Note: This is a blog post about one of our favorite places from our days as fulltime RVers.
Terry and I drove to the Wright Brothers National Memorial. Most people think that the aviation pioneers made their first flights at nearby Kitty Hawk, but it was actually a couple of miles south at Kill Devil Hills. Today a Visitor Center has replicas of one of the brothers’ gliders and first airplane.
A short walk along a paved path took us to the actual spot from which they made their four historic flights on December 17, 1903, totaling just twelve seconds, that changed the world.
After touring the Memorial, we drove south, stopping to check out a couple of shops along the way, then visited the beautiful Bodie Island Lighthouse, which was built in 1872 and whose powerful beacon still guide ships through the treacherous waters known as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic.”
More than 1,000 ships have sunk in these waters over the last 500 years, including the Civil War steamship Oriental, which was loaded with soldiers and supplies for the Union Army when it struck a sandbar off Bodie Island and sank in 1862. Part of the ship’s boiler still sticks up out of the water and is still visible from shore. It’s popular with divers and this seagull, who was perched on top.
Many people told us that once we visited the Outer Banks and Cape Hatteras National Seashore we would be hooked and return over and over again. Now I understand why; miles of unspoiled beaches, clean air, and a scattering of charming little villages.
I imagine it’s a lot busier during the summer, but yesterday all we saw were a few beachcombers and one fellow surf fishing.
We discovered a real gem in the little village of Rodanthe; the Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station (pronounced chick-uh-muh-cah-mih-co). The U.S. Life-Saving Service was the precursor to today’s Coast Guard, and the station, established in 1874, has been carefully restored.
We spent some time taking the self-guided tour of the site’s two stations and five outbuildings, which are filled with artifacts from the days when this was a working station charged with saving people in peril in the treacherous waters along the coast.
It was getting late in the day and our tummies were growling, so after a quick stop to check out Jeannette’s Pier in Nag’s Head, I asked a couple of local fishermen where we could find some good seafood. They told us to go right across the street to Sam and Omie’s, one of the oldest restaurants in the area. I had a scallop and shrimp platter, while Miss Terry chose the flounder and scallops. Now we understand why this is such a popular place with the locals! We can’t wait to go back.
Thought For The Day – When I was young, I was poor. But after years of hard work and sacrifice, I’m no longer young.
Thank you, Nick, for a reminder of one of my favorite trips. We’re now 85 and probably won’t be traveling any more, but it is wonderful to be reminded of such an enjoyable time. LOVED the Outer Banks! Strongly recommend a visit to anyone who loves the ocean!
A very beautiful coast and lighthouses.
Sylvia and I loved that area!
Well, I learned something new tonight! After going to OBX for many years, I just learned that you can still see that ship! Never saw that or even heard of it. We love Sam and Omie’s and also, Hurricane Moe’s in Kitty Hawk. there used to be an old hotel/motel down behind the Rodanthe pier, but Isabelle took it all out, swimming pool and all! Thanks for the story.