Jennette’s Pier is 1000 ft. long and is a fishing pier with beach amenities. The beach was crowded with people today.

The waves were really rolling in and the surfers were making the most of it.

We walked on the pier to see what the fishermen were catching. There were lots of them.

Three winds turbines tower over the pier to help create a “green facility”. Jennette’s Pier offers something for everyone.

Stop #7 was at Souvenir City where Bob tried to find himself some quality flip-flops to no avail. I found the OBX baseball hat I was looking for in Kill Devil Hills at a shop there. Stop #8 was the the Austin Fish Company where I found some hand-picked crab meat to bring home and make “official” crab cakes with a recipe from my neighbor. I can’t wait to try it at home.

Stop #9 and our final stop was for an early dinner at Miller’s Waterfront Restaurant.

I had to have crab at least once before we went home. I ordered a delicious crab cake sandwich. The restaurant was located on the Sound across the way from the town of Manteo where we had stopped with our boat. We had a beautiful view of the Sound from our window.

From there we made a direct drive back to the campground with no major stops. We picked up Highway 12 again in Nag’s Head which was the very beginning of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

Traffic was light on the way back. It was getting to be 4:00 and as we crossed the Oregon Inlet. We could see the charter and commercial fishing boats returning from a day of fishing.

Oops, I forgot we made one final stop to fill up with gas and get milk. Then we went back to the campground to relax outside with Auggie. It was a long, but exciting day filled with new adventures. Tomorrow we would spend our last day here relaxing at the beach.

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