North Carolina

North Carolina is our destination this week. We are having some snow and rain and cold weather so an adventure will be nice. I've thrown a blanket on the horse so she'll be warm. An extra log on the fire will make it nice and toasty in here. Something warm to drink will hit the spot. Coffee and cocoa are both on the stove, so help yourself. Now we're ready. I have all the materials and links so let's explore.

The Tar Heel State is the  12th state in the union. The state fruit is the scuppernong grape and the state historic boat is the shad boat. The first child born in America of English parents was Virginia Dare. She was born in North Carolina. The fictional town of Mayberry, the home of the Andy Griffith Show, is placed in North Carolina and based on the little town of Mount Airy.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a scenic drive of more than 230 miles.Of course you don't have to drive continuously. There are lots of places to stop. I'll give you some examples. The Grandfather Mountain area has a Mile High Swinging Bridge for some of you. There are trails, picnic spots, lots of wildlife, and a kids museum too. Graveyard Fields has waterfalls, trails, and even an old-time swimming hole. Dutch Creek Trails is for exploring on horseback and the farm that supplies the horses is kid friendly.The North Carolina Arboretum has a fine bonsai garden in with all the flowers. Sliding Rock is a 60 foot rock slide that ends in a 7 foot deep pool. Chimney Rock is a challenging climb to view some spectacular scenery. If you can't handle the climb, and elevator takes you though the mountain right to the top. Scream Time Ziplines takes you at about 50 miles per hour over the countryside.

Three large aquariums give us a look at the world of the water critters in the area. On Roanoke Island is the North Carolina Aquarium. It features the 285,000 gallon Graveyard of the Atlantic. A replica of the USS Monitor, an ironclad warship from the Civil War is there among the rays, Cobia, and other of the 200 species of fish. And that is just one of the exhibits there.

Take a safari through the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. Besides alligators, there are other animals here. They even teach you how to howl to call the wolves. If you are lucky, they will howl back. The Carolina Raptor Center takes in about 700 injured birds every year. Self guided tours allow you to look around. Birding trails are all over the state. Check your travel guide to order guides to the birding trails.

North Carolina has a rich history from the beginnings of the United States to the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. The Civil Rights Movement was jump-started by four brave young men in Greensboro. Then there is all that beautiful countryside. I'm going to visit Vollis Simpson's Whirligig Farm, then check out the Hattadare Indian Village. And for anyone who is interested, Oz is located on top of Beech Mountain. There are links below for you to plan your trip to North Carolina. When you get home, let me know what you did for fun.


Official North Carolina Site
Visit North Carolina
Travel Guide
State Parks
National Parks
North Carolina Arboretum
Offbeat Tourist Attractions