Odie's Roadies

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Greetings from Virginia
Another gorgeous day. And, thanks to Odie, we always go for a walk around wherever we are in the morning!

Yesterday was special. A visit to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina and Kill Devil Hill where Wilbur and Orville Wright made their historic 12 second flight on December 17, 1903. They had centennial celebrations here last December, so the exhibits are in great shape.

I just LOVE learning stuff. And, there is nothing like being there. The learning doesn't just come thru your eyes, ears and brain. A book or a movie could do that. The learning comes thru your very molecules. I remember when I went to China with my Mom in '97. We saw all sorts of stuff and certainly learned a lot, but the main impact of the experience was simply standing on the other side of this planet.

Here's Jim standing at the approximate takeoff spot. You can see the markers of their first 4 flights at 120 ft, 175 ft, 200 ft and 852 ft.

And, here he is next to the model:

Jim was here 30 years ago, and has been a devoted student of aviation history since he was a kid. He knew all about how the Wright brothers were the only ones who really studied how to control a 'flyer' when it was airborn. They spent years 'flying' gliders before even trying to power flight. The other people working on flight at the same time, Lilienthal in Germany and Langley in the US, believed a flyer would be 'inherently stable' once airborn.

I knew none of this and felt very privileged to have my own tour guide! I enjoyed the thrill of learning, and, since I will forget it all within a few weeks or months, I could enjoy the same thrill next time we go thru N. Carolina!!

Here I am walking up to the monument at the top of Kill Devil Hill. This hill provided the takeoffs for the Wrights' glider flights.

Facts and Stats:
Current Park: Gloucester Point, Gloucester, VA, 800-332-4316
Site cost per night: $28
Nights at last camp: 1
Travel time: 7.5 hours (includes Kitty Hawk)
Miles: 171
Weather: Clear, sunny, 78 degrees
posted by Chris at 5/13/2004 09:26:00 AM

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