Nags Head, NC    5-10-2007

Ok, we've been talking about it for a while and we finally got out to the outer banks to try our hands at some hang gliding. Visited the First Fight Memorial, Fort Raleigh, and did a tandem hang glide ride while we were at it. Good trip all and all.

The Day we went to the First Flight Memorial was overcast so there was not a lot of good oportunites for good images. So I figured it was a good time to get the infrared lens out. Personally I like them, but people definately either love or hate IR pics so your opinions may vary. Once again, stiching photos was essential to getting some shots, in particular the one of the monument, there simply wasn't enough space to back up and get it all in one shot. This was my first attempt at stiching IR pictures, but it seems to work just fine.

The picture with the stones may take some explaining. On December 17th, 1903, The Wright Brothers made 2 flights each for a total of 4 flights. The flights had a distance of 120', 175', 200', and 852' respectively which are marked by the white stones in the picture. (The starting point a rail just visible on the lower left).

Two interesting observations can be made from this.

1. Since each brother took turns, each flight was just a litle farther than the next. It really takes no imagination to picture two brothers out there trying to out do each other which each successfull flight.

2. The First flight was 120' in 12 seconds, which is a whopping 6.8 mph. Given that this was into a headwind of 27mph, this is a very strange mental picture.

The Wright Brothers Memorial

Fort Raleigh

Ok, with Jamestown visited last year and Williamsburg the year before, this should end our tour of early American colonies. I'll save you a trip on this one, don't bother as there is nothing left. We walked by it twice before I took this picture of the earth embankments which mark the boundary of the original fort. Even this is a restoration form the 50's. According to the Park Ranger, the earthwork was still visible during the civil war, but was only about 17" tall.

And now for a quick history lesson.
  • Columbus, Unknown location in the Caribbean: 1492
  • Columbus, The Caribbean: 1493
  • Columbus, The Caribbean and South America: 1498
  • John Cabot, Canada and Newfoundland: 1498
  • Columbus, The Caribbean and Central America: 1502
  • Giovanni da Verrazzano, Cape Fear NC and the East Coast of North America: 1524
  • Roanoke NC - First Colony, Fort Raleigh, Abandoned: 1585
  • Roanoke NC - Second Colony, Unknown Fate: 1587
  • Jamestown Settlement, VA: 1607
  • Williamsburg, VA: 1699
  • Philadelphia, 1776 - Declaration of Independence
  • Richmond, VA: 1780
  • Philadelphia, 1787 - Constitutional Convention
  • Washington, DC: 1790
Ok wake back up. What you should notice about this list

1. Columbus never set foot on North America, he discovered the Caribbean
2. 32 years later, Giovanni was the first person to sail down the East Coast
3. It wasn't until 61 years later that Sir Walter Raleigh tried to establish the first of two failed colonies.
4. And it wasn't until 20 years more till the first successful colony was established at Jamestown.

Not exactly the speed of light it seemed like when you read early American history in the 3rd grade huh?

Are you ready for the amazement?

That's it folks.

Some Misc Pictures from the area near fort Raleigh.

North Carolina Wildlife

Why Yes, it seems that there are native alligators in NC.

Jockey's Ridge and Hang Gliding

Jockeys Ridge

Hang Gliding from Jockeys Ridge

5 Flights each for $90 a person through Kitty Hawk Kites. They even carry the hang glider back up the dune for you each time. Takes about 3 hrs. No, you really don't go that high as the dune drops off at about the same rate as the hang glider glides. The trainer models they have have a glide ratio of about 3 to 1 so it just about matches the drop of the sand dune on that section.

The Tandem Hang Glid

No problem. Strap yourself to a hang glider with an instructor and get dragged up to 2000' by an ultralight. Hang on and enjoy the view. (Also with Kitty Hawk Kites)

The Brew Through

Gota be one of the all time best ideas ever. What do you do with an old car wash? Turn it into a drive through liquor store. (and when I say Drive Through, I mean that it a very literal way). Raleigh really needs one of these.