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Monday, March 30, 2015

Walking Around Outdoor World in Williamsburg, Virginia propr

Eric & I are paying a reduced
rate at Outdoor World with our
Resort Parks International

The Office &

The Tennis Court &
Basketball Court


While traveling off-season, Eric and I don't see campgrounds at their best.  Repairs are being made. leaves and downed tree limbs need to be cleared.  The outdoor swimming pool is never welcoming.


The Playground is
next to the Pool

The Pavilion overlooks
the Pool.

Ping Pong Tables
sit idle.

The other end of the Pavilion
looks out over a section
of cabins.

A Winnebago Trailer sits
next to a motorhome.

Outdoor World is a former Yogi Bear Jellystone Park.  There are pull through & back in campsites on different levels of this hilly campground.  RVers have water and sewer connections and a choice of 30 or 50 amp electric service.

Campers on terraced
sections of a hill.

There is a fee for Wifi here.  Because we have lots of data left on our Verizon account, we opted not to purchase access to the campground's Wifi.

Outdoor World is wooded.  Fortunately, we found a site that's open enough for our DirecTV satellite dish to work.  Eric believes we wouldn't be able to pick up TV satellites after the trees leaf out.

Our campsite.

After we parked and set up, Eric realized that Site 30B is very spacious.  We have plenty of room on the awning side of the motorhome.  The opposite side is next to a rarely used roadway that provides a large buffer between campsites. 

I'm liking the paved roads here.  Eric and I are tracking less dirt into our motorhome because of them.

Driving Northwest to Williamsburg, Virginia

After visiting the Wright Brothers
National Memorial, Eric & I
drive north into Kitty Hawk.

Glancing down a street, I
get a glimpse of the ocean.

Crossing Currituck Sound.

Two bridges....

One is operational.

 with over-sized wheels
caught my eye...

Tarheel Autos
We Finance

The orange awning on this
5th wheel catches the eye.

Fireworks are sold here.

Homes for birds....

Apartments & single
family gourds

We are driving on North

Vultures search the
roadway for carrion.

We pass a farm.

The silo is in need
of a new roof. 

Welcome to Virginia.

Signs let us know the drive
time to upcoming exits.

Crossing the James River on the

Approaching the tunnel.

Lights stream by. 

Leaving the tunnel or an
out of body experience....

Maybe both.

US Route 64 takes us 
west to Williamsburg.

We are staying at

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Wright Brothers Memorial Sits Atop Kill Devil Hill: The Wright Brothers Memorial

The Wright Brothers Memorial
sits on Kill Devil Hill,
above the airfield.

The sand dune was stabilized
with sod & other plantings.

As Eric & I walk up the hill
to the memorial, we see a
parking area & picnic

Further up the hill, we see

This is a fitting place to fly
small aircraft to & from.

Discussion of a memorial
started in 1927.

 wing- like pylon is topped
 with a navigational beacon
& contains a power house
 to run it.

From this angle, the
memorial looks like
an airplane rudder.

 In Commemoration of the Conquest of the Air
By the Brothers Wilbur & Orville Wright
Conceived By Genius
Achieved by Dauntless Resolution & Unconquerable Faith

Orville Wright was the guest of honor at the 
dedication on November 14, 1932

Wilbur died in 1912 from typhoid fever.

On the other side of the hill,
Eric & I see a full scale model
of the photo taken by John T. 
Daniels of Orville's first
flight on December 17, 1903.

I am grateful to the foresight of the United States Congress in setting aside lands for National Parks. Historical and natural areas all over America could have been bulldozed, built on and or mined by private companies, if not for Congress's belief that our heritage and unique geographic areas are worth preservation.

Experiments with Flight: Wright Brothers National Memorial

After walking the field that Orville and Wilbur Wright flew over on December 17, 1903, I wanted to see the process the brothers went through to develop the 1903 Wright Flyer.

Eric & I walked to the
Visitors Center to learn
about Orville & Wilbur
Wright's experiments
with flight.

Orville & Wilbur Wright
ran a bicycle repair shop
in Dayton, Ohio.

They honed their mechanical
skills there.

The business provided the funding necessary for aviation experiments.  According to Ed Sines, a friend, Orville and Wilbur spent about $1,000.00 on all their experiments from 1899 to 1903.

Photos taken at the
airfield show the 
living quarters.

Orville & Wilbur learned
a lot by building & flying
their glider in 1902.

This is a replica.

They flew the glider 1,000 times in the fall of 1902.  After conquering free flight, Orville and Wilbur started work to solve the problems of powered flight.  They looked at car engines, but didn't find one that would meet their needs at a reasonable cost.

The brothers built a 200
pound engine to power
the propellers of their

The gas tank & water
reservoir that cooled
the engine on the

This is a replica.

Everything was ready...

Orville flew the first powered
airplane on December 17, 1903.

The brothers took turns for three flights that followed. Wilbur piloted the fourth and longest flight was 59 seconds long and covered 852 feet.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

First Flight: The Wright Brothers National Memorial, North Carolina

The Wright Brothers National
Memorial is located at
Kill Devil Hills....

Kitty Hawk is just up
the road from here.

Orville and Wilbur Wright grew up in Dayton, Ohio and flight fascinated them.  By 1892 the brothers were running a bicycle repair shop and learning a lot about mechanics. They followed the work of others who were experimenting with powered flight and started their experiments in 1986.  Orville and Wilbur came to Kill Devil Hills, an area known for constant, steady wind to test their theories in 1900.

Eric and I started our visit at the air field the brothers experimented at and eventually 
flew over.

The Wright Brothers' sheds operated as living quarters and the hangar for their work.  These buildings are replicas.

The Wright Brothers lived here,
off & on, from 1900 through
 December, 1903.

Accommodations were

They slept in the loft.

The hangar

I thought it would
be larger.

There were failures.  Orville and Wilbur Wright learned a lot along the way.  They disproved some commonly accepted calculations for aerodynamics.  Flying gliders here helped Orville and Wilbur learn more about wing shape, length and how to use a rudder.  Powered flight brought with it many new problems that were puzzled over, theories were tested and each challenge was conquered.

This boulder marks the spot where
the Wright Brothers' plane took

Spoiler alert... there were four
powered flights that day.

The metal track that runs
in front of the boulder
was used by the Wright
brothers to line up &
start each flight.

The brothers tossed a coin to determine which one of them would pilot the first flight. Locals, John Moore, Willie Dough, John T. Daniels, Adam D. Etheridge and William C. Brinkley, helped Orville and Wilbur push the plane to its take off spot.

Orville's flight lasted
 12 seconds & he
 flew 120 feet.

Wilbur piloted the second
flight that also lasted 12
seconds & landed 175
feet away from the
starting point.

I notice that as we walk along the field and read the markers, each successive marker is taller, reflecting the increased length of flight.

Orville took the controls
 & flew 200 feet in
15 seconds.

Wilbur flew the last flight
of the day....

He flew 852 feet
in 59 seconds.
The flight field... The "take off" boulder is on the left.  
The markers for the first three flights are easily seen.
The fourth marker is to the right of the
barely visible water tower.

Walking the length of this field helps me appreciate what Orville, Wilbur and their ad hoc crew accomplished on a windy Thursday, December 17, 1903.