Wednesday, June 04, 2014


There are few things that make me feel proud to be an American. Among these things are our National Park System (we were the first nation to create such), and some of the individuals who helped to make the country and the world a better place.

These two things coincide with the Wright Brothers Memorial at Kill Devil Hills. I wish every American could see this place. It took me almost 57 years to witness it. I wish I'd seen it sooner, but better late than never. I won't get into a lot of details about why this is such an Earth-shaking spot, and why we should all see it, and why we should be happy and proud that it happened. All I'll say is that if you ever get the chance, you should stop and see this place and listen to what the Park rangers have to tell you about the Wright Brothers and what they accomplished.

You really should.

The happy couple at one of the granite monuments where the first flights took place.

Kill Devil Hill. It was once a wandering sand dune. But the Park Service has seeded it with various plants that have locked it in place. 110-feet tall, it was once the tallest sand dune on the east coast (Jockey's Ridge has that distinction now). The Wright Brothers walked up this damned hill over 1,000 times! To launch their glider prototype!

The Wright Brothers Memorial on the summit of the hill.

Looking down on the National Park site. Below, at the far end of that concrete pathway, is the original airway where Orville and Wilbur Wright finally saw their flying machine take flight.

Carole descends the hill ahead of me (blue blazer). Beyond the trees is the overbuilt monstrosity of Nags Head. Thank Jove the Park Service saved this site from development.

Ironically, as I was getting ready to walk off the hill, a Navy AWACS plane flew almost directly overhead.

The Wright Brothers built their own freaking wing tunnel to test their glider's capability when the one they had constructed on older specifications wouldn't work.
They couldn't find anyone who could supply them with the type of engine they needed for their Wright they created their own! American ingenuity? Screw that...American genius!

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