Category Archives: Running

Wilbur & Orville and Kitty Hawk AND Bähs

It is mid-August 1900. Wilbur Wright after being admonished by his father to find purpose in his life decides to untangle the mystery of flight. It has long been on his mind since that day his father brought home a simple flying toy. After much urging Orville agrees to join him in the quest. And so after getting favorable reports from both the weather master at Kitty Hawk and postmaster, Wilbur immediately leaves from Dayton to see for himself. Orville plans to follow a few weeks later. Here is a letter from Orville to their sister, Katharine, after he arrives in Elizabeth City by train.


Orville’s letter home and trying to find Wilbur

The Hotel Arlington

Elizabeth City NC Sep 26th 1900

Dear Swes;

It is only two hours since I wrote you from Norfolk, but having got a trace of Will here I send the news on at once. Trying to find Will at Kitty Hawk reminds me very much of a relief expedition to some lost Arctic explorer. The hotel clerk tells me Will was here four or five weeks ago he thinks – in fact is almost sure – it will be just five weeks tomorrow that he left. The hotel people are very accommodating and propose putting a man at hunting up the available way of reaching Kitty Hawk, They say the trip across is pretty much like “life” – uncertain, we know not at what moment we may arrive.

Do not let the store business worry you. Have Lorin attend to it, if he will. Harry Wellon is to be paid $4.50 Saturday night: ie: $4.50 per week. We will settle with Chrls when we get back. If he needs any money, however, let him have it.

orville fish (1)

Orville’s drawing of a fish from side and top

The post office here closes at noon so I have not learned whether there is any word from Will. him

I was down on the wharf looking at the little fish in the water. They were different from anything I had seen. One was a long green thing but a pointed nose. Three or four inches long like this: (a drawing). Then like this (another drawing) it managed to move along by working those fins on top cross wise to the way it was going. The life like view given is from the above. That is the reason the tail was wrong first time. I hear the dinner bell ringing which means one o’clock, or twelve by your time.



Tell Harry to sell those rolls of tire tape in box back of what he has been selling at 5 cents a roll. They were ten cents rolls, but we must get rid of them. They are tied in tin foil wrapping.

central (1)

Wilbur’s letter to Katharine upon leaving Kitty Hawk

Hotel Central

Poindexter Street 

Elizabeth City NC October 23 1900

Dear Sterchers

We have said “Good bye Kitty, Good bye Hawk, good bye Kitty Hawk, we’re going to leave you now.” We reached you here this afternoon, after a pleasant trip from Kitty Hawk of six hours. It took me forty five hours going down there and Orville sixteen hours. We will go on to Norfolk tomorrow and will probably stay over a day to see the ship yards at Newport News. If we do so we will reach home Saturday night at any rate so you must have grub for four Sunday. Poor Bubbo (Little Bubbo) has only tasted beaf steak one or two meals in the last fifty or so, and I suspect he will sink his teeth into a nice tender porterhouse with peculiar pleasure. We are now at the Central, the Arlington being no more. We had a fair supper. I have gained a few pounds since leaving home, and Orville is as heavy as when he left. we both look like niggers by reason of our sunburnt faces and hands. I took a look at myself in a glass today for the first time in five or six weeks and was somewhat surprised. We will have some “amosin” stories to tell when we get home.

Cheer up Sterchens, we will be home in about a day after you receive this. We have missed our little baby sister like anything, you may be sure. Remember we will be home Saturday night and will be hungry as “bähs” Sunday. A fellow warned me not to go ashore going down to K.H. saying he would be afraid of “bäh.” I do not know whether the hungry animals which flew out at me were the “bäh” he meant but they are my standard of hungryness.

Your loving burro,



In doing research for a children’s book I’m writing using animal characters to tell the story of the Wright brothers on the Outer Banks I came across copies of letters to their steady supporter, Katharine. These two are among the first they sent to her after arriving in Kitty Hawk. And actually we still have those bähs around.




Leave a Comment

Filed under Running


us marathon

Roughly the halfway mark. Yes, rain, wind, sun, no snow but hey why not OBX you threw everything else at us.

“Do not let that bus through!” Suzanne and I are in Manteo, the high school track is within reach of our bone tired bodies. As we approach the last intersection, we both silently beg the traffic officer to let us pass before allowing the bus to cross. We cannot bear the thought of even a momentary stop. The officer feels our pain, he holds up the bus. Victory is in our sights.

This is the final installment of the marathonettes adventures in training. Thanks for coming along. Suzanne did go on to run the next OBX Marathon with no walking start to finish. Her pace was always far superior to mine. Even when we ran on the beach during Beach Pump days she always finished first. Those were the days when I would question why was I even doing this and then follow up with telling myself that no one was making me do it, so stop whining. And quit eating so much junk food. Man up girl. I did. So much so that the year following our inaugural marathon run I became an official Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon series Rock Star. Then there were only five in the series to qualify, now there are too many to count. That and related stories in future posts. Here’s my LiveJournal entry about marathon day 2006. There’s also a link to a short video Donny took. He, Bill, Becki & Katelyn sang the National Anthem at the start.

Suzanne did better at 5:56:43. And at that she was pacing with me, so next marathon we turn her loose!

We came in 1372 and 1375 out of 1517 finishers, 889 men and 628 women.

I have the best family and friends!

They sent notes, made posters, sat in the cold downpour to see me dash by, saved balloons, took pictures, raced from spot to spot to spot my progress, waved from their cars and porches, cheering cheering cheering to the end.

At the finish Donny put my medal around my neck. That was special and sweet, probably the saving thing from me throwing up. Becki and the girls rushed onto the track to walk with me. And later I soaked in a huge bubble bath in their claw footed tub. Talk about a treat.

inaugural medal

My first finisher’s medal!

Last night Donny took me to dinner with Lynda & George. I can get used to this marathon pampering. Only 26.2 more miles to the high life.

I have a cousin who has run a 3:15 marathon. And she is just in it for the fun. Son Andrew is another stellar finisher at 3:38 for his first marathon. So there are family genes for those fast twitch muscles but I did not get any. Still my time was way under the official cut off. I never did best that which usually happens with marathon runners.

I was set to in San Antonio, my last marathon to date. I was having a great run without any walking then around mile 21 I noticed a girl keep stopping to stretch her ham strings and then run a sprint to make up time. Finally she started walking. I stopped and asked her if she was okay. She admitted to under training and her ham strings were tightening up. This was her first marathon. I offered to walk with her. She accepted and later admitted that she was ready to bail out when I came along. We didn’t talk much just walked the distance side by side.

I, of course, talked but only for a while. She told me her name but I couldn’t figure it out and didn’t want to ask her to keep repeating it or even spell it so I called her Austin which is where she was from. A new lawyer. That much I did learn before I figured out she needed companionship only, no conversation. She never cut me off just minced her words. She was channelling all of her energy into getting to the end. As we approached the last mile I wanted to cut loose and run but didn’t. We were in this together. “C’mon Austin we’ve got it.” I hung back and let her finish just ahead of me. She earned it.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Running

Oh DEAR the Marathonettes Are Trailing

deer perch“Sun screen,” Suzanne turns and whispers to me. We are looking for the marathon connecting trail out of Nags Head Woods. Sure we could ask but it’s more fun to find the make shift markers. We sort of know where it is but not exactly and so have found ourselves running out of trail. When Suzanne asks what should we do. I tell her we need to turn back. She has been following me because she doesn’t like the endless spider webs. They don’t bother me. Now that we have turned back Suzanne is in the lead. Why is she talking about sunscreen I wonder since we are in the shade of the trees. As I get closer to her she repeats, “Sun screen,” pointing upward. I look up and scream. I also instantly figure out that, “Don’t scream,” is what Suzanne has been actually saying.

suzanne deerA deer hunter complete with bow and total camouflage is sitting in a tree watching us. I tell him that we are looking for the marathon trail. He says that he is thinning the herd. We move on. Suzanne and I sprint for the car to get the camera, this is too good a photo opt to miss.

Of course he is not there when we get back we have ruined his quiet woods, but his perch is, “Let’s climb up,” Suzanne urges me. This time I am the hesitant one. What if he comes back. He has a bow. He looks fierce with his face all blackened. Finally I relent. After all it’s an opportunity not to be missed. Probably my favorite story of our training adventures.

Along the way we have run at night. We have run in the early morning on golf course cart trails. We have run in circles to round out the needed miles on our Garmin. We have run past the famous yellow house in Nags Head Woods more times than we want to know. We even got a look inside before it got boarded up.

night running mirror usyellow house wild horse and us  virginiapup and bike

We have found the wild horse hangout behind the dunes in Corolla after which for a lark we drove eleven miles up the beach to Virginia. Yes we could have run but it was unknown to us and we wanted to scope it out first. And then we just never got back to run on that flat glorious beach. On another training day we spy a guy and his dog biking. We drool over the idea of cycling over running but both of us want to be the one in the basket so we jog on.

We have gotten lost. We have lost things. And found them again even when not looking.

1. one cheap watch lost and found when not even bothering to look for it.
2. one expensive digital camera lost and found when seriously looking for it
3. one jacket lost and found when neither of us even realized it was lost (we were circling the monument that day too)
4. one crystal lost, among the briars we thought, and then found in the laundry weeks later (okay so not while running but still found)
5. one 5K bib lost and then found two weeks later quite by happenstance.
6. AND, the latest, one gel energy pack lost but not worth looking for when we discovered the casualty miles later. Curses, I think, there goes our perfect l&f record. We’ll never find such a small thing, it could be anywhere. Oh me of little faith, upon our return, which was not an exact repeat of the going out course, we find ourselves eventually back on the original trail anyway and therein layeth the lost gel pack squished once by a bicycle but mostly intact.

We take all this to signify, we occasionally wander but are pretty much on the right course.

Leave a Comment

Filed under OBX Marathon 2006, Running

We’re Hot Very HOT


“I talked,” Suzanne tells me wide eyed. I look at her puzzled, she talks all the time. Not as much as me, but she carries her share of the conversation. When we start our training Suzanne tells Jack, her husband, that before it’s all over she and I will know everything and more about each other. And we do for sure cover a lot of territory. But this is her confession after we wave the runner below on his way. “You don’t understand,” she continues. “I don’t talk to people. Ever. I just can’t. It makes me too nervous.” I tell her that she talked to the runner very competently. A big smile spreads across her face. Marathon training brings all sorts of bonus victories.

About 1/2 way into our run we see a guy coming towards us. There’s a real runner proclaims S. As he approached he flags us down and asks if we run this route regularly. At our nod he asks if we know where the Marathon starts. Boy, has he ever asked the right people. We tell him and then discover he doesn’t know about the connecting path to KH and the start. He is delighted as he usually stops short of it and turns around.

Our new friend is visiting his parent’s home nearby. S is right, he is a real runner. He has run 15 marathons, he has run Boston, he has run 70 miles straight. He admires my Garmin and we compare notes on my new model versus his older one. We wave goodbye and continue on.

We’re in, we grin. We are recognized as real runners!

first metal

My first ever medal

Suzanne & I have agreed that running some smaller real races before the main event is a good plan and sign up for several local ones. We do well placing in our age brackets regardless of the competition. Below a tiny comedic post about the SandBar 5K our last small race before we run the Virginia Beach Rock ‘n’ Roll half as prep for the OBX Marathon.

Rising tide, a small gale blowing, too many runners with a hard stride digging holes in the sand made this a tough race. But we prevailed. S came in third in her division. I’m not sure whether my right or left leg crossed first but at any rate I beat myself to win 1st place in my division.

This is a recap of our first long run from Kitty Hawk to Corolla where Jack works.

It’s been awhile. We’ve been trying to keep up but the summer schedule makes it a challenge sometimes, plus humid hot weather is not runner friendly.

early morningToday we bite the bullet and head north alongside a spectacular sunrise. We’ve started early, we want to reach our goal before it gets too hot.

20.5 miles later we’re there. Along the way, we get our feet soaked by the incoming tide, run bare foot awhile to let socks and shoes dry out some, discover the Audubon trail in quackerland, dart across an airfield, get lost in PI, lose the trail entirely after that and have to resort to roadside shoulder trekking, and finally, finally reached the birthday boy, Jack.

Sore toes and a few chafes are our only casualties. We’re hot, oh yeah very hot.

Leave a Comment

Filed under OBX Marathon 2006, Running

Pride Goeth Before the SPRINT

keep out

Signs before the winding drive we dared to wander down. That’s not for us. It’s for everyone else. And what we found at the end.

“RUN I shout to Suzanne!” She does not need a second urging. We are well into our training and some days are just so boring that we create diversions. Or rather I do and Suzanne gamely follows along. Two classics from my other former blog, SandyBeachGirl on Blogspot, for your reading adventure.

So what do the Marathonettes do when they are hot and tired and still need to add some miles to their log?

They create an adventure.

The driveway is an off shoot of one of our favorite running spots when the heat’s on, Old Nags Head Woods Road. We try to turn down it on pre-5K day thinking it is the path to the meadow, only to be rebuffed by a not so friendly lady who happens to be driving out just as we turn in. Go, go, she waves us off. Okay, okay.

Curiosity reigns today and we wander down the curving paved lane, looking for bail out places and seeing nothing but dense undergrowth and marshy bamboo. Still we venture on. S more cautious than I.

We’ll turn back after the next bend, I assure S. We just need to see what that lady is protecting. S being a good sport, grabs a few sticks to thwart the imaginary or otherwise dogs and we keep going. The lane twists more than Colington Road. And then we hear it. The sound of a vehicle coming toward us. No!

Run, I shout to S who needs no prompting. We are sprinting at an amazing pace back up the lane. I realize we are not going to make the main road before being overtaken. Slow down, I shout, look like we’re just out for a run. We’ll look less guilty that way. We slow to a fast run, the vehicle stays behind us. By this time we are near the road, one steep hill and we’re out. We turn right knowing there is no vehicle outlet that way and keep running. The vehicle turns left. We round a bend and stop. Did you look? No, did you? No. Well, they’re gone now. Let’s go back.

We return and venture down the lane again. Finally we can see a sprawling house and the sound just beyond. The view is flat and panoramic with just enough trees to be breezy looking. The lane has yet more bends but we stop in a clearing and take pictures. Close enough for today we decide. We jog back to the road.

How’d you like that hill training, I grin at S

And then there’s this one.

more us

We were spot on with the selfies before the word was even a thing. Trend setters that’s us.

We were into about mile 15/16 of an 18 mile run. We were pretty tired and were doing some walking in our standard Jeff Galloway run/walk mode. We hear these gals start out for a morning walk somewhere behind us. We’re moving at a nice walk pace. They’re chatting and walking, typical gal stuff.

We’re at the point on our run where a few single words say it all, but actually we’ve minced even those, we’ve been quiet for awhile both thinking about tired feet and cool water.

We have to run, I whisper.

I know. They’re gaining on us.

Just til they’re out of sight.

Yeah, we can’t let them pass us.

I know.

Sheez, the things we do in the name of pride

Leave a Comment

Filed under Running

Wanna Go For a RUN?

with lydia

Suzanne, Lydia (future figure skating star already in training) and me.

“We’re going to have a marathon!” my friend Lynda Wood grins at me, “but you can’t tell anyone yet.” The year is 2006, Lynda is the force behind the newly formed Outer Banks Education Foundation. DCEF’s then director, Amy Montgomery, has pitched this money making idea to the board. They love it even knowing how much work it will involve to get it in place. “We are still dialoguing with town officials and all the other players,” Lynda wraps up her secret. I have absolutely no hesitation that she will convince everyone to get on board and of course that is exactly what happens.

A marathon event intrigues me ever since seeing Frank Shorter win in 1972. I happen to have our newly acquired first ever color television turned on, actually it is such a novelty that we have it turned on more times than not. And there he is all alone turning into olympic stadium running passed cheering crowds that line the street. I am hooked. That looks like such a thrilling moment. But of course marathon running is for Olympians and their like, never mere mortals such as myself.

Until my dental hygienist can not contain her excitement as she cleans my teeth. “Right here in our own back yard,” she is so excited. I ponder. I consider. She is a runner. Me not so much. But wait I do run with Stephanie and the girls on Saturday morning. In her intense Beach Pump class, think bootcamp, we are put through our paces including running on the beach.

I can do this, I reason. But I need a training partner. I buttonhole Suzanne Deiss, fellow Beach Pump attendee as well as every other class the girls at the rec center offer. I’ve known Suzanne a long time. Jackie Sue was in my swimming classes. But I don’t know her that well. Still I catch her in a private moment and throw out my idea. She doesn’t take long to answer. We’re a team.

keep out me runhill run hill marker castle We are confident but have absolutely no clue about what we’re doing, and so we tell no one for weeks. Just in case we decide to quit, or worse fail. And then one day in class Denise DePedro point blank asks me if we’re training for the marathon. We fess up and now realize that we’ve got to make good on our intent. There’s no turning back.

We are so green in the beginning that we don’t even know about the sweeper. We think that if worse comes to worse we can walk the entire way. But we learn that the sweeper will pick you up if you’re too slow. Great. Now we have to really train seriously. We read books, I cruise the internet. We make a plan. And along the way some pretty hilarious things happen. As Jackie Sue, Suzanne’s daughter, tells her mom, “Mom when you go running with Sandy I never know when you’ll be back.” She may as well have added, “Or what mischief you’ll get into.”

She’s right. Most any adventure with me is a SandyBeachGirl experience. One time during our training we’re at the Youth Center having a water break when a guy drives up and puts down his window. “You’re SandyBeachGirl, right?” I look at him. How does he know that I ask. “Your pony tails.” Oh those, well I do aim to entertain. More on this particular SBG adventure soon.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Beach Life, Life, Running


jeff and gang

Jeff Galloway seminar April 2006 Dare County Beach Youth Center

“We can walk 26.2 miles,” I tell my workout class friend Suzanne begging her to join me in training for the inaugural OBX Marathon scheduled for Veteran’s Day weekend 2006. Good friend that she is, she agrees and we begin what proves to be eight months of work, silliness and success. Neither of us know a thing about training for a marathon but we exercise every weekday together and run Saturday mornings in Stephanie’s Beach Pump, the original OBX bootcamp. We’re not worried, we’ll figure it out as we go along. Still at first we don’t tell a single soul what we’ve cooked up. Digging around in the archives of my LiveJournal posts I come up with this post shortly after the start of our training journey.

Suzanne Deiss and I are officially training for the first ever OBX Marathon. A trip to the dentist and a chat while getting my teeth cleaned (okay a listen) had me agreeing with Caryn. Imagine the T-shirt!

At first Suzanne and I were going to walk it (how hard could that be?) But pride got in the way and we decided that at the very least jogging (which is my form of running) would get us there before dark maybe and look a lot better.

We did some research and started training. Imagine our surprise when we found out that Olympian, Jeff Galloway, whom we both had discovered independently (me online, Suzanne in a running magazine, and had really liked his approach) was coming to the Youth Center, our home away from home, to do a workshop.

And so we spent today getting tips from and being evaluated by running guru Jeff. We are floating across the finish line.

At the workshop, we learn that Jeff, an avid coffee drinker, is less than enthused with his morning java. I call Donny and he rises to the occasion promptly. He brings Jeff some real coffee and also takes a group photo for us. Jeff is awesome. He give us permission, no urges us, to incorporate a run walk time pattern into our system. He explains that switching out muscle groups keeps any one set from getting too fatigued. Brilliant. Suzanne and I are sold. Future posts will take you along on our adventures but today is about Jeff, our savior.

Jeff will be back on the Outer Banks in a few weeks and I urge you to sign up for his course. I can tell you from first hand experience, thanks to John Gillam who made all the arrangements including having Jeff and his amazing wife Barbara as house guests, that your investment will not be wasted. John & Muffin even arranged for us all to have cocktails at their home with Jeff and Barbara. Circumstances saw only six enjoying this lovely intimate evening which actually turned out to be incredible fun. Casually hanging out with such a down to earth icon. It just doesn’t get much better than that.



Leave a Comment

Filed under Beach Life, blog, Running

Jog Me to the Moon

Bitch SLAP Broads

The initial OBX group. Me, Debbie, Ron, Vicki, Terry (-Rachel)

My running has gone through many iterations. Marathon madness (7 full 4 half in one year). The attraction of the bling. And interesting places to see in an interesting way.

Then a few years ago the virtual bug gets me. I join Moon Joggers and invite power walker friend Debbie to come along. We decide to form a group. My motivation is to beat the Kenyan group. The only way we mere mortals could even beat Kenyan runners.

Bitch Slap Broads is born. Named after my SLAP art boards line. Guys welcome. Joining Moon Joggers is free. Or for a small fee you get some swag. Like these shirts. 2014 is the year for The Voyage to Venus. 2015 is a longer jog, to Meet Me on Mars. All former miles count. Each year another planet is the goal.

bitch slap broads

photo credit Donny Ball

leader board

Only four places below the Kenyans!

Logging miles is easy. Everything counts. Running, walking, biking, swimming, strolling, work out on the elliptical. By yourself or with a friend, or group. Basically if you’re moving, add up your miles and log them. By the day, week, month. You can even backtrack a few years to help the Moon Joggers overall total. If you’re short on time list your miles in a lump. Up to 177 miles per day is the max.

Recently Debbie posted in our FB message board to check out the Moon Joggers store page. Half way down. Hey I recognize that group. We’re international!

Nope we haven’t beaten the Kenyans yet. Moon Joggers is working out team statistics parameters. But in checking out the leader board page I see that because I have logged miles as far back as Moon Joggers allows I’m on the same page as the Kenyans.

Come on along. Find Bitch SLAP Broads on the log your miles page and meet us out there.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Running, SLAP Boards

How TOUGH Are You? Really

“Ouch! OUCH! Get it out! No, no. Don’t touch it!!” My hand is pushed away by young grandson, inaugural sand spur victim.

“Here let me show you how I bite them out.” I have my own sand spurs to eject. I show him my time perfected technique. He’s doubtful. I explain how he’s a real beach kid now. That’s what an encounter with sand spurs gets you. He straightens up a little. He lets me remove the trespassers. He smiles. A real beach kid!

run hill

A view of the Wright Brothers Memorial Monument from Run Hill

We’re exploring Run Hill State Park. While running my up and overs, I notice the park from the top of the monument and wonder why I never take the grands. It’s behind the schools. Very convenient. Close to home. Nobody ever seems to be there. It is an official park with signage and a split rail fence around the massive perimeter. But that’s it. No visitors’ center. No restrooms. Just lots and lots of sand and vegetation.

And now we know why. Land mines of sand spurs lurking for the unsuspecting adventurer all over the park.

It’s a beautiful place. You can see the monument well defined against the sky. If you wander far enough you can see the sound in one direction and the ocean in the other. There are tree copses. Acres of sand. And sand spurs. Not enough to halt your progress, except in a few places. But enough to cause you to be wary. Such a pretty park. So underused. Recently I have a thought about how it can come into the limelight and maybe get some funding to create a few sand spur free trails throughout.

“You know those Spartan events where the participants take on all sorts of crazy challenges?” Hilarey’s dad Robert throws out at recent family dinner, “I’ve got a really tough one for them. How about a pit full of sand spurs?” We all laugh and agree that would be the supreme challenge. Not for the feint of heart. I love it, but I’m having trouble imagining even such a sturdy soul as a Spartan taking on a pit full of sand spurs. And then on the spur of the moment it comes to me.

Sand spur plants grow low to the ground

Sand spur plant grows low to the ground

When Outer Banks Sporting Events adds a Spartan event to their calendar they can have the last challenge be a point to point barefoot sprint through a section of Run Hill. Unique to the Outer Banks. Word would spread. Sports aficionados world wide would crown it THE Challenge to beat. Call it the Sand Spurt.

Hell, they can have the whole event at Run Hill. Lots of varied terrain to work with. And in the backyard of three schools. After all OBSE supports The Education Foundation. Spurs one on to think of it!


Leave a Comment

Filed under Running

Run for the Hill

Thanks Wilbur (he came up with the idea of once and for all solving the mystery of flight because his father got really, really tired of him doing nothing and told him, no demanded, that he do something  with his life) and Orville (he was reluctant at first then slowly came around) for staying the course. Thanks to them and their perseverance I have the most amazing playground.

It has everything a runner could want. First off it’s the only hill around, all ninety impressive feet of it. Then there are the paved walkways. The mowed fields. The artesian water fountain. The clean bathrooms. The tethered only dogs. The 20MPH speed limit. The friendly park service. And always, always the entertainment.

The Biofuel plane was making a historic flight from the Boston area to our little landing strip.

The paraglider I happened upon is a third party political leader from Quebec. He was making his inaugural flight. He had never done a glide. He wanted to do it first where the Wright brothers made history and as close to December 17 as he could get. So he made the trip to the OBX. It was a brisk wind day. It took him forever to launch. He had a GoPro on the glider but was happy to get a copy of my video (#37 on my YouTube channel).

Belk’s brings the suits in to town about once a month for meetings with the local store veeps. This day the pilots invited us to tour the plane.

The military is always present. I saw an E2C Hawkeye fly over low yesterday. They almost always circle the monument, sometimes they land at the airstrip adjacent to the monument (this is where I park because it’s easy to get to and never closes.) Today a Coast Guard chopper circled the monument twice. I’m sure it was because I was videoing them.

The wildlife is abundant. Deer graze on the hill, beside the runway. Mr Fox is a sly one but I’ve seen him. Today I saw a heron fly by with dinner in his beak, must have been a mouse or a frog because the run off ditches are too shallow for fish. There are flocks of migrating Canadian Geese. Cedar Wax Wings by the dozens. Lizards dashing across my path.

Johnny Moore quote

Quote by Johnny Moore age 16 youngest witness to the first flight.

And the magic, generated by that 12 second flight of Orville’s that changed the world and the 59 second follow up by Wilbur (with two short spurts between) the same day that put the lid on any nay sayers, is ever pervasive. The landscape has changed since Johnny Moore went running down the beach shouting for all to hear. (The dunes came in the 30’s as a result of a WPA project, but in 1903 the beach was within eyesight.) But not the karma. It’s as strong as ever.

I love to run along the path that takes me from stone marker to stone marker of those four flights. I say to myself, “They’re flying.” I count seconds. “They’re still flying.” Twelve seconds is a long time when you’re doing something for the first time. And fifty-nine seconds! It must have seemed like an eternity. Imagine their glee.

“In commemoration of the conquest of the air by the brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright conceived by genius achieved by dauntless resolution and unconquerable faith.”

I love our playground!

Leave a Comment

Filed under Running