Tuesday, April 30, 2013

4/24 Bodie Island Lighthouse and Kitty Hawk

After I left Ocracoke, I headed to a commercial campground on Roanoke Island, which is on the far north end of the Outer Banks, near Nag's Head.  Roanoke Island is where the first English colony settled, a decade before Jamestown, which is the first "permanent" settlement in the colonies.  The lost colony consisted of 115 people who arrived in Roanoke in 1587.  Unfortunately, the supply fleet was delayed and when it arrived in 1590, there was no sign of the colonists.  No one has ever determined what happened to them, but there is a small museum and reconstructed fort at the known location.  The fort was mostly earthworks and looked like this:

Interestingly, there was also a Freedman's settlement here during the civil war for escaped slaves.  Anyone who made it to the island was safe.

Just south of here is another of the Outer Banks lighthouses--the Bodie Lighthouse.  Notice the black and white stripes on this one are horizontal?  I was there on the first day it had opened for the season and climbed to the top.  It had been completely restored and had been closed for the past three years, so I was lucky to be there at the right time.

This one was not quite as tall as the Hatteras lighthouse, but nice anyway.  View from the top was nice, although my right knee was complaining with all this stair climbing.

The last day in Roanoke, I headed north past Kitty Hawk on my way to Virginia Beach. I know now why the Wright brothers chose this place to fly their plane for the first time--there is always a strong wind! Anyway, here is the hill (sand dune) that the brothers used to launch their practice glides.  The actual flights were done on the flatter area in the foreground.  Very, very cold that day, and of course, windy, so I visited the museum and just drove around the hill.  Brrrr. 

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