Thursday, June 16, 2016

North Carolina - Four Oaks

Four Oaks

Four Oaks, NC is just a little southeast of Raleigh.
Longest runaway truck
ramp ever! 
Guess we should have
stayed here! 

We arrived here on June 6, 2016. The drive was so pretty coming through the mountains from Virginia. 

Raleigh Oaks RV Park and Resort is where we called home for four days. It is a rather large RV park, with over 100 sites and they also have cabins to rent. It is fairly close to I-95 for easy access but far enough that the noise is minimal. The sites are nice and long, gravel but very level and fairly wide so you are not on top of your neighbor. Each site has a picnic table and a fire pit. WiFi was good and they serve waffles for breakfast Wednesday - Sunday!  The cost was $31.50 a night with our Good Sam discount. Park is well maintained, even the permanent sites were spotless. Lots of other amenities to enjoy.
Heated pool

There are two pools, one heated and one with a heated spa. The spa and pool each have a handicap lift. The larger pool area has a nice shaded section as well. This the first pool we have taken advantage of since we started our trip over a year ago. We laid in the sun, swam and enjoyed some conversation with other campers. Need to do this more often.

 A mini-golf course, playground and a pickle ball court (we had to Google what that was - a cross between badminton, ping pong and tennis). 

A community room where they hold game nights, arts and crafts, and a TV you can watch. Plus an exercise room and three fenced in dog play areas. There are two bathhouse buildings so you are close to one no matter where you are in the park, both have laundry rooms in them and all of them are very clean. The bathrooms, are single rooms with toilet, sink and shower, so very private. 

Wilson, NC is about 30-minutes north of Four Oaks, so of course we had to go check it out. We came in on Highway 301 and the town looks like it has seen better days. Downtown doesn't seem to have much left, but when you drive to the Benton College area you find the thriving end of town.

A fun Whirligig Park greets you as you enter town, it is still under construction but it already has a number of whirligigs. 
They were created by the late folk artist, Vollis Simpson, he built them on his farm in Lucama which is just south of Wilson. 
The park will have a total of 16 when it is completed, with a walking path and benches. The Vollis Simpson Whirligig Conservation HQ is also in Wilson.

There were a few other roadside oddities in Wilson.  

A replica of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse stands outside of Worrell's Seafood Restaurant.

L - Muffler Man ~~~~ R-top - Creepy scuba diver
R-bottom - Rooster at Wilson Fairgrounds

Nancy's dad owned his own painting and wallpapering business, loved the Wilson Paint Co, and her mom's name was Florence so Flo's Kitchen was a hoot.

We stopped to do some grocery shopping in Smithfield and in the pond off of the parking lot we found a ton of turtles.

Also came across Barrett's Printing House and Dave's Bar, Les's brothers name. It was truly a family day!

Rocky Mount is about an hour north of Four Oaks. We explored Battle Park which is a combination of many different parks attached by a hiking/biking trail that follows along the Tar River. The path is asphalt so handicap accessible and mostly shaded which was very nice on such a hot day.

We parked by the Upper Falls and started our hike from there. 

There is an old cemetery, dating back to the Civil War. It is even more interesting after learning the meanings of the markings from the Nashville City Cemetary in Nashville, TN. The crown and cross represent everlasting life, this is the first time we have seen a gate or a star. 

The park is the site of the first Post Office in Rocky Mount, a plaque marks the spot. 

It was also the site of Donaldson's Tavern, a stage coach station where Lafayette was entertained. 

Off of the path are small trails that take you down to the rivers edge, giving you a nice view of the fast moving Tar River. 
At one point the path goes under a railroad, as we walked under it we wondered how loud it is when a train goes across, well we found out because just as Nancy said that we heard a train coming. By the way it is pretty loud. 

Our hike ended at the pedestrian bridge. Hurricane Floyd hit Rocky Mount on September 17, 1999, the town was under water for days. The sign on the bridge show the water level above the bridge support. 

The train tracks we walked under are busy tracks, a commuter train passed while we were on the walking bridge. 

A deep thinking graffiti artist 

Charleston, SC area is next, looking forward to the ocean. 

Till we meet again...

Happy Trails to You! 

Tips and things we have learned along the way
~ Save your back and your knees
Most campgrounds sites require the need of leveling pads under the leveling jacks. We have always used an old rug to protect our knees and stretch out under the RV to place the pads in the right spot. Some sites are gravel so it can be painful at times.Plus the jacks are just far enough in to make it harder, especially difficult for Nancy, as she is vertically challenged. 
We discovered a solution, by watching a fellow camper. He used a Gripper and just had to bend slightly to get the pads in the right spot. On the day you pull out it's breeze to pull the pads back out for storage.