Boondocking. In case you haven’t learned the camper/RV lingo yet, without hookups – no elec. no water. Well there’s usually a water spigot near, but not to hook camper to. My camper is well equipped with fridge that runs on propane if no elec., propane stove, heater, and battery powered lights, as well as a trusty Luci Light and camp light, and water pump. I couldn’t post here, not because I had no wifi – I have a hotspot – but because I had no elec. to keep computer charged. I’m now at Hunting Island State Park on South Carolina Coast with hook-ups so here goes a quick review of the last week.
Was planning to leave home last Monday, but if you live anywhere near me you know we had a bundle of rain, and high winds, so I didn’t leave til it settled down Tues afternoon, around 3. Just had a short trip to Croatan NF so leaving late was OK and I wanted to get to the coast and not lose another day. In March you may remember I stayed at Cedar Point Campground on the south side of Croatan, on the intercoastal across from Emerald Isle. Croatan is massive so I wanted to stay on the northside where there’s a campground on the Neuse River. The regular campground, Flanners beach (beach on the river) is closed, pipes froze in the severe cold winter and haven’t been fixed, so I camped at a dispersed (boondocking) spot called Fishers Landing. It’s right on the river too, but because it was still so wet the dirt road to sites on grass was closed, so only camping at the parking lot. There were 6 of us there, not a great campsite so I figured the weather did me a favor – I only had one night there whereas I’d planned 2. The trail along the river was very nice but again it was very wet. After a walk we were off early the next morning. The Neuse R. is the watershed from Durham/Raleigh. The White Oak R. enters the intercoastal at Cedar Point, it joins other rivers running off the Neuse, so basicaly the borders of the Croatan are all formed by the Neuse.
So off we went driving down through Croatan to Morehead City, crossing the Intercoastal at Beaufort Inlet. They’re building a new bridge to replace what must be one of a very few draw bridges left. I’ll miss those draw bridges. It was interesting to watch the GPS have us floating over the water since the bridge isn’t finished and isn’t on GPS yet. Went all the way out to Cedar Island National Wildlife Refuge. As you can tell I just love those undeveloped lands, especially islands in the middle of the ocean, or sounds. Cedar Island is of course where you can take a ferry across to Ocracoke, oh how I was tempted, but have plans to the south. So after some nature and bird watching we turned around and went back. Crossed not only the new bridge but also the bridge to Atlantic Beach. In March when we were here we went to Fort Macon, I’d hoped to go to the Aquarium this time but was afraid I’d spent too much time and had other places I wanted to stop on the drive. One was at Big Oak Drive-In in Salter Path, supposedly the best shrimp burger on the coast. I’ve never had a shrimp burger, and honestly don’t know what the fuss is all about. Oh well, check that one off the list!! . I passed over the Intercoastal again to Topsail Island to drive down another beach road and enjoy a walk on the beach. BTW, after all that wind and rain, the weather turned out to be perfect!!! Another stop I wanted to make was at Boombalatti’s famous homemade ice cream in Wilmington, so it was good the weather turned warm. Now that was good!!! As usual, food on my mind. After a little roaming around Wilmington (next time I’ll make more time in Wilmington to get together with some friends there), on to Carolina Beach State Park. Really nice State Park, spacious wooded sites. There were a few (maybe) 10 with hookups but they were taken when I made reservations so I had a non-elec. site. I’m glad, the elec ones were in full sun, very exposed, no privacy, mine was nicely shaded. Lots of good trails, one I really loved and walked at least once a day, accessed right behind my site, went along the Intercoastal Waterway from the bridge (where the SP begins) to where it meets the Cape Fear River, which at that point is the Intercoastal down to Southport. There is a cut , Snow’s Cut, that connects the two. Lots of good bird watching, especially on the Sugarloaf trail.
Was there 3 days, spent one going down to Fort Fisher and the Aquarium. Since visiting and becoming fascinated with the history of Fort Macon, I guess I’ll do some forts. Fort Fisher is civil war era, built by the Confederacy to protect the Cape Fear and all important port of Wilmington. Wilmington was the last major port open to the confederacy which smuggled provisions into the southern states and supplied the confederate army. It’s an earthen fortification, built mostly of earth and sand instead of brick and mortar, which was able to absorb the shock of explosives better. Earth long row of mounds covered a mile of the beach and 1/3 mile of land, across what is now Hwy 421. The very end of 421! The land section consisted of 15 mounds that were 32′ high and included interior rooms. More than 500 African American slaves worked on it’s construction! The fort was so strong the Union wasn’t able to conquer it by sea, but were able to attack from both land and sea. They took Wilmington and once it fell the supply line for the confederacy was severed and Civil Was was soon over. OK enough history. For some reason I’m not able to download pictures to my computer. If that changes I’ll add.
On to the Aquarium at Fort Fisher. I haven’t been to an aquarium in probably 25 yrs, so was amazed to see how they’ve been able to use technology to enhance their showings. Like a zoo, I have mixed feelings, but enjoyed anyway. Divers went into the large tank, were able to talk to us, the sharks didn’t bother them, they could pet some of the fish!
I met some homefolks too, cousins of friend Kim in Pittsboro. And the sister (from FL) of another Pittsboro friend. Small world. Also got together with a woman from Eastern Women Camping, one of the FB RV groups I’ve joined, who lives in Carolina Beach. We went out and had wonderful seafood dinner. Nice to have a local tell you where the good seafood is. YUM!!
For now, I’m gonna leave you at Carolina Beach. Have moved on but the day is getting away with me and must go to the beach here at Hunting Island.
More later, and I hope I figure the pictures thing out. It would be a shame if my ph. and computer quit talking to each other. Any ideas?
Lynn and Xena