Virtual Travel – North Carolina

Welcome to North Carolina – or as I often heard it referenced when I lived there North Cackalacky. This was one of those expressions I never understood why, but this virtual travel posting research has taught me new, if irrelevant, information.

Apparently that term that started in the 1960s by soldiers who were sent to army bases in the state, and was used in a somewhat derogatory manner. The Carolina folks however have somewhat embraced the term to the point one person has started a barbecue sauce called Cackalacky.

2016 11 09 12 Poplar Branch NC Monster Truck Ranch

 

Speaking of barbecue, Carolina’s is the best! But even in North Carolina there is debate about which barbecue is best – Eastern (coastal) or Western/Lexington/Piedmont.

The Eastern style is more vinegar based whereas the Western is tomato based.

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Carolina heaven –  where’s the sweet tea.

Hursey's BBQ Mebane NC 3 - Patrick's BBQ Trail

 

Ironically barbecue is not the official North Carolina state food, as they have none. They do however have 50 state symbols!

State Art Medium – Clay

 

State Carnivorous Plant – Venus Flytrap. Native only to a small area around Wilmington, North Carolina, it is now cultivated worldwide.

 

State Dog – Plott Hound

 

State Dance – Clogging

 

Historic Places

1951 – State Capitol     1974 – Tryon Palace     1988 – Three Presidents Statue     2000 – Old Salem Pedestrian Bridge      2003 – Wright Brothers     2004 – Greensboro’s Douglas Galyon Depot     2006 – Doc Watson Highway

 

 

The North Carolina State Capitol is in Raleigh. This building dates from 1833, and was saved from General Sherman’s march in the Civil War by the governor of the time, Zebulon Vance, sending a peace delegation to negotiate with Sherman. Legend has it that Raleigh is the only southern city that Sherman came across that wasn’t heavily damaged, although part of it was it was right as the peace treaty as ready to be signed.

2016 11 10 58 Raleigh NC State Capital & Museums

 

The area around Raleigh has had tremendous growth in the last few decades thanks to Research Triangle Park, the largest research park in the United States.

The name, and drivers, behind RTP are the three major universities in the area, University of North Carolina, Duke and North Carolina State University.

It was created in 1959, and has grown steadily ever since, with over 60,000 people now working there for companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, Cisco and the National Institute of Health.

The state government areas in the middle of the city are home not only to the capitol and legislature buildings, but numerous museums.

 

 

 

One of the most famous locations in the state is located along the coast at Kitty Hawk. It was here in 1903 that Orville and Wilbur Wright came down from Ohio to escape the cold and test their invention, the airplane.

The site is a National Historic Site, with a full scale sculpture of the plane, as well as markers detailing those first 4 fledgling flights.

2016 11 09 48 Kill Devil Hills NC Wright Brothers Memorial

 

 

 

From the Ocean to the Mountains

1958 – Beach     1977 – Lake Norman     1988 – Wrightsville Beach     1990 – Coastal Carolina

 

 

North Carolina stretches for 500 miles inland from the ocean to the Appalachian Mountains. One of the nicer mountain regions is at Stone Mountain State Park (not to be confused with the one in Georgia with confederate soldiers carved on it).

 

 

The Outer Banks of North Carolina has some of the finest beaches in the country, along with giant sand dunes, and an apparent bulls eye for hurricanes to aim for.

2016 11 09 106 Kitty Hawk NC

 

 

1967 – Blue Ridge Parkway     1972 – Great Smoky Mountains National Park     1982 – Joyce Killmer Forest     1996 – Blue Ridge Parkway     2002 – Cascade Falls Hanging Rock State Park     2007 – Collage     2015 – Blue Ridge Parkway

 

 

The Blue Ridge Parkway is the country’s longest park, running for 429 miles along the tops of the Appalachian Mountains from Virginia through North Carolina.

It’s most famous spot is the viaduct at Linn Cove on Grandfather Mountain, featured on two of the maps above. (photos below from various internet sites)

 

 

1973 – Lake Norman     2011 – Wild Flowers     2013 – Outer Banks

 

Eastern North Carolina has a number of picturesque towns, including Edenton. In the mid 1600s settlers from Jamestown came inland and founded Edenton Colony, making it the first European settlement in North Carolina.

The town served briefly as the North Carolina capital.

2016 11 10 8 Edenton NC

 

 

1986 – White Water Rafting     1995 – North Carolina Zoological Park     2001 – Airborne & Special Operations Museum     2005 – Pinehurst

The central North Carolina area has a number of cool places to visit including a restored ‘Clamshell’ Shell station in Winston- Salem.

Durham has two classic baseball stadiums; the older one was featured in the movie Bull Durham, and continues to this day to host college games, while the newer stadium is now home to the Durham Bulls.

Seemingly misplaced, the NHL has a team located in Raleigh.

 

 

Near the Virginia border is the home of ‘Grave Digger’, monster truck extraordinaire.

 

 

 

At the other end of the state, on the South Carolina border is Charlotte, the states largest city. It is a fast growing city, and financial headquarters to numerous banks. (Photos from Wikipedia)

From top to bottom, left to right: Charlotte skyline, UNC Charlotte, NASCAR Hall of Fame, Spectrum Center, Bank of America Stadium, Romare Bearden Park

 

 

In the far western edge of the state is Asheville, a bastion of blue in a sea of red in the mountains. Asheville is an artist center. (Photo from Wikipedia)

Asheville at dusk.jpg

 

 

 

Lastly we visit Mount Airy – aka Mayberry. This small northeastern North Carolina town was the home of an actor named Andy Griffith, who starred in a 1960s TV show where he was a small town sheriff in Mayberry. It was based on his hometown, and to this date they live off of that reputation. (photo from Wikipedia).

11 Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Mount Airy, NC | PlanetWare

 

 

By y’all for now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Virtual Travel – Louisiana

Bonjour de la Louisiana. Our trip today takes us to the bayou.

 

1977 – Bogue Chitto River. This river is 65 miles north of New Orleans in a park with more than 1,000 acres.

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1979 – Bayou. Much of southern Louisiana is made up of bayous and swamps.

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2005

Government State Louisiana 2005

 

The residents of these parts are very proud of their alligators.

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The bayous have a unique beauty.

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1981 – Acadia. This area of Louisiana has the strongest French culture. In Louisiana the counties are known as parishes. Some of the parishes in this area are over 25% French speaking (although not a French someone from Paris or Montreal would likely easily understand).

Government State Louisiana 1981.jpg

 

We passed through this area in 2019, making a stop at the Tabasco Factory on Avery Island.

 

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Acadia is rice growing country.

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In New Ibiera is the Conrad Rice Mill, America’s oldest.

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1984 – Mississippi River. The river is the economic driver for Louisiana.

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Bridges in New Orleans.

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Many overseas freighters come up the river to New Orleans to dock and offload.

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The tourist sternwheeler leaves for a tour.

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Upriver at the crossing from Vicksburg, Mississippi to the town of Delta, Louisiana.

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1986 – 1992 – 2001 – Music

Government State Louisiana 2001

 

New Orleans is music, food and partying.

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1990 – Flowers

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With the warm weather and abundant rain, Louisiana has amazing flora and fauna.

 

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1998 – State Capitol. While New Orleans is the center of the world for all things Louisiana, Baton Rouge is the capital.

 

 

 

2002 & 2007 – Food

 

Louisiana is known for food, primarily (photos from Wikipedia)

Crawfish

Louisiana Crawfish Boil - This Ole Mom

 

Po-boys

Best Po-Boys in Louisiana - Thrillist

 

And Beignets

Beignets Recipe: New Orleans-Style Fried Dough - PureWow

 

 

 

2003 – Louisiana Purchase (historic New Orleans)

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New Orleans was the center of the French owned territory in the new world.  The Cabildo is beside St Louis Cathedral in the French Quarter.

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The French Quarter is representative of the city at that time (except for all the dive bars).

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2018 – Birds

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2019 05 20 206 Avery Island LA Tabasco Factory and Gardens.jpgAvery Island, Louisiana has a very impressive bird sanctuary.

 

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Chicago – February 2020 – Spring Comes Early at a Flower Conservatory

Lincoln Park and Garfield Park are both city parks in Chicago that have impressive glass conservatories. This time of year both are having their spring flower shows.

We start with Lincoln Park.




































And now it was on to Garfield Park





































Garfield Park’s is larger, with more rooms, including an impressive cacti collection.







































Montreal – July 2019 – Botanical Gardens

The Montreal Botanical Gardens is one of the finest, if not the finest, botanical gardens in North America. It has a large number of specialty gardens, such as a Chinese Gardens (covered in a separate posting), as well as numerous thematic gardens – including one dedicated to poisonous plants!

Overall the gardens are amazingly beautiful, and well kept.


























































Columbus – July 2019 – Bird Walk at Audubon Park

Audubon Park is located just south of downtown Columbus in a reclaimed ‘brown field’, aka – old industrial areas. The transformation to a nature preserve is amazing.



We were there on a Saturday morning for a ‘Beginning Birding Hike’. Our guide Erika was knowledgeable and enthusiastic.



We started out with the easy ones in the feeders.



While ostensibly we were there to check out the birds, the flowers and plants were interesting as well.



Not to mention twin turtles.



The bees were busy…



Of course I was too busy taking photos to pay attention to what type of bird this was!



As always wandering off from the crowd, who came away with more knowledge about birds than I did.



The boardwalk across the wetlands provided more flower and plant photo ops.




More birds..





The small, but passionate group was very focused.



An egret,



And a blue heron.



Despite the heat it was a great way to spend a couple of hours, thanks to the parks and our guide Erika.





Cleveland – July 2019 – The Garden Walk

A beautiful Saturday afternoon was the perfect time to go for a walk around the neighborhood. Only in this case we chose to go to the ‘Detroit Shoreway’ neighborhood in Cleveland for our walk.

Why – because this neighborhood, and many others in Cleveland, were participating in ‘GardenWalk Cleveland 2019’. We were fortunate enough to meet one of the founders of Cleveland’s, who said they go the idea from Buffalo, New York’s.

The Detroit Shoreway neighborhood is named so from Detroit Avenue, which is the original road from Cleveland to Detroit, and it is located along Lake Erie. Most of the homes in the neighborhood are over 100 years old, with many being exquisitely restored.

For the Garden Walk there were over 80 gardens to see, each with their own unique interpretation! Each had a sign indicating they were participating in the walk, and to guide us to which part of the yard was open (front, side, back)
































































Houston – May 2019 – McGovern Centennial Gardens

Just south of downtown Houston is Hermann Park, and the McGovern Centennial Gardens. It is a small, well thought out space with flowers, plants and statues.














The statues featured great Latin American leaders, as well as (strangely) Scottish poet Robert Burns!












Avery Island, Louisiana – May 2019 – Jungle Gardens

With Avery Island’s location in southern Louisiana the main agricultural business is sugar cane.



With the year round warm, wet weather it is the perfect climate for nature to grow. In the late 1800s the son of the founder of Tabasco sauce, Edward Avery McIlhenny, created the botanical gardens known as Jungle Gardens.



The gardens cover 170 acres of Avery Island.



There isn’t a large number of different plants, flowers and trees, but the gardens are well laid out, and immaculately kept up.



As with most of Louisiana, water is always nearby.



Including this nice pond, with a warning sign to not feed the alligators (which seems like anyone would know that).



We did NOT feed this alligator.



The turtles were safely out of harms way.



A few buildings remain from the early days of Tabasco pepper growing.




This drive is appropriately named Wisteria Lane, as you make your way under the Wisteria arch.



The highlight however is Bird City. In 1895 Edward raised eight egrets in captivity, releasing them in the fall for their migration. The next year they returned with more egrets.

Ever since then thousands of egrets return to Avery Island in the spring and reside there until late summer.

When we arrived for the Tabasco tour we were one of the few who opted to purchase combination tickets for the factory tour and the gardens. It was money well spent!