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Outer Banks North Carolina

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Wilson’s Blog

Here in North Carolina, Ditch has been pretend pirate for two days! He cannot find Blackbeard's treasure anywhere. Pretend pirate Ditch thought he would find hidden treasure in the water. Did he? No, but we did go to a place called Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum. It's all about old sailing ships and ships that sunk in the deep water from bad storms near the Outer Banks. Many sunken ships but no sunken treasure. You win Blackbeard! Ditch decided, fine, I won't find treasure, I'll eat hushpuppies, fried balls of cornmeal, and sit on top of really tall sand dune. What is one of the tallest sand dunes? Go to somewhere called Jockey's Ridge in town called Nags Head. Actual fact: some of the sand dunes there are over 140 feet tall!

On another tall hill near a town called Kitty Hawk, GoBro and I stood on Kill Devils Hill. Why? That's where the Wright Brothers flew first plane from long ago in 1903. They flew for only 12 seconds but first time any person or gopher ever flew! Actual facts: the Wright Brothers were real brothers. They used to fix bicycles in Ohio. Actual gopher fact: Ditch can't ride a bicycle. Ditch said, we're brothers, why don't we do something no one else has ever done? We are gophers driving around in a van. Have other GoBros done that?

Apple Pie Picks

Visit the Lighthouses of the Outer Banks

Visit the four lighthouses operated by the National Park on the shores of the Outer Banks: Currituck Beach, Bodie Island, Cape Hatteras and Ocracoke.

The Currituck Beach Lighthouse, located in Corolla stands at 158 feet tall and is the northern-most lighthouse in the Outer Banks. This night beacon, which can be seen for 18 miles out to sea, still flashes every twenty seconds to safely guide ships along the North Carolina coast. Unlike the other lighthouses in the area, the Currituck is unpainted red brick.  Visitors can climb the 214 steps to the top and view the Atlantic Ocean.

The Bodie Island Lighthouse is located further south on the coast and stands at 150 feet tall. This lighthouse, built in 1872, is painted white with two 22 foot horizontal black stripes.

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is located in Buxton. This 210 foot lighthouse is the tallest brick lighthouse in the United States. Visitors can climb the 268 iron spiral stairs to the top. The automated light can be seen 20 miles out to sea and beams every 7.5 seconds.

The Ocracoke Lighthouse is located in the fishing village of Ocracoke. Built in 1823, it is the southern-most lighthouse on the Outer Banks and the second oldest operating lighthouse in the United States. To get to this white concrete lighthouse, visitors must take a 45 minute ferry ride from Hatteras Island. The lighthouse tower is 75 feet tall and its light can be seen for 14 miles.


Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum

The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum is a maritime museum that focuses on the sailing history and shipwrecks of the Outer Banks. The local area, especially the waters off the coast of Cape Hatteras, is home to many shipwrecks. Powerful storms, strong ocean currents and hidden sandbars are just some of the dangers for big ships in this area. At low tide, some of the old shipwrecks are still visible on the sandbars. The museum is located in Hatteras Village. This museum displays the history of more than 1,500 shipwrecks that have occurred off the coast of the Outer Banks. Explore shipwrecks, view ship models, learn about lifesaving rescue operations and hear thrilling stories of famous local pirates.


The Wright Brothers National Memorial

Located on Bodie Island, The Wright Brothers National Memorial marks the site where, on December 17, 1903, the world's first controlled powered flight hit the skies for 12 seconds. Visit the site in Kill Devil Hills near Kitty Hawk where brothers Orville & Wilbur introduced flight to the world. The grounds include a large granite boulder which marks the take off point for the first successful flights by the Wright brothers and four smaller stone markers for future flight attempts. Replica camp buildings and a 60 foot granite monument on Kill Devil Hills also honors the Wright Brothers. The Visitor Center includes full scale reproductions of the Wright 1903 Powered Flyer, a replica of the 1902 Wright Glider and a reproduction of the Wright's first wind tunnel.


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Local Chow

Shrimp

The best thing to eat in any coastal area is fresh, locally caught seafood. Every spring and summer, fresh shrimp are available. The North Carolina coast is filled with families of fishers who bring fresh fish and shellfish ashore every day. Fishers who fish for shrimp are called shrimpers. There are four different types of wild American shrimp: white, brown, pink, and roal red. Wild American shrimp are a type of fish that are caught off the coast in North Carolina. Southerners enjoy their shrimp steamed, boiled, sautéed, creamed, barbecued, marinated, broiled, grilled and batter fried. They eat them in salads, pastas, gumbos and casseroles; and with grits, rice, in cocktail sauce and in dips. They eat them stuffed, chopped and skewered, on a roll, in a bowl or just plain. Remember, all seafood tastes better when it is fresh – be adventurous and try a dish with shrimp when you are in the Outer Banks.



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Digging History

1585

The Tiger, an English exploring ship, is the first shipwreck recorded in the area off the North Carolina coast.


1587

Led by Governor John White, over 100 men, women and children journeyed from from England to Roanoke Island to establish the first English settlement (colony) in America.

The first English child, Virginia Dare, is born in the Americas.


1590

After returning from England with supplies, Governor John White discovers the entire group he left behind at Roanoke Island had disappeared.


1803

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse on Hatteras Island is completed.


1823

The Orcacoke Lighthouse on Ocracoke Island is completed.


1872

The Bodie Island Lighthouse on the Roanoke Sound is completed.


1874

The Chicamacomico Life Saving Station on Hatteras Island begins operations.


1875

The Currituck Beach Lighthouse in Corolla is completed.


1899

Wilbur Wright builds and tests a five-foot box kite glider in the shape of a biplane, with two pairs of wings, one above the other.


1900

Orville and Wilbur Wright go to the Outer Banks to begin their gliding experiments because it had good privacy, regular breezes and a soft landing area on the sand.


1902

The Wright Brothers take over 700 glides on their new Wright Glider at Kill Devil Hill.


1903

The Wright Brothers make their first powered airplane flight with the Wright Glider I at Kill Devil Hill on the Outer banks.


1941

Fort Raleigh on Roanoke Island is designated a National Historic Site.


1953

The Cape Hatteras National Seashore is established as the nation's first National Seashore.


1975

The 420-acre Jockey's Ridge is declared a State Park.


1990

The village of Ocracoke is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


1999

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is moved 2900 feet inland away from the edge of the ocean.


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