Coastal North Carolina

Hiking – As Good As It Gets

It’s Friday and all I can say is – FINALLY!  I’m one of those folks who lives for the weekend.  And when the weekend comes, I try to make the most of it.

Last weekend, my brother and I went hiking.  Hiking has become one of my favorite activities.  After being cooped up in an office all week, being out on the trails is quite restorative.  

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Being 51 years old, I can remember the time before cellphones and the internet.  I gotta say – those were some good days.  We didn’t have crap being shoved in our faces 24/7.   Living in a rural area, we had an antenna for our television.  We could count on ABC, CBS and NBC and when the weather was good, we might get PBS.  We knew our neighbors and we looked out for each other.  

I spent my childhood playing in the woods, floating on inner-tubes in the river and hanging out at the fish house where I got my first “job” heading shrimp.  I was in second grade.  That job gave me spending money and later helped buy my school clothes.  It taught me the value of honest work.

I look at the world now and realize that we (my generation) were the lucky ones.  Our parents weren’t hovering over us every moment.  Seriously, it never occurred to my folks that it might not be safe for my sister and I to be floating on inner-tubes in a river by ourselves.  They told us where we could float and they expected us to listen.  And we did.

I see kids now – still in elementary school carrying cellphones.  Their little faces glued to the screens.  I can’t help but wish that I could wave a magic wand and drop them in the middle of 1976.  No cellphones or video games to occupy their time/mind. Instead, they’d have the opportunity to explore the world around them, to build forts, walk the woods, catch clams and chew on sour weed.  

The world wasn’t perfect then.  It’s not perfect now.  But for a kid – growing up “unplugged” was about as perfect as we could get. 

Maybe that’s why I like hiking so much.  For a few hours, I’m on an adventure, exploring new paths with no unwanted interruptions.  I’m unplugged and I’m lucky.

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Marine Raiders Memorial March

On March 10, 2015, a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter crashed into the Santa Rosa Sound in Navarre, FL during a night training mission, killing seven Marine Raiders and four Louisiana Army National Guardsmen.  To honor the fallen, several Marine Raiders and Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsmen from Camp Lejeune, N.C.  will set out on a relay type ruck march that would take them  770 miles – starting from the crash site and ending at Stone Bay Rifle Range, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Camp Lejeune is literally on the other side of the river from my hometown.  Artillery shells blasting, pictures shaking on the walls – this is a daily occurrence.  Helicopters from New River Air Station routinely buzz the top of my house (or at least it sounds like it).

So when a Marine falls, it affects our whole community.  They are our neighbors and our friends.

Early Sunday morning (approximately 4:30 A.M.), the Raiders arrived in Sneads Ferry. They made their way down Hwy 172, escorted by local law enforcement officers and fireman. I can’t explain what it was like to see them carrying their rucksacks, marching in the dead of night -in the memory of their fellow Marines.  I was honored to be one of those to welcome them home.

On Monday, the Raiders will finish the last leg or the march.  For more information, click on the links below:

Marine Raider Memorial March

Facebook

Brothers In Arms Foundation

Marine Corps Times

Fort Macon Photos

This past weekend, we took a little day trip to Morehead City and  Atlantic Beach.  While there, we visited Fort Macon State Park.

I love history and find sites like these quite fascinating.  As such, I took several photos and thought I’d share them.  If you write historical fiction, maybe these will help.

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scale model of Fort Macon

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Fort Entrance

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Not sure what it was called historically but basically it’s the Mess Hall

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Bunk Room

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View from Bunk Room

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mortar

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bread oven

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View from the top of the Fort

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View from the top of Fort Macon

For more information about Fort Macon, click here and here.  

-Deb

 

Monday Mini Virtual Vacation

Living in Coastal North Carolina has its advantages: mild winters with an occasional cold snap, fresh seafood and sandy beaches. If you’re like me, no matter how mild, winter has worn out its welcome and a warm weather vacation can’t get here soon enough. While I can’t do anything about the temperature, I thought I’d share a little virtual sun and surf with you.  Enjoy!