Sunday, June 3, 2018

North Carolina - 2 stops: Asheboro & Tabor City


We left Asheville on May 2, 2018. Nancy may have shed a tear or two. We started this years journey at the same place we started last years.
Zooland Family Campground in Asheboro, NC is a large well maintained park. There are plenty of activities for kids and it is only 10-minutes from the zoo. Sites are gravel and grass, average width with a picnic table and fire ring.
Laundry and bathrooms were clean. There is no WiFi, our Verizon signal was good.
They have a nice dog park with obstacle course items, which Mielikki wanted nothing to do with. There are two trails, Nancy and Mielikki enjoyed the River Trail every day.
We paid $31.50 a night with our Good Sam discount.
We had planned to go to the Zoo but with Mielikki's surgery just prior to our leaving Asheville we didn't feel comfortable leaving her all day.
As you can imagine she was not a fan of the "cone of shame". In fact once it was on she would only stand in one spot and not move - after close to 30-minutes we knew we were in trouble. At night she wouldn't lay down even with Nancy laying on the couch petting her. So, Nancy ended up sleeping on the couch with Mielikki laying on the floor attached to her lead, and no cone. Well, sleeping would actually be the wrong word! Nancy had the lead around her wrist so she would know when Mielikki started scratching. This went on for three nights before the scratching stopped. No, our dog is not spoiled - just well loved. 😉

We had much nicer weather this time on our visit to the Pisgah Covered Bridge, last year it was raining. The bridge crosses the Little River and cost just $40.00 when it was built in 1911 by J.J. Welch. It is one of only two remaining original covered bridges in North Carolina.

The 54-foot long bridge is only one lane wide and became obsolete when it could no longer handle the increased traffic and weight of automobiles. It sits next to the concrete bridge that was constructed in the 1950's.
The inside of the covered bridge is filled with graffiti, but no worries, it is all done in chalk!
There is about a half mile loop trail that takes you from one side of the bridge to the other. It is well maintained and lined with trees and wild flowers. There is a wooden walking bridge about half way on the trail that crosses the river.

The Birkhead Mountain Wilderness, in Troy, NC was established in 1984. But the mountain has a much longer history. It is considered to be the oldest range on the Northern American Continent. Evidence of early Indians dating back over 12,000 years has been found here. The Catawba Indians settled here in the 1600's and traders arrived in the 1700's.
The Birkhead family arrived in the mid 1800's and over the years acquired the 3,000 acres, which is where the name comes from. Many tenant farms were scattered across the area. There are four interconnecting trails ranging from 1.4-miles to 5.9-miles. We hiked the Thornburg Trail at 1.8-miles, which takes you through the Thornburg farmstead, circa 1850's.

We crossed creeks and climbed over fallen logs.

One section was covered with hundreds of spider webs that made us think of the Harry Potter movie! A tree was covered in little nests, of what we assume are caterpillars of some sort. A Tulip Tree flower landed gracefully in the crook of a branch.

In the middle of the path we came across a dozen or so butterflies.

Farther down the path in the middle of nowhere we found this sign.
It must be pretty old for cigarettes to be a dollar something a pack. The funny part is the words say do not shot this sign as children play here!!

Tabor City

May 6, 2018 was moving day to Tabor City, NC.
We stayed at the Carrollwoods Campground and Vineyard. It is a beautiful place and well maintained. Sites are gravel with a mulch area and wider than normal with lots of shade trees. There were plenty of places to walk the dog, the vineyard and around the pond being one of our favorites.

The fenced dog park is the nicest one we have ever seen. It is full of trees, so plenty of places to play in the shade. There are two trails for hiking as well. WiFi was good, Verizon signal weak. Laundry and bathrooms were very clean.

All of this and wine tasting too! We paid $39.19 a night with our Good Sam discount.

Willmington, NC is about an hour away and we spent two days there. Les needed to get his prescriptions filled at the VA Hospital, which of course can't be done in just one day.
First day out we headed to the tip of the peninsula and went to the Fort Fisher State Recreation Area. It is in Kune Beach and touches both the Atlantic Ocean and the Cape Fear River. The views were great, and we found a tree that looks like it is going out for a walk. We walked the beach, put our toes in the ocean and collected some shells and driftwood.

After all that salty air we needed a little refreshment and the Good Hops Brewery was just the place to get some.

On our way to Wilmington we made a stop at a very unique Roadside.
Mary's Gone Wild really is the perfect name! Mary, received a vision many years ago from God on how to reverse paint on glass. She had never painted anything before, but gathered the supplies and followed the vision and the rest as they say is history.
This started what is now a conglomeration of art and glass bottle structures.

Front and back of one of her paintings. 
Top left - piano keys used on the Ferris wheel

There are multiple buildings filled to the brim with bottles, art work and an assortment of other trinkets and tools. One building is all Coke-a-Cola items, another is filled with doll furniture and a large doll house that Mary made.

One room is used for prayer and meditation. The walls are covered with bible verses and there is a large collection of bibles. There are three large rooms used as her gallery with paintings everywhere. Plus, the floors and ceilings are all painted.
Bottom pictures - L: floor  R: ceiling 

Last but not least there is a whole section of treehouses!

Other Roadside Oddities we found....
Tabor City gave us the Newspaper Boy which reminded Nancy of the musical Newsies. In 1953 the Tabor City Tribune won the Pulitzer Prize. Horace Carter, owner and editor, was troubled by the Ku Klux Klan and wrote over 100 stories and editorials exposing what he felt to be a dark force of injustice.
The original Tabor School House, built in 1870 is just down the road.

In Bolton, NC we found Boo-Boo Bear outside a daycare center and his original home. where you can get just about any sculpture you can imagine including a Uni-Royal Girl.

We explored a couple of cemeteries.
The Oakdale Cemetery in Wilmington, NC was part of the Rural Cemetery Movement that began in the mid-Nineteenth Century. In 1852 prominent Wilmington businessmen purchased 65-acres of land located at what was then outside of the city limits. The first burial was for six-year old Annie DeRosset, on February 5, 1855. She was the daughter of the cemetery president, Dr Amand John DeRosset.
The cemetery is unique in that each section is raised up from the road with stairs taking you up to the grave sites. Many movers and shakers of Wilmington are buried here. Like other old cemeteries, Oakdale is filled with eloquent epitaphs and symbols. (this link takes you to a page describing the symbols) There are graves from all wars, including a female Confederate spy. One section is devoted to the victims of the Yellow Fever epidemic.

We found metal crosses and beautiful Celtic crosses. A small wooden tree cross is for Nancy Martin who was on a sea voyage with her brother in May of 1857 when she became ill and died near Cuba. Her body was placed in a large cask filled with rum and returned to Wilmington for burial. The rustic cross bears the name Nance, as this was what her brother called her. He was later lost at see during a Hurricane, while delivering lumber to Cuba.

One of the more popular graves is for river boat Captain, William Ellerbrock and his faithful friend "Boss", his dog. Both died on February 11, 1880 while fighting a fire on the river docks.

This was the first All Seeing Eye of this type that we have seen. It symbolizes God and was heavily used as a Masonic symbol.

Welch's Creek Cemetery is a small cemetery in the middle of farm fields just outside of Whiteville, NC.
It is the resting place of Mille and Christine McCoy. They were conjoined twins born into slavery on July 11, 1851 to Jacob and Monemia, slaves of blacksmith Jabez McKay.
At 10 months of age they were sold to John C Pervis, who ran a side-show circus, with the agreement that McKay would receive a percentage of exhibit fees. Fourteen months later they were sold to a showman named Brower, who was backed financially by Joseph Pearson Smith. Brower lost the twins in a swindle to a Texas landowner. This left Brower destitute and Smith holding a promissory note for the twins. The girls were handled by several managers before being reclaimed by Smith in Britain in 1857. The Emancipation ended there slave status in 1863. Before this time they had been showcased in fairs and freak-shows in several US cites, Canada and Britain where they met Queen Victoria.
Smith traveled to Britain to collect the girls and brought their mother with him. He provided the girls with an education and taught them to speak five languages, dance, play music and sing. They had a successful career as "The Two-Headed Nightingale". There motto was "As God decreed, we agreed," and strove to turn obstacles into assets. In their 30's they moved back to the farm where they were born, which their father had bought from Jabez McKay and left to them. On October 8, 1912 they passed away at age 61 from tuberculosis. Christine died 12 hours after her sister.

The cemetery has a number of other interesting grave sites, most are mounded cement with a small plague placed in the center. The plaques have crosses, Jesus alone, Jesus with children and Jesus on the cross.

We thought the McCoy gravesite was at the Whiteville Cemetery so we visited it first. Along with a few unique older headstones we did find some beautiful new ones.

We can imagine years from now someone else finding them and marveling at the workmanship just like we do for the ones from the 1800's.

Up next is Chocowinity, NC where we visited the Outer Banks.

Till we meet again...

Happy Trails to You.

Tips and things we have learned along the way.
~ You can learn so many things on the Internet.
As mentioned before we plan all of our trips using the internet, and of course we can waste a great deal of time on social media, playing games and an assortment of other things.
We have also used it to learn how to make a number of repairs. Of course, you can find a zillion things on Youtube.  Not only repairs but remodels and more. There are also sites just for RVing.
RV Repair Club has 100's of videos covering inside and outside repairs, as well as a blog and newsletter.
The RV Geeks have lots of resources along with videos.
Just Answer is a live chat site where you can ask RV Techs questions, they also have techs for other vehicles from heavy equipment to boats.
Shinny new fender
During our stay in Asheville Les replaced our water pump that had broken and we replaced the tow-dolly fender that got ripped off when the tire blew back in November. We saved a ton of money doing them ourselves as opposed to having the work done.

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