Two Lighthouses and the First Flight

Corolla to Hatteras, North Carolina

Today was a busy day full of wonderful experiences! Believe it or not, we started our day by exercising. When I can’t walk tomorrow, blame Kim! After burning off two bites of last night’s fantastic cobbler, we packed up and went in search of breakfast. Our first choice, Flip Flops of Corolla, was closed up tight, lights off, doors locked, even though two signs on the door noted that it opens for breakfast daily at 7:00 AM. Hmmmm.

We backtracked to First Light in the TimBuck II shopping center (love the name, huh?), then we were on our way to Whalehead (…/whalehead-historic-corolla…/) While there, we visited the NC Wildlife Conservancy, Whalehead estate, and the Currituck Lighthouse. Whalehead is a huge gorgeous house built by the Knights in the mid-1920s. Art Nouveau in style, it was just fascinating to tour! Totally worth the $3 senior admission fee!!

The Currituck Beach Lighthouse is 162 feet tall and was built in 1875. We climbed all 214 steps to the observation deck at the top, where we were rewarded with a 360 degree panoramic view!

From here, we drove through the historic village of Corolla and then walked on a boardwalk through the forest to the sound. By this time, we were hot and tired and needed to be on the road, so we took off for Kill Devil Hill and the Wright Brothers Memorial National Park.

The park was great – fun exhibits in the visitors center and restored versions of the Wright Brothers camp and hangar, along with markers denoting the liftoff point of the first manned flight and the places the first four flights landed. Overheard by a tough looking biker guy: “We can go home now. I’ve seen where man took flight!” And he was serious and so excited to be there!

The nugget of the day for me was realizing that Americans set foot on the moon only 66 years after that first flight! How remarkable is that?!? We trudged up Kill Devil Hill, glad it’s now covered with grass and not a dune, and that we weren’t dragging our glider up there with us, to see the memorial to Wilbur and Orville and to pay silent homage to them and their dogged pursuit of their dream.

It was almost 5 before we set off for Hatteras, realizing we wouldn’t make it to Ocracoke today. We stopped by a Sonic in Nags Head for a well-deserved iced tea, then went south. Before crossing the Oregon Inlet bridge, we drove by the Bodie Island lighthouse and its horizontal black stripes on white. After that, it was a straight shot down Highway 12 to Buxton and the ‘quaint’ Hatteras Island Inn. Kim remains less than impressed.

Dinner was at the Sandbar and Grill, where we were told we could watch the sun set. It had other ideas though, and disappeared behind the clouds.

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