Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Creepers in the Croatan National Forest

Alright let's see what's been going on... I'm finding it a little harder to write every single day like I had planned, just because some days are more fun to write about than others and also some days I just don't feel like writing...also we need a signal! The last couple of days have been filled with checking out some dispersed (FREE) camping in the Croatan National Forest. We found one spot by Google maps to start us off. This place, Fisher's Landing, wasn't what we were looking for,  although it would have been perfect if you could drive up to the site (to van camp) instead of bringing your stuff to it. With this site being the only site we knew of, we stopped into the Ranger's office and asked them if there were more sites like that. The Ranger pointed out where there were two other sites and off we went. We hit up the closest one first, Catfish Landing. It was a cute little spot right on the water. There was quite a lot of trash left over the years and I just couldn't stand to look at such a beautiful place all trashed up so I spent some time cleaning 'Her' up~ 4 bags of trash later and I was able to relax. I also figure Mother Nature gives us so much, it's nice to give back.

[caption id="attachment_1441" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Giving back[/caption]

We chilled here for only a little bit because (due to the trash) there were a ton of bees here and J' couldn't get a good signal, so we left and went to Wal-mart. We also had not stocked up on anything because we didn't know what to expect from this site and the road you drive on to get here is long, bumpy and obnoxious.

[caption id="attachment_1443" align="aligncenter" width="225"] Doesn't look bad, but ...oh boy![/caption]

We were also able to receive signal at Wal-mart for The Bachelorette, so that was a definite plus- hey ya gotta go with what you get people! The next day we geared up with food, ice, drinks, & gas and headed to the other spot the Ranger suggested, Long Point. We had to drive on the same damn road only twice as long this time and had quite a scare with the GPS. The GPS battery died so I plugged it in. It wasn't working. The GPS would turn on then right off~ even plugged in. Then it started not even turning on. I thought something got jostled inside due to the gravel road we had been driving for the last half hour. J' ended up messing with it later and found another cord that worked for it, so thankfully it wasn't the GPS device, somehow the cord was the problem...phew! We finally arrived at our destination and it was better than Catfish and felt a bit more private. Catfish had some 4-wheeling trails in back of the area we were parked at. Here at Long Point there is barely any trash on the ground, it has a vault toilet, a trash can and 2 picnic benches and it's also right on the river. It's beautiful here.

[caption id="attachment_1442" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Road in & terdlet[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1444" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Walking path to River[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1445" align="aligncenter" width="300"] River[/caption]

 When we got  here it was almost like a wind storm was starting, the van was even rocking back and forth. Then the rain came. We just sat in the van with the side windows (with screens) open for air and caught up on some of our stuff. After the rain stopped, it was almost dark so we just opened the side door and hung out.

[caption id="attachment_1447" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Enduring the rain storm[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1448" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Finally the rain stopped[/caption]

 There must be some kind of training or something going on around here because about an hour into being here we had a helicopter fly over us. But not just nonchalantly fly over us, like he could have thrown down a rope for us to climb up-fly over us. It was so close we both thought he was going to land right next to the van. They flew over us for the rest of the day. At first, I thought they were scoping us out, then I thought there had to be another explanation on why they kept moving over the same area so many times.

[caption id="attachment_1449" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Creeper[/caption]

  So I think there must be some kind of flying training or machinery training going on...don't know. It seemed like they were done doing whatever it was they were doing later in the evening, but as soon as the tv died (around 10 p.m.) and we were falling asleep~ there they were again and closer than they were in the daytime...geesh, give us a break! They came around four times and I got my camera out to record the noise and they never came around a fifth time...woo hoo! We woke up this morning and it's been overcast but hasn't rained yet, yay. We were able to pack away some things that we knew we wouldn't be using for a while, like our winter coats, a blanket and some other things. It was able to give us some more room and not have to move it around the 'cabin' every day. We washed up, reorganized, stretched and worked out a little. I labeled all of our GZ batteries along with some other cords so we know what's what when everything is clumped together on the floor. It's all about working smarter in such a small space. One crap thing that happened while things were being gathered & put outside to be organized~ the TV antenna broke...booooo. Hopefully Radio Shack will have something like it or close to it. The one that was so great about the one for Lil Phil (the tv) is that it was pretty small and had a magnet on the bottom so you could stick it to the outside of the top of the van for better reception. It was also just one straight antenna, not rabbit ears, so it was hella stealthy...fingers crossed we'll find another one like it.

[caption id="attachment_1450" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Time to clean her up[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1451" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Camping girl[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1452" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Who says free can't be nice!?[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1453" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Living in a van...down by the river![/caption]

Now we're just sitting at the picnic table looking for more National Forest Land North of us (we have pretty good signal here). We are also trying to get some good video of these helicopters ~ there's two of them today! It's like our own private air show...except they're not doing any tricks. I guess I'll just have to keep watching...


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