Wright Brothers Monument Celebrates Apollo 11 Landing

From the 1969 broadcast. Buzz Aldrin sets foot on the surface of the moon.

With a few hundred viewers spread across the lawn next to the Wright Brothers Monument tonight, the National Park Service celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon with a rebroadcast of the Walter Cronkite commentary.

It was an emotional evening. Perhaps not as emotional as that moment and day in 1969 when the national and the world held it collective breath waiting for Neil Armstrong to set foot on the moon. 

Yet it was emotional. Fifty years after the event, it is still thrilling to here Armstrong say, “That’s one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind.”

It was fascinating watching the broadcast and the interplay between Astronaut Wally Schirra, who was teamed up with the veteran newsman, and Cronkite. They were not sure what Armstrong had said at first, although to the viewers at the Wright Brothers the words seemed clear. It took several minutes in the original broadcast for Cronkite to get the official quote.

It wasn’t just Armstrong who walked on the moon that day. Buzz Aldrin followed Armstrong to the moon’s surface.

The images that live broadcast transmitted are primitive by today’s standards. It was all black and white and the focus was constantly going in and out. But at the time, the fact that it was television transmitted in real time over 240,000 miles was almost as much a miracle as the moon landing itself.

It was a wonderful night and a great reminder of how much can be accomplished when people believe in something in common.

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OBX Marathon Weekend Perfect for the Family

Tutu runners taking the Outer Banks Marathon challenge.
Tutu runners taking the Outer Banks Marathon challenge.

Outer Banks Marathon November 12

October has been filled with activities for some time, but with the Outer Bank Marathon Weekend anchoring activities for the month, November is close behind.

The Outer Banks Marathon is always the second Sunday of the month—that is this coming weekend, and there will be a few thousand runners on hand for the event…and events.

What makes the Outer Banks Marathon so perfect is that it is designed for the whole family. Not the Marathon, of course. That’s 26.2 miles and probably isn’t a good choice for a preteen.

Fun for the Whole Family

Saturday, though, is Super Saturday, with courses and runs designed with the family in mind. There is an 8K, 5K, a fun run and even a diaper dash.

The 5K and 8K share a course, and the 5K especially is a fairly easy run with no hills. The 8K does venture for a little bit into Nags Head Woods and that will make it a little more challenging and certainly a prettier run.

The Fun Run, at First Flight High School, is is really all about kids. There will be a bounce house, a kid sized obstacle course, piirate toss, face painting and Kitty Hawk Kites rock climbing wall will be on hand.

Sunday, though is when it gets real with a half marathon and marathon.

The 2017 version is the 12th Annual Marathon, and although there have been some adjustments, some things have remained constant.

A Beautiful Course

The course, beginning under the leafy canopy of Kitty Hawk Woods in Kitty Hawk is beautiful. The course passes the Wright Brothers Monument, goes through the heart of Nags Head Woods on a dirt road, parallels Jockey’s Ridge before crossing the Washington Baum Bridge into Manteo.

Runners who have not been on this course before, be aware that the Washington Baum Bridge, spanning Roanoke Sound can be a deal breaker.

The weekend weather is looking great. Saturday and Sunday are forecast to be overcast with moderate temperatures, but rain should hold off. Perfect conditions for runners.

The weekend is a production of Outer Banks Sporting Events. Proceeds from the weekend benefit the Dare Education Foundation and Outer Banks Relief Foundation.

30+ Years for Wright Kite Festival

Chris Shultz of HQ Kites helping a young kite flyer.
Chris Shultz of HQ Kites helping a young kite flyer.

All things considered it was a really nice day for the Wright Kite Festival at the Wright Brothers Monument. Kitty Hawk Kites has been sponsoring the event for a lot of years—30+ by our calculations—and it’s always a good time.

The event was mostly rained out on Saturday, but Sunday the sun was out with a few scattered cloud. The winds . . . well the winds were not perfect for kite flying but they weren’t all that bad either. A little bit light, but the real problem is they were variable; from the east for a little bit . . . then south . . . then southwest . . . then east again.

Nonetheless, there were a lot of kites in the sky. There was a great demonstration of kite ballet—quad line kites dancing to music, the music mostly jazz with a little bit of classical thrown in.

The folks at Kitty Hawk Kites always break out the kite making kits for kids, the sled kites they make really do fly and they’re so small that a child running full tilt is guaranteed to get the kite into the sky.

It was a great chance for adults to try their hand at some of the stunt kites, although even some kids got into the act. We noticed Chris Shultz of HQ Kites flying a power kite with some young enthusiasts.

They must have had a good time because the kids were laughing the whole time.