11th and 12th June 2021

Day 3 East Coast Coastin’

Hanging Rock NC – Merchants Mill State Park NC

Not much happened today. Craig went for a walk first thing, it was a 4.1 mile walk up and down a steep trail. I decided to give it a miss. It only took him 90 minutes to do it, it would have been about 4 hours for me. We drove to Merchants Millpond State Park today. We are staying there for 2 nights. It is a State Park on the southern end of The Great Dismal Swamp. So, you can imagine the mosquitoes. But we came prepared with lots of repellant and candles, so they weren’t a real issue.

It was dark when I was walking down the path from the bath house after having a shower. There were hundreds of fireflys blinking in the woods. It was quite magical. I tried to take a photo, but it didn’t turn out.

Day 4 East Coast Coastin’

Merchants Mill State Park NC

We would have liked to do a hike or a paddle today, but it was raining … and those mosquitoes would have carried us away. Instead, we decided to explore Suffolk and Norfolk in Virginia. Suffolk was where Planters Peanuts originated. We visited this little, very old peanut shop that was quite quaint and had a little bit of peanut memorabilia. The lady was very friendly and was keen to learn where we were from. We bought some chocolate covered peanuts for Geordie and I and just some plain ones in the shell for Craig.

We then headed to Norfolk and the Chrysler Art Museum. It was free for entry, we just had to book timed tickets beforehand. It had a huge glass section, some of the pieces were amazing. There was a smattering of Rodin, Degas, Pissarro, and Renoir just to name a few of the famous ones. We are headed back there tomorrow to do a glass workshop.

On the way back to the campsite we stopped in at Dismal Swamp State Park and had a look through the visitor’s center. It was amazing to read some of the information about the logging activities there and the building of the Dismal Swamp Canal that served to drain the swamp. This of course was before the days of ecological conservation. Again, we would have liked to have gone for a walk but it was raining.

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