|Elizabeth © Kip Peterson|
Here's a synopsis of our journey last week, which covered a little over 1900 miles in our rental car:
Began the trip in Raleigh-Durham, NC. We first went to Kill Devil Hills, NC, the real location of the Wright Brothers' first powered flight in December, 1903. Kitty Hawk is nearby. This, like nearly every destination, was awe inspiring. What inventive, persistent people those two were.
We next drove down the "Outer Banks" of NC, stopping at the famous Cape Hatteras lighthouse which, due to beach erosion, had to be moved further inland in 1999 to be saved. Next, we took the first of two ferries, necessary to return to the mainland without retracing our steps while continuing southward. This ferry went from Hatteras to Ocracoke, NC. Then a second ferry took us from Ocracoke to Cedar Island, NC, back to solid ground.
Our next destination was Charleston, SC, which may have been our favorite stop, as we discussed earlier today. We then headed north to Asheville, NC and the Biltmore House. Ostentatious is not a powerful enough word. The next day we went through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and visited Tennessee, including Dolly Pardon's roots in Pidgeon Forge and Gatlinburg.
We next headed to the countryside of Kentucky (Pikeville) and drove through the heart of coal country West Virginia to end up in Staunton, VA, a lovely revolutionary-era village in western Virginia. This allowed us to visit Monticello and the University of Virginia the next day. We then returned to Raleigh-Durham, NC, to catch our flight home.
This trip brought into complete clarity what an amazing country we live in, offering incredible diversity in just a narrow swath of one part. We felt very fortunate to be able to visit as well as be citizens of the United States.
|Grotto Falls, Great Smoky Mountains © Kip Peterson|