GOBBLE, GOBBLE–CAREFUL WITH THAT THROTTLE
ENJOY YOUR TRAVELS IN NORTH CAROLINA
Welcome to North Carolina on Thanksgiving Weekend!
One of the most wonderful things about this trip has been reconnecting with so many old friends and making new ones. Today, December 15, 2017, marks exactly seven months since I left New Mexico. 25,000 miles later we arrived in North Carolina. I just checked this mileage and thought I had driven more than that — at times it definitely has felt like I came out of the womb into the driver’s seat!
Leaving D.C. Friday after Thanksgiving we passed the above sign and motored on, steady at 55mph, enjoying the fall colors, waving to police cars ever vigilant on the shoulders–waiting, waiting and BOOM, RED AND WHITE LIGHTS FLASHING– “got one”– while Alice and I enjoyed our stress-free ride. Since it was the opening of deer season in North Carolina, camouflage was the color of the evening at the camping spot. Tents, jeeps(!), hats, clothes, jackets all looked like they just left the Middle East. And then there was Mabel, Lisa and Alice.
The road to Gordon’s house, outside of Asheville, accentuated the coziness and warmth of the Carolina woods. From the house’s balcony, I saw a deer lightly tread over thousands of leaves and listened to the crinkling/crushing sound that caused Alice to bound to the window. We walked past hidden summer homes surrounded by trees and shacks nestled in the woods, which echoed the movie DELIVERANCE or the TV show JUSTIFIED. Artisans who made everything from pottery to violins to paintings scatter the North Carolina hills and valleys.
The River Arts District was fun to visit and see pottery studios, painters and woodworkers in renovated warehouses.http://www.riverartsdistrict.com
Shops, breweries, museums, downtown funkiness — it is all in Asheville!
The Biltmore Estate comprised of wineries, craft shops, restaurant was worth the visit. Finished in 1895, George Vanderbilt opened up his home to friends and family. Since then, it is a resort filled with history and gives a glimpse into the history of the turn of the century privileged gentry.http://www.biltmore.com
We, Mabel, Alice and I, went from “mountains to shining sea” at Savannah, Georgia. Skidway State Park gave me my first glimpse of the South: Spanish moss, marshes, an alligator siting, the haunting aspect of a swamp. http://gastateparks.org/SkidawayIslandBeauty in a mysterious setting. What lies beneath the grasses? What visions has this marsh land seen? What stories can it tell? A history built on the backs of slaves, the economic driving force of cotton and rice. Rice that was brought from Senegal, West Africa . White settlers learned its value from black men.
I’d like to go back to Savannah and spend more time in the city. It was rainy, windy and cold–not a day to see the sites. We drove through the historical area and continued on to St. Augustine, Florida, the oldest continually occupied town in the the U.S.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_St._Augustine,_Florida
Wonderful old town filled with shops, restored houses, churches, restaurants, museums…… https://www.visitstaugustine.com
One of our first stops was to see Lenny Foster, a Taos photographer who recently moved to St. Augustine. So much talent! http://galleryonefortyfour.com/index.html
We stayed at Anastasia St. Park on the Atlantic Coast and minutes from downtown St. Augustine https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/anastasia
For the next few weeks, sand has been a part of van life. Alice’s paws and fur has been a magnet for every particle of “silicon dioxide in the form of quartz” –FYI: the chemical component of sand! It has brought new meaning to cleaning out the van…in addition to @#$ adjectives for every grain.
Rte. A1A follows Florida’s Atlantic coast passing through a constant thread of small coastal towns. One coastal town became another with fast food places and BEACH PALMS and SNO CONES HERE…At Daytona Beach, I got on I95 which is the main N/S Highway thru Florida. No idea why she was dressed as a turtle!
Florida is in a world unto its own. I finally understood why people become snowbirds here. Weather, weather, weather. Jensen Beach was the next stop and home in a friend’s driveway for four days. His house was one of 850 mobile homes next to one another with three feet in-between each one. These lots fit a single or double wide 600 sq. ft – 1000 sq ft mobile home or some have built houses on these postage size lots or bought the lot and drive their RV on the lot for winter. The lots sell for $500,000 since they are near or on one the myriad of canals/estuaries that run along the coast. And trust me, these are not super upscale.
So, let’s let these photos say a bit about Jensen Beach area and the Florida’s east coast.
Take good care,
Lisa, Alice and Mabel