so. there’s a lot of history on the outer banks, which means there’s several national park sites to explore. we hit up two such places during our trip, first the wright brothers national monument and then fort raleigh.
the wright brothers is mostly a museum, detailing the history of orville and wilber wright and their family and how they ended up on the coast of north carolina careening their rickety contraption down a “runway” and into the sky (briefly). the coolest part of the museum part of the grounds was the replica of their flying machine. in fact, most of the interactive exhibits had been removed because covid, making our junior ranger workbooks slightly more difficult.
outside, you can walk along the actual path of the first four flights, with markers commemorating each
crash landing. we also checked out the (maybe?) original hangar and workshop. the girls tested their running speed with the first recorded speeds of flight, and against each other. and then we began the journey up to the monument.
at the top of a hill, overlooking the runway, there’s a cool monument commemorating the historic first flights. we ran around for a bit, taking all the pics, admiring the views, and taking selfies with wright brothers.
and then back to the car.
there’s another little exhibit commemorative display thing that we drove over to. it’s a diorama of statues depicting what it would have looked like to be present at one of those first flights. some of the junior ranger book required reading all the informational signage here, so we ended up staying quite a bit longer than anyone (including ruby back home) wanted.
the junior ranger badge situation during covid is sort of a bummer. when you pick up your books, the ranger gives you the badge at the same time. so you complete the book and your mom pulls the badge from her pocket and gives it to you. no fanfare. no proud moments standing before the park ranger, showing off your epic artwork or well thought out answers. oh well.
for our second nps site, we visited fort raleigh. i won’t lie. this one was not super impressive for us. the museum part was small and cramped and we didn’t feel like we could be running around looking for junior ranger book answers. and outside was a lot of plaques and such with information, but nothing “real” to look at. it was interesting-ish for the adults. not so for the kids.
another disappointing factor was that for something like the last 80+ years, there has been a little broadway-esque show that runs, called “the lost colony”. it has only been canceled due to world war two (something about german u-boats off in the distance) and a hurricane. but, thanks to the covid, it was canceled for the season while we were there. we were able to go into the theatre and see it in all it’s empty glory. but that was it.
there was lots of pretty nature to take in, so that’s a plus. this tiniest frog was a lidkid fave.
at one point on our interpretive stroll, we popped out on the beach. i am not sure what waterway this is, some sound i guess, but it was pleasant to stroll around without crashing waves.
this wasn’t even the view or location of the original colony or even fort i don’t think. i am pretty sure one of the signs talked a lot about the shifting coastlines of the obx. but still. better than winston-salem, right?
anyhow. the kids acquired two more badges for their collection and maybe possibly learned something.