A thin strip of interconnected barrier islands that span about 130 miles along the North Carolina coast and form the Outer Banks seem to be distant and removed, appearing more part of the Atlantic than the continent to which they are connected by barriers, bridges and ferries. Islands in the sand, whose dunes are casting and flowing with sometimes bad wind, such as bobsleds, serve as a threshold for North America – or its end – depending on the direction of travel.
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A country-defined trip or lack thereof may include boating, fishing, kayaking, water skiing, parasailing, hang gliding, kite surfing, dune climbing, dolphin watching, and sand surfing. More than anything, however, these are the first – the first English colonists to leave a footprint in the sand, the first pilots to leave a footprint in the sand when they conquered the flight, and the sea, dunes and wind that allowed both.
2. From the mountains to the banks
Though these flat, marshy islands and Outer Banks spots could no longer be opposed to the soaring Appalachian Mountains that grow in the west, they radiated from these peaks and became the third rendition of them.
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The rivers, which are collections of rainwater, flowed eastwards from them and dropped sharply from the edge of the second or lower topographic element, Piedmont. The coastal currents, then acting and forming like clay, their sediment, which was itself transferred from this mountainous origin 25,000 years ago, created barrier islands and their beaches with a threshold of water.
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Because the currents are anything but static, their never-ending forces continue to transform and displace these island masterpieces as they are exposed to the ever-changing hands of wind and water. This dynamic phenomenon is key to their protective nature, as it protects a firmer land and, like shock absorbers, often struggles with the first hurricanes and other weather systems.
Built and defined by natural forces, these sounds make up the second largest restaurant system in the US after the Chesapeake Gulf, covering nearly 3,000 square miles and emitting 30,000 square miles of water.
“A thin, broken part of the islands,” according to the National Park Service, “curves into the Atlantic Ocean and back in hiding in the embrace of the continental and northern coasts of North Carolina.”
3. Approach and orientation
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The outer banks consist of northern beaches, with cities like Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head; Roanoke Island; and Cape Hatteras National Seashore, itself composed of the islands of Bodie, Hatteras and Ocracoke.
Regular air services are provided to Norfolk and Raleigh-Durham International airports located in Virginia and North Carolina, while charter fights operate at Dare County Regional Airport at Roanoke Island Airport. Private planes serve the first flight in Kill Devil Hills and at Billy Mitchell Airport on Hatteras.
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Along the road, the Outer Banks are served by the US 158 and Wright Memorial Bridge from the north and the US 64 over 5.2 miles long Virginia Dare Memorial Bridge, Roanoke Island, the Nags Head-Manteo Causeway and the Washington Baum Bridge from the west. From the north, this route leads to the US 158 four-lane artery and travels through the island 16.5 miles, leading to shops, branches, restaurants and attractions. The narrower, two-lane NC 12, also known as “Beach Road”, protects residential communities, hotels and restaurants, often overlooking the Atlantic. The same route crosses Hatteras and after an additional ferry to Ocracoke.
Despite consensual beliefs and books on aviation history, Kitty Hawk did not serve as the site of the first successful flight in the world, although the Wright brothers remained in the village. Instead, this historic event took place about four kilometers south of it in Kill Devil Hills. Nevertheless, the aviation attraction is still nearby, along with the Aycock Brown Welcome Center, which itself offers brochures and information on trip planning for sights, restaurants, entertainment, shops and hotels.
Created by Icarus International, it was dedicated on November 8, 2003 to the centenary of a powered flight to celebrate the history, beauty and mystery of the flight and the ascent of the human spirit. The monument is set against the open sky of Kitty Hawk and creates a contemplative environment. The monument itself consists of 14 stainless steel wing pillars rising from 10 to 20 feet in orbit 120 feet to reflect the distance of the first Wright Brothers flight. December 17, 1903 and representing human ascent to the sky and the universe.
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“Humanity is a continuum of pioneers,” according to the memorial, “sharing timeless dreams and the limitless possibilities of vast unexplored worlds.”
The black granite panels are engraved with 100 of the most significant aerial achievements of the last century and center, a six-foot dome depicting the world’s continents and the words: “When Orville Wright picked up Kitty Hawk from 10:30 am on December 17, 1903 en route to the moon and beyond. ”
5. Kill the Devil Hills
Kill Devil Hills is, of course, the site of the world’s first powered, controlled, and sustained flight, and the Wright Brothers National Memorial, visible from the US 158, pays tribute.
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Although the Wrights were brought up in Dayton, Ohio, they did all their early non-motorized (gliders) and powered (aircraft) flight experiments in North Carolina by offering lofty dunes to launch their feet, high winds to generate stroke with minimal ground speed, soft wheelless sand. , minimal landing damage and isolation from the press and viewers.
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According to the Visitor Center Museum, which sporting exhibitions, 1902 gliders and 1903 Wright Flyers reproductions, interviews and National Park Service programs and a book / gift shop – the brothers were inspired and based their designs on aerodynamic principles set by four former pioneers: Sir George Cayley (1773- 1857), who founded the very foundation of aerodynamics; Alphonse Penaud (1850-1880), who built a planophone model with a rubber belt and flew 131 feet; Otto Lilienthal (1848-1896), who conducted extensive experiments with gliders; and Octave Chanute (1832-1910), who became a virtual clearing center for all aviation development and published them in the book “Progress in Flying Machines”. The Wright’s biplane glider was actually his own virtual copy.
According to the museum, the monument is the birthplace of aviation. “Here, on December 17, 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright made the first successful motor-powered flight in world history,” he says. “The Wrights believed that human flight is possible and can be achieved through systematic study.”
This systematic approach, coupled with their intuitive mechanical abilities and analytical intelligence, allowed them to understand that ascension by pull and pull stretched elongation, but more importantly, this flight can only be conquered by controlling its three side, longitudinal and vertical axes. . This lack of understanding caused the failure of all previous experimenters.
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Designing control surfaces to tame them to maintain aircraft stability, they were able to convert their glider, exposed to hundreds of blows from nearby Kill Devil, into a successful Wright Flyer.
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Two renovated buildings represent the Wright Brothers’ Camp, which left the hangar and their workshop on the left and their living rooms with a stove, a rough kitchen, a pantry, a table and a ladder to access the suspended rafter bags that served as their bunk beds.
A commemorative granite boulder marks the takeoff point of four successful flights on December 17, 1903, and markings placed on the field indicate the distance of each individual and the amount of time it takes to reach them.
Taking control of Wright Flyer while Wilbur served as his “ground crew” and stabilized his wings, Orville broke away from the runway at 10:35 am that historic day, covering 120 feet in 12 seconds while Wilbur himself piloted another attempt, covering 175 feet in the same amount of time. The penultimate fight flew 200 feet in 15 seconds and the last, and longest, one surpassed 852 feet in 59 seconds, after which damage to the aircraft, along with seriousness at the end of the season, prevented further testing and the brothers returned to Ohio.
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According to a boulder built by the US National Aviation Association on December 17, 1928 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the event, “The first successful airplane flight was made from this place by Orville Wright on December 17, 1903, in a machine designed and built by Wilbur Wright and Orville Wright. ”
The former sea of sands and dunes extending from the first boulder, still ventilated like Wright’s gliders and propelled structures, was now replaced by a sloping green field, but the aerodynamic forces invisibly brushed the fine grass tip of the grass still making them remember this event. , maybe over a century later.
The distance from the launch point to the fourth and farthest markings requires a brisk walk using the feet that the man was endowed with, but in 1903 it was covered with the wings that the birds were endowed with. Wrights have successfully crossed human and animal species, manifested as a machine.
Mounted at a 90-foot peak, now a snow-covered Kill Devil Hill sand dune opposite First Flight Airport with its 3,000-foot track, the 60-meter-long monument marks the starting point of hundreds of Wright-powered gliders.
“… sand blinds us,” they wrote back then. “It blows across the ground in the clouds. Certainly we can not complain about the place. We came down here because of the wind and sand and got them. ”
A full-size stainless steel statue of Wright Flyer, located on the other side of the hill at its base and weighing much more than the original £ 10,000 aircraft, depicts historic first flight with photographer John Daniels of the local rescue station, about to capture a single shot was ever taken.
Centennial Pavilion, through the car park from the combined visitor center, museum and flight room, offers movies and air and exhibits Outer Banks.
6. Nags Head
Just a few miles south of Kill Devil Hills, in Nags Head, is another attraction related to Flight, Jockey’s Ridge State Park.
One of the 35 state parks in North Carolina and four recreation areas stretching from Mount Mitchell – the highest peak in the west – to Jockey’s Ridge in the east, a 425 acre facility sports the highest sand dune on the coast that years, it varied at a height of 90 to 110 feet.
Its Visitor Center has a museum with photographs of the dune and its evolution, along with demonstrations of flora and fauna in the area, while two hiking trails provide a first-hand park exposure: the 45-minute Soundside Nature Trail and 1.5 miles in Písek. Its jewel, however, is undoubtedly the dune itself and is synonymous with gliding. The way Kill Devil Hills was the birthplace of a powered flight was also Nags Head for a non-powered passenger flight, as sport follows its roots in many ways.
Francis Rogallo, as well as the Wright brothers who preceded him for nearly five decades, laid the foundations of sport and is therefore considered the “father of modern gliding on gliding”. In an effort to make flying accessible and accessible to all, he took to the skies in 1948 on a makeshift glider, whose wings were made up of his wife’s kitchen curtains, and said, “My intention was to give everyone the opportunity to experience a first-hand flight.”
In the footsteps of Wright’s footprint in the sand until they disappeared into the sky, he used the same foot launch techniques less than five miles from the techniques used in the Kill Devil Hills.
Kitty Hawk Kites, which serves Jockey’s Ridge and was founded in 1974, teaches both the start and the towing procedure, and today is the largest flying school in the world with more than 300 on its list 000 students.
Initial, certified lessons taught by instructors include ground briefing, dune leg launching and 5 to 15 feet gliding.
In May, the longest Hang Gliding Spectacular gliding competition is held at Jockey’s Ridge every year.
7. Roanoke Island
Nestled between Outer Banks North Beach and Dare Mainland, Roanoke Island is eight kilometers long and two miles wide and is the site of the first English settlement in the New World and has several attractions to interpret it.
Manteo, its business and government center, is a picturesque, riverside city of artists, fishermen, inns, bed and breakfasts, cafes, gift shops, galleries, restaurants, promenades, and a 53-slip port on Shallowbag Bay and its history is reflected in street names such as Queen Elizabeth Avenue and Sir Walter Raleigh Street.
Named after the Croatian chief who returned with the first English explorers at the end of the 16th century and incorporated as a city in 1899, it offers several of its own monuments. For example, the Magnolia Market is an open-air pavilion used for city-sponsored events. Located on Queen Elizabeth Avenue, The Tranquil House Inn is reminiscent of the majestic 19th-century Outer Banks with Cypriot wood, beveled stained glass, back porch overlooking the bay, four-poster beds, continental breakfast, afternoon wine and cheese and its own 1587 Restaurant.
Other attractions include the North Carolina Maritime Museum, Beaufort Main Station, and located at George Washington Creef, which overlooks Croatan Sound. Before the 1939 fire, the area was the land of the Mante shipbuilding industry, and the next construction was built by Creef’s son the following year to repair the shadboats that his father had designed and which became the official ship.
It is a workshop rather than a museum, allowing the visitor to see how most of the volunteers’ wooden hulls are renewed and renewed, even when the shadboat itself is on display, along with other monuments.
A wooden walkway leads to other sights of the city, the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse. The external reconstruction of the square, the cottage beacons that led the ships through a narrow channel between the sounds of Pamlico and Croatan on the south side of the island in the area called “Roanoke Marshes” from 1877 to 1955, was initially decommissioned for a year but swallowed water.
The current fixed-white replica, fourth-order Fresnel lenses, was dedicated in 2004, during which Mayor John Wilson said, “In the coming years, when islanders mix with visitors along the Manteo waterfront, remember this place where it was built and released so many vessels, dreams are still shining … the lighthouse is now casting its soothing ray into the night sky … ”
Inside you can view photographs and exhibits of lighthouse and marine history.
A quick journey down Queen Elizabeth Avenue and across the Cora Mae Bridge leads to the Roanoke Island Festival Park, a 25-hectare outdoor historic living complex that celebrates America’s first English settlement with several recurrences.
For example, an American Indian city depicts the coastal Algonquian culture that flourished on Roanoke Island and surrounding areas for thousands of years until 1500, when its nomadic hunting lifestyle was transformed into a more sedentary, agriculturally based.
There was no written language. As a result, English explorers were discovered firsthand, archaeological remains uncovered in the region, and the oral tradition of telling stories and crafts was the basis of the park’s exhibits.
During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, the first expedition, organized by Sir Walter Raleigh, but Captain Arthur Barlowe and scientist Thomas Harriot, arrived on the shore of the New World in 1584, and both recorded their impressions of the land they had hoped to colonize. The reproduction of a small Indian city is the type they have met.
The basic structure in any Algonquian housing estate was a “weroance” or “leader” house and was divided into an inner perimeter that was intended for public use and served as a welcoming and entertaining guest, and an interior room where private functions such as high-level meetings and family activities.
Several English explorers were greeted by the wife of Granganimeo, a local leader, and then led to the outer perimeter rooms of the house where they were heated by fire while their feet were washed and their laundry washed before being led into the inner room. to the banquet.
Another typical settlement structure was a long cottage. Supported by sapling trees whose bark was stripped of young trees, she took a curved roof to reduce her vulnerability to the wind, her poles gripping her cord. His skeleton was then covered with reeds or bark mats.
Mats or animal skins still covered a small door to reduce heat loss.
Other houses, outdoor cooking and dining areas and work shelters surrounded the cottage and corn, and other staple plants were usually grown on land.
By default, settlements supported between 100 and 200 villagers and were released when the country on which they were located could no longer be cultivated, although the decade between abandonment and re-employment usually restored its agricultural usefulness.
Indian life is further illustrated by exhibitions of cocking and preparing food, dug canoes and fishing weirs.
The climax, perhaps, of the Roanoke Island Festival Park is the bay anchored and visible Elizabeth II ship, populated, as well as the rest of its site, by costume interpreters.
The replica, built in 1983 at the Maritime Museum of North Carolina across the bay, consists of the then prevailing merchant ships with three masts. Representing the type originally designed to carry second or 1585 expedition colonists after Thomas Cavendish pledged his property to fund it, a vessel commemorating the 400th anniversary of the event uses keeled carved juniper beams and acacia wood pegs, frame and planks. Although a relatively small ship with a displacement of 50 tons and a main mast of 65 feet was primarily intended for European trade routes, it still crossed the open seas.
Eight English voyages took place between 1584 and 1590, involving 22 ships and 1,200 soldiers, sailors and colonists (including 28 women and children).
The site’s settlement site, which is the first English military station on American soil, includes a sergeant’s tent, a forge and a forge, a lathe configured for legs and ropes, and a palisade.
In addition to these exhibits, Roanoke Island Festival Park also has a sports visitor center; the film “The Legend of Two Ways”; Roanoke Adventure Museum; and a significant souvenir shop.
Chronicle of the first English settlers is processed to another important attraction Roanoke Island, National Historic Site Fort Raleigh.
Although Sir Walter Raleigh himself never entered the New World, he was granted the charter of Queen Elizabeth I, as described, to begin the first of three so-called “Roanoke cruises” to America in 1584 to select a place for colonization, to set up a camp from which they will ship raids on Spanish ships and look for precious metals such as gold. It came in July.
After returning to England, it was decided that the island was an optimal place for its protected shores and that his country was seen very positively, as Captain Arthur Barlowe said in his report to Sir Walter Raleigh.
“We found it to be the most pleasant and fertile soil,” he wrote, “supplemented by good cedars and a variety of other sweet forests full of currants, flax and many important commodities … The soil is the richest, sweetest, fertile and healthy of the world. ”
The second expedition, which was sent the following year with 108 soldiers, was intended to support the definitive claim of England.
Towards this more permanent settlement, a fortress was built on the north side of the island, but the decline of previously friendly relations with the Native Americans fell as they began to succumb to diseases caused by English and winter, barely as abundant crops and food as warmer months. on Native Americans until relations became strained. The killing of Chief Wingina, the most important event in the history of the nascent colony, sealed European destiny and has since been declared “enemies”.
The promised supply ships, apparently late, prompted them to return to England on their first opportunity – and when Sir Francis Drake sailed to Roanoke Island, that opportunity emerged. Fifteen colonists, however, still guarded the fortress and the land they had claimed.
Crossing the Atlantic for a third voyage in 1587, 117 men, women and children, aiming to create a permanent settlement and a more representative real population, were promised individual lands.
Yet they only sailed back to Roanoke Island to rebuild the original 15 before heading further inland to set up their own village, but found no sign of them.
John White, appointed by the governor of the new colony, returned to England because of what was intended only as a short supply trip, but conflicting events – including the lack of ships to be sailing – precluded his return to 1590. This trip, together with the following at the beginning of the 17th century, they also failed to find the lost colonists who apparently only left the abandoned fort and a few artifacts behind.
However, they were instructed to publish a notice if they decided to leave the area or if unforeseen events proved to be harmful to their safety, and for this purpose the letters ‘CRO’ were carved in a tree and the whole word ‘CROATAN’ appeared. at the gate, which refer to the local tribe and perhaps the reason for their disappearance.
Although excavations continue, no definitive reason has ever been found, leaving three hypotheses: they died of natural causes, were attacked or voluntarily left – but where and how was never determined, if in fact this third theory is true.
Part of this story is told through artifacts uncovered during the excavation of the fort and displayed at the Lindsay Warren Visitor Center Museum, culminating in a decorative wooden paneling characteristic of the Elizabethan estate that once adorned the walls of Heronden Hall in Kent, England before it was purchased by William Randolph Hearst in 1926 for his own castle in San Simeon, California. National Park Service acquired it during the 1960s. Rooms such as the Visitor Center would prevail in the homes of rich men like Sir Walter Raleigh himself.
The outdoor trail leads to the founding of a reconstructed earth fort. “At this point,” according to the stone mark in front of him, “in July-August 1585, colonists sent from England by Sir Walter Raleigh built a fortress, which they called” the new fortress in Virginia. “These colonists were the first settlers of the English race in America, returning to England with Sir Francis Drake in July 1586. Virginia Dare, the first child of English parents born in America, was born near August 18, 1587.”
The historical description of the first English settlers, billed as “a true story of adventure, courage and sacrifice” that “enriches, educates, and entertains” is called the “Lost Colony” and is conducted from late May to end – August at Waterside Theater, the site of Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. Based on the Pulitzer Prize author Paul Paul was first introduced in 1937, but has since been running and using a cast of more than 100 actors, singers and dancers who recreate the events that led to the first disappearance of the colonists by a royal procession, Indian dance, epic battles, Elizabethan music and elaborate costumes.
Other local attractions include the Elizabethan Gardens, a 10.5 hectare botanical garden, accessible by brick and sand trails, offering more than a thousand species of trees, shrubs and flowers.
“Created in honor of the first English colonists to decorate these shores,” he explains, according to the museum: “History, secrets and fantasies are combined in these special gardens created by the North Carolina Garden Club in 1951 as a living memorial to the first English colonists to explore the New World. between 1584-87 and settle on Roanoke Island. “”
According to the inscription in front of the gate, the entrance to the garden and the souvenir shop, “The performance of the Symphonic Outdoor Drama” The Lost Colony “planted the seed in the creative minds that first introduced the garden.”
There are many peaks in this peaceful oasis. For example, the statue of Queen Elizabeth I is the world’s greatest honor, while a smaller statue of Virginia Dare is nearby. Hand-bricked bricks, gargoyle benches, seasonal flowers, marble table and stone bird accentuate the view of Roanoke Sound from the view terrace. Colony Walk honors the lost colonists who once passed these very shores and are lined with coastally tolerant plants. The reeds of Norfolk, England were used in thatched roof replicas of a gazebo from the 16th century. The Camellia collection contains more than 125 types of flowers, while the ancient oak is believed to have survived since the colonists settled on the island in 1585.
Another attraction of Roanoke Island is the North Carolina Aquarium, one of the three state facilities on the coast. Specifically, it is located on the shores of Roanoke Sound, just off the Dare County Regional Airport and displays the theme of “External Bank Waters”.
North Carolina’s coastal plain, as shown by its ‘Coastal Freshwaters’ image, provides wildlife with a range of freshwater habitats. Streams and rivers flow through marshes, bogs and other wetlands on their way to the sounds. Waterways connect all these habitats and allow wildlife to pass from one to the other.
Albemarle Sound is powered by seven freshwater rivers. In order to survive in the sound itself, plants and animals must be able to adapt to the changes in salinity that themselves create rain and drafts.
Eurasian otters and alligators wander around the marshes ‘marshes’ exhibitions, while other displays include those labeled ‘marine communities’ and ‘open ocean’.
The focal point of the aquarium is the 285,000 gallon seawater exhibition “Atlantic Cemetery”, which contains over 200 fish and the largest collection of sharks in North Carolina.