July 9
99 Years at Kitty Hawk

Everyone knows that the Wright Brothers lived in Kitty Hawk. But not as many realize that their first flight was actually in the next village. (Actually they lived in Dayton Ohio and visited Kitty Hawk.)

Wright Bros Monument

There is a monument atop a sand dune in Kill Devils Hills dedicated to the two men that dared the "conquest of the air". And at the base of the obelisk is the image of a kite.

Wright Flight Memorial Base Kite Image

I'm fond of saying that ninety-nine years ago, the Wrights took the strings off their kites, replaced them with motors, and ruined the whole thing for a couple of generations. But when Susie and I got the invitation to come to North Carolina, we couldn't resist. And standing in the middle of a warm, windswept field just a few yards from where they experimented and ultimately flew, it was hard not to get emotional about our kiting heritage..

Elizabeth Flying Field Flying Field Flying Field Flying Field

I looked out across the flightline and was struck with the realization that one of my octopus would practically cover the length of the first powered assent.

The Wright Kite Festival is not a huge event. There were sport kite demos, kitemaking for kids, bol races, and our larger inflatables. And every single bit of it felt special.

Francis and Gertrude Rogollo

Fliers from the RAF and WOW clubs did an fine job and were great company. The day before, we launched a giant Teddy Bear from the top of Jockey's Ridge sand dune, visited the beach, and checked out the kite surfing school. Then we drank Coronas, ate too much fresh tuna, and counted the stars at night.

I was also privileged to finally meet Gertrude and Frances Rogollo, NASA kite designer and inventor of the sparless flexikite.

Next year, on June 13 to 15, the Wright festival will celebrate the centennial of the Wright Brothers first flight with a special kite gathering. You should plan to come. And if being part of something historical isn't enough to tempt you, consider the paragliding, kite surfing, kayaking, watercraft, and beach fun that our friends at Kitty Hawk Kites offer. There will also be special kite activities, guests, and exhibits. I think it is going to be the no-miss gathering of the year.

We arrived home about ten on Monday night, and we'll be flying on the Thursday red-eye for Newport. We'll be there about noon on Friday.

Wish us luck on the trip. In Norfolk VA, security asked to open and inspect each of our bags. I just handed them my two 70 pound compression bags and stepped back....

Last week in the Update, we announced a "Japanese Garage Sale". And you know how garage sales go. Later in the day, the price goes down...

We'll take $10 off the price of each piece. Call or email now or someone else may get your favorite.

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