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So, any votes on whether or not I’ll actually finish posting about this vacation???  Someday!

Tuesday dawned bright and clear, and we got an early start (sadly foregoing breakfast by Joe…  while delicious, it wasn’t the fastest breakfast choice).  While we had originally talked about only driving part way across North Carolina, we concluded that we’d rather do the whole drive at once, and camp in the Croatan National Forest near the coast.

First off, though, we went back to Crabtree Falls.  It was just so beautiful that we really didn’t think Timmy and Erin should miss out on it entirely.  While it wasn’t as mysterious as it had been in the rainy fog, it still held up quite well in the sunshine.

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One advantage to traveling with other people is that Tom and I actually got to have pictures taken together – when we were in Colorado last year, we got one picture of both of us (except for a few terrible selfies lol) because not only were we not traveling with anyone we knew, most of the time there weren’t even other people in sight!

Anyway, after a quick breakfast stop in Spruce Pine, we headed down out of the mountains and east towards the coast.

So “Piedmont” is  a new word for me, but apparently it is the official term for that boring area between the mountains and the ocean.  We concluded that we did not want to live in the Piedmont, as its easy accessibility to both mountains and ocean seem to be the only thing to recommend it.  Still, the drive was easy enough.  We swapped around driving and pushed through, with only minor disasters, like the worst service I think we’ve ever had at a fast-food restaurant (ole Bojangles).  But when you’re on vacation, even troubles turn into entertaining adventures and much laughter.

We camped that night at a small campground in Croatan National Forest.  While the camp host seemed to be suspicious of people under the age of 67, we kept things quiet.  It was good to just unpack, unload, and stretch our legs.  We’d stopped at a random Food Lion and picked up hot dogs and fixins for supper, and enjoyed our fire, including gigantic marshmallows.

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Isn’t our little campsite so cozy??  I actually really enjoy car camping.

While Croatan isn’t on the ocean, it is along a very wide river mouth.  After setting up camp, we had some couples-time taking walks and enjoying the lovely evening.

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As we settled into our tents that night, completely happy, listening to the distant roll of thunder that never seemed to get closer, I couldn’t help but be excited – we were only 20 miles from the ocean!!!

Sarah E. McCafferty

July 2021
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it’s in the past