Friday, November 11, 2011

Outer Banks

On the way to Cape Hatteras we got to stop at Kitty Hawk, the place where Orville and Wilbur Wright flew the first airplane.

They have a sculpture made to the exact dimensions of the Wright Brothers plane which they flew on Dec 17, 1903.

These 4 stones represent the 4 flight from Dec 17, 1903. The first flight was just 12 seconds and went only 120 ft. But their final flight of the day (they crashed the plane) was still only 59 seconds and 852 feet. These were the first succesful, sustained powered flights and history was made.

It was quite windy most of the time we were down on the cape. This is where the eye of Hurricane Irene hit earlier this year.

These were some of the roughest seas I've seen on the Atlantic coast. They were like this every day we were there.

This temporary bridge had been open only 12 days when we crossed it on our way south on the outer banks. It took them about six weeks to open this highway following the hurricane. Before the hurricane there was no need for a bridge, but the hurricane created a new inlet when it rearranged the shore.

We saw lots of storm damage such as this broken concrete which had been a road.

We did have the opportunity to have a hot dog roast on the beach, even though it was quite windy.

Only 3 of us were willing to brave the wind and cool weather, Tom, Max and myself. You can see the rough seas in the background.

Max got caught in a wave while taking Fancy on the beach.

But a few minutes later so did I.

There was a fishing tournament going on. Lots of surf fisherman were out on the beach but we never saw anyone catching anything.

We did do more than just go to the beach, we went down to Cape Hatteras Point.

The ring of blocks show where the original Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was located. Notice how close it is to the water. In 1870 it sat over 1500 feet away from high tide, but over the years the beach kept getting closer and closer until it threatened to wash away the lighthouse.

The current location of the Cape Hatteras lighthouse. Since the 1930s several attempts have been made to stop the erosion, but none were successful. It was determined in the 1980s to move the lighthouse after requesting advise from the Academy of Sciences. It was determined that moving the lighthouse was the best choice, but it would be a monumental job to move this 4,400 ton, 200 foot high lighthouse the recommended 2900 feet.

Contracts were awarded to International Chimney Company and Expert House Movers. There were many pictures and even video showing how they jacked up the lighthouse then placed it on rollers and roll beams to be moved. They started on June 17 and moving it along 5 feet at a time, placed it on its new location on July 9, 1999. Automatic sensors monitored every inch of the move.

We saw this funny silver cylindrical thing that looked like a space ship, and stopped to check it out. I don't know who was more scared, me or the alien.

This U.S. Weather Bureau Station was built in 1901 and was 1 of only 7 built specifically for weather observation. It served as a weather station until 1946.

At the tip of the cape, next to the ferry over to Ocracoke Island, was this small museum. It had been recommended so we stopped in to see. Glad we did, it had one of the best exhibits on pirates I have ever seen. The history of pirating, dating back to 3000 B.C., all the way to some info on current day pirates which operate mainly off the coast of Africa. Cape Hatteras is proud of their part in the history of Blackbeard. His favorite anchorage was Ocrocoke Inlet and after his pardon in June 1718, he settled in nearby Bath and some say married a local girl. But shortly he went back to pirating and found his end later that year in November 1718.

We also took a trip back up to Roanoke Island, site of mysterious disappearance of the Lost Colony in 1587.

I loved this picture at the visitor center. Notice the serpent out in the ocean. It looks like it is going after one of the ships. And the island of Roanoke is behind the barrier islands. Even with all the searching over the past 300 years and all the archeological evidence, they still do not know what happened to the appx 115 colonists left behind when the ship sailed to England for supplies in 1587. When Governor John White returned in 1590 (he was delayed in England due to war), the colony was deserted with no real indication as to what happened. In that colony was the first American born child, Virginia Dare.

Bodie Island lighthouse. The visitor center was damaged in the hurricane and is not open. You can see some damage to the lighthouse as well.

I think Fancy would like to become a beach tramp. She loves to chase the birds on the beach and especially likes to mess with the dead horseshoe crabs.

1 comment:

Donna Huffer said...

When living in Ohio we would go frequently to the Outer Banks for vacation. Saw the Hattaras Lighthouse in both locations. Thanks for the memories.