Wright Brothers Monument and First Flight Museum

We are in Corolla, NC for a family wedding and decided to take advantage of our time here to visit the Wright Brothers Monument in Kitty Hawk, just a few miles south of where we are staying.

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The park is quite large and includes a visitor center, two “pavilions”, the grass field that the first flights took off and landed on, and an obelisk monument up on the big hill. We walked almost all of it while we were there. Fortunately, we brought lots of water and sunscreen.

These are the pavilions:

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The pavilions house the original 1903 glider and many other displays.  Unfortunately, they were closed due to a flood that happened here a few weeks ago.

We started in the visitor center. The girls went up to the desk and asked for the materials to get their Junior Ranger badges. For this park, the girls had to attend two programs and complete two pages in the age-appropriate section of the Junior Ranger workbook. We headed back outside for the kite program, which started right away.

At the kite program, we learned how you could use simple materials like a heavy trash bag, wooden sticks and some string to make a very serviceable kite. Here we are listening to a quick discussion about kites and why they were important to the Wright brothers:

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Next we got to take some kites out onto the field and try them out.

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Here is O6 getting a little bit of instruction from her dad:

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And it’s up!

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S8 figured it out right away without much help. She loved flying her kite. I liked that they could feel the wind pushing the kite up. It gave them a good sense of how wind (or moving air) is important for flight.

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Next, we hiked up to the monument. We figured it was a good idea to get up there and back before the sun became too unbearable. It was supposed to be well into the 90s by afternoon.

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Here’s Nana and O6 getting ready to hike up the hill.

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They got a head start and beat us up there. Fortunately, they found a shady spot to take a little break.

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From the monument, you have a nice view of the field the Wrights used to test their gliders and where, in 1903, they flew the motorized plane that made history.

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After a little rest, we headed back down the hill and over to the visitor’s center for our second program, an interpretive presentation on the Wright Brothers. It took place in front of a very realistic replica of the 1903 glider.

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Finally, we finished the last few items in our books before going back to the ranger station with our Junior Ranger materials.

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S8’s booklet:

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O6’s booklet:

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Once everything had been checked over, the girls were sworn in as Junior Rangers. This makes the third of these we’ve done- after Grand Canyon and the Seattle Gold Rush museums last year.

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Congratulations, Junior Rangers!

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