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Day tripping and another little blast

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Didn’t really have anything on the agenda today, so Emma and I hopped into the car to do a little day tripping.  I’ve been to the Pocosin Lakes NWR visitors center in Columbia a couple of times, but I’ve never actually visited the refuge.

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I figured a couple of hours would do it for this little jaunt.  Well, five and a half hours later we finally made it home.  I stopped at the VC once again to watch the movie on the refuge and pick up a driving map. 

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The lady at the VC asked if I was alone, and then cautioned that the refuge was rather remote and desolate.  I had to drive about seven miles just to find a road to enter.  The red arrows indicate my route today.  Notice all the road names on the map.

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As I suspected, all of the refuge roads were gravel, but there was one big difference between Pocosin Lakes NWR and Alligator River.  There are no road signs on Pocosin Lakes roads, and of course there are more twists and turns in the roads than indicated on the map.  I would have to say that I saw more yellow-bellied slider turtles today than I’ve seen in my entire life. 

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The roads are also a little more overgrown here, but that helped give me a chance to see this nice young buck.  There are also plenty of black bears and red wolves on the refuge, but I really didn’t expect to see any of those since we were traveling in the middle of the day.

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It’s not often that I get to see a wild turkey actually flying, but today was the day for that.  They are certainly not the most graceful of birds in the air.

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After covering about twenty miles in an hour and a half, I was beginning to feel a little apprehensive.  I had no idea where I was actually at or if I had made the correct turns along the way.  The increasing number of turkey vultures giving me the evil eye didn’t do much to allay my fears.  Disappointed smile

Eventually, I happened upon two bow hunters getting ready to move into the woods.  I stopped and asked them if they could point out on my map exactly where I was.  It turned out I was right on course, and would soon be taking the drive around Lake Phelps.  Well, that shore drive didn’t produce any views of the large lake, so I wormed my way around to try to get to Purgo Lake.  That road deteriorated into a massive mud pit that required a four wheel drive vehicle to get through, so I just turned around and headed for home.  So much for seeing any of the Pocosin Lakes, but it was an pleasant outing and I enjoyed seeing the wildlife I did spot.  Of course, come November, this refuge will be packed with waterfowl on all the water ways that have migrated down for the winter.

When I got back to the rig, I checked my email and had a message and picture from my brother, Carl.  He had read last night’s post about the airplane ride with Carl Jensen back in the day.

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He even had a picture of me in front of the plane from that trip.  I’m thinking this had to be about 1965 or so.  I remember that favorite sweater of mine.  It was a very comfortable wool sweater with gorgeous embossed silver buttons.  Carl had sent it to me from Germany when he was serving there in the Air Force.  I wore that sweater until there were holes worn in it.  So I had another little blast from the past today.

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                                                                            THE END!!

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

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