Friday, June 2, 2017

North Carolina Asheboro


Saying good-bye to Asheville is always hard but on May 20, 2017 we headed east to Asheboro, NC. The drive was actually rather boring as all but the last little bit was on the highway. The Zooland Family Campground was home for five nights. 

Sites are gravel with a narrow patch of grass that has a picnic table and fire ring. The sites are not level and the roads in the park are rutted in some places. There was no WiFi but our Verizon signal was good. We paid $29.37 a night with our Good Sam Discount. 

It is a large family oriented place, with a pool, putt-putt golf, basketball, game room and more. A creek runs through the park and they have hiking trails and a catch and release pond.

The North Carolina Zoo is about 10-minutes away, which is what brought us here. We were able to use our WNC Nature Membership to get into the zoo for free. We took advantage of that and split our visits into two days. This is one of the nicest Zoo's we have been to, it is the Worlds largest natural habitat zoo. We so enjoyed our visit. The first day out we explored the African Zoo, we got to see Nancy's favorite animals, the giraffes. She even got to feed some lettuce to one. 

You enter the African section by crossing over a lake that is full of large snapping turtles.


The Zoo opened temporary exhibits in 1974 while the permanent Zoo was being built. Over 500 acres of the 2,200 acre tract of land is devoted to natural habitats.   
The first actual habitat, the "Forest Edge", opened in 1979.
It is where you will find the Zebra, Ostrich and Giraffe wandering about - the enclosure covers over 4 acres and you can spot the animals from various places along the walkway. 

The look on her face is
This is also where you can feed the giraffe's. Nancy was thrilled to do so and was happy that they are fed large lettuce leafs. 

The Elephants, Watani, Rhino's, Ostriches, and Antelope have a 40-acre spread to wander. It was interesting to see the elephants all red from the red clay of North Carolina.The Red River Hogs would not be one we would want to run into in the wild.

The 2nd day we covered the North American section. You also enter this section at a lake. This one had a number of duck families and lots of lily pads. You can rent paddle boats to explore the lake up close.

The two sections of the Zoo meet in the middle at a food area and where you will also find the 4-D theater and carousal. You can take a free shuttle from one parking lot to the other, so we walked back through the African section and hopped on the shuttle to get back to our car at the end of the day.

In the Cypress Swamp you walk on large boardwalks that go over the swamp area. There were two alligators that were calling to each other. One was crawling up the base of a tree while the other was a couple of yards away stretching up out of the water.

The Bison were a little hard to find, but at the third over look we found some. This is also where the Geyser is.

As you approach the Polar Bear and Seal exhibits you pass by the Fox den. We caught this one napping. While this Polar Bear exhibit is not as nice as the one at the Detroit Zoo it is still a pretty setting. The tile murals that line the walk way were fascinating. They change as you walk past them. 

Nancy had fun walking back and forth watching them change and taking videos of both the Seals and the Under Water one, which are posted on her Facebook page. 

It really is amazing how life is created, the fragile egg being one of the more interesting ones. This sculpture shows the diverse sizes and shapes of eggs of North American animals. The relative proportion of the eggs has been maintained.
From back to front: 
Back left- Easten Box Turtle
Back right- Great Horned Owl
Center- Common Murre
Front right- Sandhill Crane
Front left- Rat Snake

One of things we like best about this zoo, besides the wonderful animal enclosures is that it is like you are walking in the woods. The paths have been cut through the trees, making it nice and cool on a hot sunny day. 

Throughout the park there are stands with informational booklets.


There are also sculptures along the walkway.

Without getting too political we wanted to share this sculpture and the board that went along with it. Protecting the environment is so very important and but unfortunately not everyone agrees. 

While we were in the Desert area, we got a chuckle out of this Chuckwalla lizard taking a short cut across the turtle!
We also got a chuckle when the girl walking in front of us said " Why do they let them out!" after reading this sign. 
This big guy greeted us in the parking lot to say good-bye as we left. 

While the Zoo was the main attraction we did hit up the American Motorcycle Museum. It is on the second floor of the Heritage Dinner. So after having a tasty breakfast we checked out the bikes. 

While driving through Asheboro to get to the Motorcycles we came across these giant bugs on the Art Museum building.

The day we visited the Pisgah Covered Bridge it was raining, so we didn't hike the trails.This is one of only two remaining covered bridges in North Carolina. Built in 1911, it is 54-feet in length. 
It crosses the West Fork Branch of the Little River in the Uwharrie National Forest. It connects us back to the country's past mode of transportation when horse and wagon were common. 

Next up is Appomattox, VA - where the Civil War ended. 

Till we meet again...

Happy Trails to You!

Tips and things we have learned along the way.
~ Traveling with a dog
Back in March of 2016 we shared a long list of suggestions to make traveling with a dog easier and safer. We have another suggestion to add to that list. We found this tag that can be hung on your door when you leave your pet behind while you are away from your camper. If there should be an emergency it lets people know that there is a pet inside and needs to be removed. 

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