Tag Archives: outdoor adventures

Flying Wrights at Huffman Prairie Flying Field

hangar

An In-Town Tourist Feature:
…because Adventure begins in the heart and Travel starts at the end of your own driveway.

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The states of Ohio and North Carolina both lay claim to the pioneers of flight, Orville and Wilbur Wright. The compromise position has been for each to highlight their distinctive contributions. While both states feature aviation on their commemorative quarter coins, Ohio’s license plates read “Birthplace of Flight” and North Carolina’s reads “First in Flight”.

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I have twice visited coastal Kitty Hawk, where superior wind conditions aided the Wright Brothers’ first actual flights. A few years ago,  I finally had an opportunity to see an important part of Ohio’s half of the Wright Brothers’ fame: Huffman Prairie Flying Field.

catapult

It was here that the brothers worked out steering issues for the first viable airplane, the Wright Flyer III. Commuting to the remote farm field by trolley almost daily, they erected a hangar and a catapult amongst fields of cows. These 84 acres then became the world’s first airport and where the Wright School of Aviation trained its first pilots, several of whom eventually flew for the U.S military. Nine were hired to perform in “flying circuses” for the Wright Exhibition Team in 1910. Flight remained a risky pursuit, however, and for five of the first nine, the honor was short-lived.


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Featured Photo: Trail View on Montserrat

Featured Photo: Trail View on Montserrat (Barcelona, Spain)


As we hiked up the “saw-toothed mountain” Montserrat near Barcelona, Spain, a backward glance revealed this view. The significance of this small building wasn’t immediately clear, but the trail eventually took us through cliff hugging hermitages (rock cavities that served as homes for solitary monks) and up a steep climb to a spectacular mountaintop view. Home to a Benedictine monastery founded in 1025, Montserrat was an easy one-hour train ride from the city and a highlight of our trip to Barcelona.

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Ziplining in Puerto Rico

Hang onto the metal clip. It’s your steering wheel as you fly across the treetops. It’s also your lifeline, connecting you to the cable above. Manage your speed and the adrenaline rush by either leaning way back with your feet forward (for maximum zip) or dangle your feet to be less aerodynamic. Your choice. Just remember to get a foot forward in time to land on the platform and avoid the tree. Especially the big one with the active bee hive nested just above. And for goodness sake, don’t yank on a vine and risk a rainfall of fire ants!

Ready? Here’s the video:

Ziplining in Puerto Rico:

Our morning with Yunke Zipline Adventure was one of the highlights of August 2010 trip to Puerto Rico and Vieques. Our rendezvous point was a covered basketball court at the side of a narrow road in Luquillo. “It’s the only one on the left,” Jaime assured me. From there we followed our guides to get our gear, be briefed on the adventure and start the hike up to our first zipline. Situated just outside of the El Yunque National Forest in the Luquillo Rainforest at the end of a winding dirt road on private land, one is unlikely to locate Yunke Zipline Adventure by accident. Calling or emailing a few days ahead of your proposed date is highly recommended. I highly recommend Yunke Zipline Adventure as well.

Family Vacation on raveable
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