Tag Archives: Wright Brothers Monument

Camp OBX 2015


Mimicking the pose of three first flight witnesses. Jake (16 year old Johnny Moore), Martin (lumber merchant Cephus Brinkley) and me (surfman Will Dough) Senior Camp 2015. Photo credit Lydia.

In 2006 Emily & Marty need summer help with then six year old Martin & three year old Lydia. Being more fun to call it camp than anything else it quickly it became officially Camp OBX envied by many but attended by a very select few.

Not far from the beginning, Donny’s nephew Jake and his family, plus even more of Donny’s family, were visiting and after Jake got back home to Richmond he decided that camp time was needed. Taking the bull by the horns he told, not asked, his parents that he wanted to attend, applied and was accepted. He’s now in his sixth year and the only non-grand to be a full rights camper. He always tries to schedule his camp time with Martin and Lydia but occasionally he’s been the only camper in residence.


Beach time with the teens brought this no zoom needed friend to my towel side.

Three years ago the younger crop of grands began getting their own special camp time. As much as all of our campers love and cherish their parents, and while family camp time is unique and awesome, as seven year old Edward, now a three year camp veteran, states, “It’s not camp when you’re here, Mom.”

Campers have learned to read, swim, surf, and ride a horse all at camp. Campers have seen turtles hatch, the inside of the Wright Brothers Monument, and almost seen the moon rise at the top of Bodie Island lighthouse (got halfway up to be thwarted by lightning in the area). Campers have made their first mini-golf hole-in-one and one lucky camper even got just the right one to win a free game (Professor Hackers ftw), gotten their first hourly paying job (thanks Val and My Little Sunshine) and mastered the art of wearing flip flops while at camp. Campers have camped out under the stars, seen shooting stars, and watched babies become Virginia Dare stars at the Lost Colony. Those are only some highlights. The list is pretty much endless. And FUN is always the operative word.

We got our first official t-shirt this season, thanks to the Desjardins family, Marty specifically who came up with the idea. It reads “Grandma Sandy What Can We Do That’s FUN?” This now much repeated phrase was started by grand Sebastian trying to get me to play Portal without actually coming out and saying it, since he has limited screen time. His clever reasoning being that if the idea comes from Grandma Sandy allowances are made. It took me longer than the rest of the family to figure out his coded message.

2015 marks our first pretty much non-stop camping the entire traditional school break summer and it really was, as Jake told his parents, the best year yet!

martin camperlydia camperjake campersea bass camper


edward camper benji camper zach camper marie camperpj rising camper

The Nifty Nine. Martin 14, Lydia 12, Jake 17, Sebastian 6, Edward 7, Benji 7, Zach 5, Marie 3, PJ 2. Martin & Lydia belong to daughter Emily & Marty. Sebastian belongs to son Donald & Terri. Edward & Marie belong to son Stephen & Sarah. Benji, Zach & PJ belong to son Andrew & Jenn. Jakes belongs to Donny’s brother Robert & Diane.




Filed under Beach Life, Camp OBX, family

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