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Friday, May 20, 2016

Leaving North Carolina

Today our little band of people and cats left North Carolina.  We're two days ahead of schedule for a couple of reasons: the thunderstorms on their way and Cory's experiencing a pretty severe bipolar depression episode as well.  We're all okay, as we've learned these episodes will happen and no matter where we are the symptoms will be the same so no urgent rush to get home but just in case closer to home is probably not a bad idea.

On the boardwalk in Beaufort

We made it as far as Greensboro tonight and then tomorrow we'll make our way to Carter Caves State Park in Kentucky.  We're hoping Cory is well enough to get out and explore the caves during our two night stay.

view of horses in Rachel Carson CCR from boardwalk

In the meantime I have a few straggler photos from our time here on the Crystal Coast, like those above from Beaufort.  We also went in to the Maritime Museum which was donation only for admittance but unfortunately didn't really have anything worth looking at.  You can catch a ferry from Beaufort to Cape Lookout or the Shackleford Banks (45 minute ride) or rent kayaks and paddle over to the Rachel Carson CCR and watch the horses.  Maybe next time, we just weren't feeling it this time around.

I was feeling good about the Happycakes Cupcakery in Morehead City though.  Between Swansboro and Beaufort just outside the Walmart, it was a surprise find while out running errands.

I decided to celebrate losing 5 of those 8 winter pounds by buying a half dozen.  I was hoping for help eating them but my men declined so I have 3 left in our freezer. Verdict?  Delicious!  Their cake is as good as their frosting, and that is something that is hard to find.  Also, their dinner plate sized chocolate chip cookie was so amazing that I found myself thankful I didn't live nearby.  Those winter pounds would become known as "cookie pounds" instead.

Historic downtown Swansboro has a few restaurants, but we ended up going to the Icehouse on the Waterfront twice because the crab cakes were out of this world.  The birds think it's a good place to find fish to eat, too.

Not just yummy crab cakes on the menu, we also sampled the seafood alfredo, the blackened mahi fish tacos and I even tried the pecan pesto grouper.

Just down the block was a coffee shop called Bake Bottle and Brew on the floor above the Quilt Cottage.

The Nutty Irishman sounded good but left a funny aftertaste - the Pumpkin Pie was the best latte of its kind that I've tasted.

 The views are delicious as well.

Also on the menu were Blue Q socks, I was so smitten I bought four pairs for Katrina and my co-workers.  There has got to be some benefit to having a co-worker who goes off and leaves you to mind the store all the time, this time their dedication will be rewarded with socks.

Life was never boring on the marsh boardwalk, and if in the area again I wouldn't hesitate to stay at the Cedar Point Campground again.

Once I even caught sight of a large bunny, hope it was as vigilant looking out for snakes as I was!

Mostly it was the crabs and the birds on display though.

As for the osprey I went down to the parking lot to get more shots and it turned out that I left my attachment to mount my camera on the tripod back at the RV.  I bought a 100-400mm lens to try out for this trip and have decided that it's just too bulky for hand held shooting and I'm just not organized enough to keep the tripod set up all the time.

The birds are slightly out of focus, whether from trying to shoot without a tripod or the autofocus not focusing on the right subject I am not sure.  The babies were too far down in the nest to see, so I don't know how many there were, only that dad was busy flying off and returning with fish often.

My smallest wildlife subject with the absurdly large zoom lens was this tiny marsh periwinkle.

Also seen in the marsh was Miss Jewel.  As someone said, "that sure is a funny looking dog on that leash."  Check her out for yourself:

On our way out of town I snapped a turtle on the side of the road that was being used as some kind of amusement.  The gentleman was soliciting "donations" in the Piggly Wiggly parking lot to support this rescued turtle.  Rescued from an owner who couldn't care for it anymore, not from the wild.  In the meantime I felt sorry for it as people were snapping selfies with it and parents were plopping their toddlers on top of it as if it was a pony or something.

All I have left from North Carolina are some shots I took when we rode a ferry out to Hammocks Beach State Park, I'll post those up tomorrow.  Sleep well, fellow travelers.


  1. Ha - those "sock whore" socks are awesome! I need a pair of those, as I proudly fall in that category. :) Have a safe trip home and hope Cory feels better.

  2. You had a good trip from the look and my wife would love those socks. The Turtle you showed looks very much like a Tortoise