Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

As We Wind Down . . .

leave a comment »

. . . this week,

we might keep in mind that

we’ll have a new bus driver

beginning next week.

And practice her name — Elizabeth.

= = = = =

Outer Banks Attract Interest

in Wright Stuff

NAG’S HEAD, N.C. —- It was the Wright place and the Wright time for the elderly North Carolina couple to learn how to fly. They snapped on helmets and hang-gliding harness, caught the wind and sailed off the largest living sand dune in America to emulate the historic moment that occurred more than a century earlier just up the road at Kill Devil Hills, where a memorial to Orville and Wilbur Wright’s famous flights is operated by the National Park Service.

It was the wide-open rolling dunes, privacy, and persistent wind at Kill Devil Hills, not Kitty Hawk farther up the road, that opened the skies for air travel. Any local will tell you bluntly – you don’t even have to ask – that Kitty Hawk gets all the glamor because the Kill Devil Hills telegraph station was closed that December day in 1903 when the brothers completed their four controlled flights. So they made their announcement to the world through the Kitty Hawk telegraph office.

The brisk breezes that lure hang gliders to this ring of barrier islands that shelter North Carolina are what give the place its spanking-clean look. Everything is scoured by sand. Cookie-cutter wooden houses on stilts and lattice-wrapped carports stretch along the 75-odd miles of beachfront. They come in all shades of gray – tan, white, ecru, taupe, azure, cream, yellow, and aqua, but still look gray – and straddle both sides of Highway 12, the asphalt spine that stretches south from just below the Virginia border to Ocracoke Island that’s monitored by that storied point of fact and fiction, Cape Hatteras.

It’s a 90-minute drive from Norfolk airport to the Currituck Lighthouse that warns ships away from the northern end of these Outer Banks. But you should stop along the way to study and sample local delicacies that range from sweetbreads to softshell crabs. The latter, which are called peelers here, are trapped in wire cages much like lobster. Because they molt under a full moon, light bulbs are placed over the traps to confuse the crustaceans into shedding their carapaces, at which time they are picked and prepared for sale.

The 20-story Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

is the tallest brick lighthouse in the nation.

Early sailors along these shores had to maneuver their way through the sinister shifting shoals that gave this stretch of coastline the name, The Graveyard of the Atlantic. Adding to the dangers over the years was Edward Teach, the notorious pirate known as Blackbeard who used the area below Cape Hatteras as a hideout because his shallow-draft ships could slide in and out over the sand bars that the heavier British warships couldn’t manage.


Written by Cecil Scaglione

May 11, 2023 at 8:54 pm

Posted in News / Events, Travel

Tagged with ,

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