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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eastern North Carolina & Raleigh – Late Fall 2016 Road Trip – Day 7

Our Thursday morning saw us leaving the Outer Banks westbound, with our first stop in Edenton, North Carolina, a quaint town from the Cotton is King Era.

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The original cotton mill is now a condominium building. The town also had well-kept majestic old homes of the pre-Civil War period.

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Edenton’s waterfront of the Albemarle Sound was picturesque with tall leafy trees growing from the water with roots visible above and below the surface. The roots seemed to wrap around the tree trunk and support it in the water. The lighthouse at the edge of the pier was not a tall columnar structure as most lighthouses but a unique lighthouse constructed as a two story home with a widow’s walk and a large lantern placed on its roof.

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Edenton’s Chowan County Courthouse is one of the oldest courthouses in the country. Built in 1767, it is one of the finest examples of public Georgian architecture in the American South. Edenton was settled in 1658 and incorporated in 1727, and is counted as the first permanent European settlement in North Carolina.

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In addition, to the courthouse and the Confederate Soldier memorial in the square, Edenton has the famous Historic Hicks Field, a baseball stadium that is now home to the John A. Holmes High School Aces as well as the Edenton Steamers of the Coastal Plain League. So, we as baseball fans wanted to see it.

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Hicks Field was built in 1939 as a Works Progress Administration project at the corner of East Freemason and Woodward, adjacent to the high school. The main structure is a wooden grandstand with a roof that was built to accommodate slightly more than 500 people. The main grandstand is the oldest remaining wooden grandstand of its type in the state of North Carolina.

Hicks Field was home to minor league baseball and semipro teams up until 1952, including the Edenton Colonials of the original Coastal Plain League, the Albemarle League, and the Virginia League. Players such as Bob Feller and other major league all-stars have stepped foot inside this historic stadium.

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A stop in Zebulon brought us to see the Carolina Mudcats high A baseball stadium. The Mudcats are affiliated with the Milwaukee Brewers and play at Five County Stadium. The friendly office workers there allowed us to enter the stadium to take photos and they even opened the gift shop for us so that I could buy a t-shirt for my collection. A perfect photo op from the top of the stands captured a shot of the field with the water tower outside the stadium painted as a baseball in the background.

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Since we used to live in Raleigh, I tried testing my memory with names of the roads. I remembered the main roads although the area has developed a great deal. One thing that had not changed was the Char-Grill.   The Char-Grill has a company motto, “Simpler Times, Simpler Choices.”  This place cooks up classic hamburger patties cooked over charcoal flames and serves red hot dogs. The hot dogs are in a casing that looks very red unlike any other hot dog that I have ever seen. There is a protocol to ordering, you need to check off your options of your order slip and drop the paper order into a slot. The place was very busy but after a short wait we heard our name called for our order for pick up at the other window. The burgers are great but not the best we ever had.

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We drove into downtown Raleigh and parked the car across from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

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We walked to the North Carolina State Capitol for a self-guided tour of the building’s three floors. The Greek revival Capitol building, completed in 1840, currently houses the offices of the Governor of North Carolina, located on Union Square at East Edenton Street.

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During much of the Colonial period, North Carolina was without a fixed capital. Governors lived in their own homes and the Assembly moved from place to place, meeting in private homes, and in courthouses when available. In 1722 the Assembly selected Edenton as the capital, but years passed by as the center of the population had shifted westward. in 1788 a State Convention voted to set a capital plan for Raleigh, based on the then nation’s capital of Philadelphia.

Construction of a State House began on the town’s central square in 1792. First occupied in 1794, the building served as the capitol until it burned in 1831. The cornerstone of the present State Capitol, constructed on the site of the former State House, was laid in 1833 and the building was completed in 1840. The Capitol remains largely unaltered from its completion of 1840.

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The Capitol building also housed the original state law library and the geology department. The geology room had cases lining the walls shelved with rocks labeled by type and specific name. The next room that we viewed was the House of Representatives chamber which follows the semi-circular plan of a Greek theater in an architectural Corinthian style. The Senate chamber was decorated in the Ionic style of an ancient Greek temple.

The Capitol is a cross shape, centering on a domed rotunda where the wings join. The rotunda stands 97-1/2 feet from the floor to the crown atop the dome. Centered on the interior ground floor of the rotunda is a statue of George Washington depicting him in a Roman general’s uniform with tunic, body armor, and a short cape fastened at the shoulder.

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The North Carolina Museum of History is where we began our tour of the museum with the early history of the settlers along the coast, then into the tobacco and industry era where we learned that the Portuguese brought the first African slaves to America before the English arrived.

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On February 1, 1960, four African American college students sat down at a lunch counter at Woolworth’s in Greensboro, North Carolina, and politely asked for service. Their request was refused. When asked to leave, they remained in their seats. Their resistance in the act of a sit-down helped to ignite a youth-led movement to challenge racial inequality throughout the South; a small section of that lunch counter is in the museum.

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In addition an authentic slave’s cabin plucked from a southern plantation and reassembled in the museum was also on display, showing how harsh their life was.

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An athletic prominence of North Carolina section honored those athletes associated with the state in their professional sport with large banners of the athlete and some memorabilia. Most surprising to me was a tribute to the golfer, Arnold Palmer, a Latrobe boy, has a connection to North Carolina from his college days at Wake Forest University. Motorsports hailed Richard Petty and showcased his race car. The football section highlighted Carl Ellis who played for the Minnesota Vikings, and Buck Leonard for baseball. Many more professional and college athletes were also admired.

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Since we still had a bit of time before the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences closed, we headed over there for a speed tour.

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The museum had exhibits of local wildlife past and present. Models of dinosaurs stood stories high and skeletons of a sixty-foot sperm whale and a blue whale hung from the ceiling. Preserved and embalmed fish, birds, and insects were displayed in recreated environments.

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We had a quick dinner at Panera’s before venturing to the PNC Arena to watch the Carolina Hurricanes play ice hockey against the Anaheim Ducks. Because nearby Durham was hosting a UNC-Duke football game, the ‘crowd’ was sparse, announced at at 4000 allowed us to move around seats throughout the game for various angles of shots.  The Carolina “Canes” lost the game 4-2 to the Ducks.

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A short drive later we arrived at our hotel in Durham, a Hampton Inn, that was packed with the aforementioned football game fans.