Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Kill Devil Hill: first flight; Evanston: cooked
The condo we rented in Kill Devil Hills was in a building named ‘First Flight’, about a mile from where the Wright Brothers made that flight on the cold morning of December 17, 1903.
‘Wright Brothers’ and ‘Kitty Hawk’ are forever linked, but the location of the flight and of the Wright Brothers National Memorial is in Kill Devil Hills which didn’t exist until 1953. Kitty Hawk is the next town to the north. Nags Head to the south.
A park ranger explained the names as follows:
The few early residents of the area were, among other things, wreckers, looting ships that went aground on the shoals and barrier islands. To increase business, they, as did wreckers on other coasts, tried to lure ships to destruction. At what is now Nags Head at night they tied a lantern to a horse’s neck and then rode him over the dunes, hoping that the bobbing light would be mistaken for a ship. Thus, Nags Head.
When successful, the plunder from wrecks often included rum, which they drank on the highest dunes. It was said to be strong enough ‘to kill the Devil’. Thus, Kill Devil Hills.
I’m not sure I believe this and am only reporting what we were told.
The marker to the left is the point at which the first flight became airborne. That to the right where it ended.
A full size replica of the plane. The front is to the right.
A full size replica of the Wright Brothers’ wind tunnel.
Part of a sculpture.
I have been cooked.
My face looks like the worst sunburn in the history of the world.
Yesterday I went for photodynamic therapy to remove cells that might become cancerous. Also known as blue light therapy, but I think the light was white.
The process began with a nurse painting my face with a liquid.
I then had to sit for three hours while the liquid was absorbed into my skin. I had my iPhone with me and read some of THE IONIAN MISSION, number 8 in the Aubrey/Maturin series.
At the end of three hours I was given small metal goggles to protect my eyes, an electric fan to hold in my lap pointing upward, and my face was encased in an array I could, goggles already in place, not see. The nurse asked if I was ready. I said I was. But I was wrong. She flipped a switch and instantly my face felt as though it were on fire and being pierced by a million needles. The nurse asked if I was all right. I lied and said I was.
I was cooked for precisely 16 minutes and 40 seconds. It didn’t get any better. Fortunately it didn’t get much worse.
I cannot go outside for two days. I don’t want to. I am too frightening.
I’m supposed to try to avoid direct sunlight for a week.
I am also being prescribed cream to rub on my arms daily for four weeks. “Six if you can stand it,” said the doctor. That does not sound encouraging.