Before we got to the shrine of Kitty Hawk, we made a stop at Eastville, Virginia. Never heard of it, you say? Well, in case you are doing genealogical or legal history research, you should know that its courthouse guards the oldest continuous court records in America, dating from 1632. (John, you would love this place.) In the clerk’s office, they still have a stick used to measure freed slaves for their manumission papers. (Don demonstrates.) Its courthouse square also features a Confederate monument, lest you forget that we have now passed the Mason-Dixon line.
Next we had the thrill of crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. This 18-mile engineering marvel at the mouth of the Bay evidently panics many. It seems there is a tidy living to be had driving people back and forth. I guess they cower in the back seat while going over miles of incredible bridge spans and through two one-mile tunnels. Somehow we made it.
On to Kitty Hawk on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Yes, it all started in that bicycle shop in Dayton, Ohio. (That and their birthplace can now be seen at Greenfield Village in Michigan.) It’s a thrill to see markers that show how short their first three efforts were. But that fourth try made it all the way to 59 seconds in December of 1903. They knew then that they had really done it, and that man could fly. You can look at their monument, see children flying kites that capture our fascination with rising above it all, and at the same time hear jets zooming by.
Way to go, Wilbur and Orville.