15 March 2015

Local features and color

Yesterday, the residents of my mother's retirement complex had a big potluck brunch in the complex's community building. There was an awful lot of food — eggs and sausages and fruit salads and pastries — and I think it was all either eaten or taken home by the 30 or 40 participants. I helped cook a little and met a lot of people. I fit in because I'm old enough to live here now. And I had a pretty good brunch. Then, in the afternoon, we had torrential rains for several hours. March, eh?


Above is the bridge that links the town of Morehead City to the barrier island, Bogue Banks, where all the local beaches are. When I was growing up, there was a two-lane drawbridge across the sound. And then there was a new four-lane drawbridge built in, I think, the 1960s, and the old one was torn down. But as car traffic and boat traffic increased, the drawbridge became a bigger and bigger problem for everybody concerned. The solution was a high-rise bridge that boats can get under and cars can drive over without waiting for a drawbridge to open or close, which used to cause massive traffic backups.


At the eastern end of town, there is another but narrower high-rise bridge of about the same vintage that spans the mouth of the Newport River (en français, c'est ce qu'on appelle un fleuve côtier) and separates the towns of Morehead City (pop. 8,000) and Beaufort (pop. 4,000). The photo above shows what happens when there is work being done on the bridge and only one lane is open, with alternating traffic. The backup last Thursday held us up for only about 15 minutes. We were going to do some shopping over in Beaufort.


North Carolina was one of the first British colonies to rise up against the Crown and its taxation policies back in the second half of the 1700s. And then it was number 12 of the 13 original colonies to finally ratify the new U.S. Constitution and become a part of the new federal union. Today, North Carolina has about 10 million inhabitants. Its mild climate and varied topography — coastal beaches and waters; the rolling hills of the Piedmont in the center of the state; and in the west, the highest mountains (up to 6,000 feet) in the ancient Appalachian chain — have attracted a lot of new residents from the U.S. states to the north in recent decades. In area, North Carolina is about the same size as England, and it is more than 400 miles from the eastern to the western end of the state.


I noticed the tour bus in the photo above when I went to take a walk at Fort Macon State Park, located at the eastern end of Bogue Banks on Beaufort Inlet. The Bible Belt is not all that far away. Fort Macon, built in the 1820s, attracts more visitors than any other state park in North Carolina.

9 comments:

Gosia k said...

wow the bridge looks fantastic

chm said...

Stay away from Udean & Nancy Burke's Christian Tours if you do not want proselytizing and indoctrination to be part of the package. Otherwise, be my guest!

melinda said...

I would think Smokey Mountain National Park attracts the most visitors.....finally the sun will come out for a couple of days here in the western part of the state....hope for u too

NotesFromAbroad said...

Should we discuss the fact that I grew up in North Carolina and never went to the Outer Banks ? We went to Myrtle Beach and to the Mountains. I was obviously a deprived child .. My grandfather was a chef in some posh place in the mountains, that is where I remember spending the most "vacation" time.. NC is really a beautiful state. I might have to go back and visit :)

Ken Broadhurst said...

I imagine everybody who goes on such a tour with such a group is already a Christian and doesn't need to be proselytized or converted! No false advertising in the company's name, at least.

Ken Broadhurst said...

I was talking about N.C. state parks, not national parks. Good for you for the sunshine. It's sunny here this a.m.

Ken Broadhurst said...

The Outer Banks were not easy to get to in the not-so-distant past. I think the people out there liked it that way, but now they have been overrun. Morehead City has been a resort for many decades. People used to come from upstate by train, but passenger service ended a long time ago. Cars cars cars. And the town has now become a major retirement center.

Seine Judeet (Judith) said...

What a cool bridge!

Diogenes said...

Their website says all you need to know, lol:

"We provide a devotion on the coach each morning as we travel....