On the northern Outer Banks

On our second day in the OBX we go take a picture at Bodie Island lighthouse and we walk on the tallest sand dune on the Atlantic coast (only 30 meters high). We drive through the town of Manteo before heading to the Wright brothers memorial. A few firsts happened in the Outer Banks: the first spoken radio communication,  the first US life-saving service (later becoming the coast guard), the first US marine sanctuary, the first child born in America of English parents, and the first plane flight in the world (but there’s claims it wasn’t, let’s assume it was). The Wright brothers from Dayton, Ohio, came to Kitty Hawk in late summer of 1901 and 1902 to try their glider designs. In 1903 they were ready to add propulsion to it and in December Orville Wright took the first manned, heavier than air, powered flight. It lasted 12 seconds and went 36 meters ahead. Orville took off with the help of Wilbur who was holding the wing to stabilize the plane as it went off the ground, originating the word “wingman”. They flew three more times that day, the last flight lasting a minute to a distance of 260 meters. They couldn’t do more flights because they didn’t think about anchoring the plane in between flights, the wind lifted and flipped it, damaging it. Later Orville Wright worked with the US army while Wilbur went to France where they had a contract with a French company. Enthusiasm for aviation was high in France. The Wright Brothers memorial in Kitty Hawk encloses the Kill Devil Hill, from where they flew their gliders, and the markers where they took their first powered flights.


The biggest con of road tripping is that we take it day by day, meaning that we don’t​ plan like for a holiday. We know the big lines of the trip, but not the details until the night before (at best). This made us miss opportunities several times already, when places are closed or tours are full. Today we wanted to see the wild horses in Corolla. We knew the island has a herd of Spanish mustang left by Spanish colonists 500 years ago. What we didn’t know is that the area is only accessible by 4×4 or by tour, and that all the tours are booked for today. Our drive to Corolla wasn’t all in vain because the historic village has a nice lighthouse and an old hunting club.