A few hours from us, on one of the island of the Cape Lookout National Seashore, is an abandoned fishing village we’ve been wanting to visit, and we finally made it.
At one point during the colonial period this was one of the busiest ports in North Carolina, mainly unloading cargo from ocean going ships, and onto smaller ships that could navigate the sounds, but for various reasons slowly became deserted, with the last residents leaving in 1979. It was really amazing how well preserved it still was.
It really was an amazing place to walk around, there were maybe 20 visitors total. We’ll definitely come back here in the fall, when there are fewer bugs (they weren’t too bad, but bug spray was definitely necessary) and cooler weather for walking.
A few weekends ago we were able to take some time and spend a few days on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is one of my absolute favorite places. So beautiful, I love the mountains, the waterfalls, the colorful foliage in the fall, and the wildflowers in the spring. I also love how easy it is to use, with scenic overlooks every few miles, campgrounds, picnic areas, and hiking trails.
View from one of the scenic overlooks.
The reward for hiking the Cascades Trail, actually a pretty easy hike.
Rhododendrons in bloom at Craggy Gardens. I was hoping to see these in bloom, and I did!
Duggars Creek Trail.
This week I took a day to drive up to Pettigree State Park, about 2.5 hrs away. Its a beautiful area surrounding Lake Phelps, and the shoreline is populated by these amazing bald cypress trees.
When I first moved to the south, from New England, almost 10 years ago I was fascinated by these trees standing in the water. We had marshes and bogs up north, but nothing like the cypress swamps found on the coastal plain. The size of these trees is amazing, some of them must be more than five feet in diameter at their base, and I can only imagine how old they are.
MacKay Island National Wildlife Refuge, NC and VA, November 2012
Its easy for me to get stuck in a rut of always going to the same places. Hard to believe, but I do get tired of always walking on sandy beaches, I like more variety. Also, even though we’ve lived here for almost 3 years, there is still a lot in the area we haven’t taken the time to explore yet. So, last weekend I decided we were taking a day trip to a state park about 2 hours away. Goose Creek State park is north of us and is located on the Pamlico River. It has an interesting beach along the river with live oaks going down to the water, some beautiful pine forests, and a half mile boardwalk through a pretty swamp (no, that is not a contradiction).
Nicely maintained trails wander through a forest of towering longleaf pines.
See, the swamp really is pretty!
Jon, Panzer, and Sasha.
I’ve noticed that many parks in the south have boardwalks through swampy and marshy areas, I love seeing them up close and getting a perspective that I wouldn’t from dry land.
MacKay Island National Wildlife Refuge, North Carolina/Virginia, January 2013
**Flood and Rain update. So far we are doing fine. Our pond is the fullest I’ve ever seen it, and there are large standing puddles around the yard, but so far no actual flooding. I think we should be fine, the nearest river is half a mile away, and is a slow moving river that empties into a large tidal marsh.
Jon’s new garage/workshop. Its pretty awesome.
Tried a few new restaurants locally, Minoda’s sushi and hibachi, and Circa 81 for brunch. Both were very good.
Fort Macon State Park. A nice tree/driftwood on the beach.
A pretty swamp/wetlands area
Shrimp Boats in Beaufort Harbor
My lazy, old man, Chewbacca
Tried a new recipe, Tatziki Sauce on a pita with chicken and veggies.
Went for a walk in Lawson Creek Park, in New Bern
I climbed the Cape Lookout Lighthouse! The view from the top was amazing!
Cape Lookout Lighthouse
Sasha and Panzer playing
A paper collage I started about 6 months ago, then put aside, and have been working on again.
Lewis and Clark National Forest, MT, September 2012
Last week we went camping in the National Seashore again. This time on the South Core Banks, which I prefer to the North Core Banks. The Lighthouse and other historic buildings are on the Southern Island, as well as some great swimming spots, and I find a lot of seashells here too.
One of our trucks on the ferry.
Dirt road through the historic village.
Sunset over the Sound.
Sitting in the tide pools. We saw a shark, so we decided not to gout outside the sandbars that afternoon.
A dead puffer fish.
Whelk shells decorating a fence
Cape Lookout Lighthouse.
A beautiful view of the beach from the cabin.
A friends daughter running from the waves. She wasn’t quick enough.
Calm waters inside “the hook.”
An abandoned home.
Sunrise. Wasn’t it nice of Sasha to wake me up at 6 am so I could see this?
Miles hiked: 17.6
This year: 40.4
About a month ago, we went camping on the North Island of the Cape Lookout National Seashore. We love to go out here because it is so empty. Its basically just a big stretch of beach on the ocean side, and some grass covered sand dunes and marsh on the sound side.
A picture of a dead thing I took to send my sister in law (all in fun, not because I’m sending her a subtle message). I think its a dolphin or a small whale.
Rough seas, it was windy most of the week. We just drive until we find a good tide pool to play in when its like this.
My old man, Chewbacca, taking a nap on the beach.
A beautiful sunset over the marsh and Core Sound.
The dunes and beach.
Relaxing on the deck.
Miles hiked: 13.2
This year: 22.8
Although I still have a lot of hiking that I haven’t blogged yet, its recently occurred to me that the year is more than halfway over, and I’m quite far behind on reaching my goal of 500 miles.