“In my mind [we’re] going to Carolina” (attribution: James Taylor)

From our road trip’s outset it was in our mind to go to North Carolina, home to Eulalie’s youngest sister Janet and her husband John.  Janet and Eulalie are at opposite ends of the Sullivan sibling parade.  Janet refers to the two as the bookends.  In 1985, almost 30 years ago, Janet helped Eulalie drive our loaded Honda Civic from Juneau Alaska to Washington D.C.  The trip provided the two sisters (separated by 13 years) to compare notes on growing up Sullivan.  Enroute from Maryland’s Eastern Shore, we couldn’t resist visiting North Carolina’s Outer Banks.  Eulalie’s family visited the OBX (as the Banks are known) when they moved from New York to Florida the summer before Eulalie started college.  We caught the evening ferry from Ocrakoke to Cedar Island and drove to the Beaufort area to visit Keith Rittmaster, Mike Hill’s good friend, who presides over the Bone Zone, the North Carolina museum’s lab for marine mammal study.  Making our way further west, we stopped at Camp Mondamin, where Eric taught sailing during the summer of 1975.

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The Wright Brothers’ monument occupies the high ground from which the brothers tested their aerodynamic principles with glider flights.

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From the hill crest one can see the rock monuments marking the beginning and end points for the first four motorized flights on December 17, 1903.  The larger rock at the far intersection of the main path with the path to visitor center marks the starting point for each flight.  The next three rocks are closely spaced.  At the field’s far end, the last rock shows the last and longest flight.  The brothers chose this flat stretch for the motorized flights to establish that their plane could start and stop at the same elevation using only engine power to become airborne.

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A closer view of the markers beginning with the take off point.  The metal track to the right of the rock guided the plane as it accelerated to take off.  The flights were 120, 175, 200, and 852 feet respectively.  The longest lasted 59 seconds.

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Eulalie in front of a life size replica of the first flight.

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Close up of replica.

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The captain doing her own wind tests with a kite.

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The Cape Hatteras light house continues to warn mariners of the Diamond Shoals that have made the Cape a graveyard for the unwary.

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 Since Eulalie visited in 1972, the government moved the light house (all 1,250,000 bricks) because of erosion at the original sight.

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Keith Rittmaster, Natural Science Curator for the North Carolina History Museum, inside the Bone Zone with friend.

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A little assembly is still required for this one.

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The bottlenose dolphin was found ensnared in monofilament netting which is still visible in the mammal’s jaw.

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Echo, a sperm whale, that washed ashore at Cape Look Out in 2004, is one of Keith’s prides and joys.  Echo now hangs in the Beaufort Maritime Museum.  Photo: Beaufort Maritime Museum.

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One thought on ““In my mind [we’re] going to Carolina” (attribution: James Taylor)

  1. Irv

    I love the concept: Bone Zone

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