Bear with Us

Monday, May 03, 2010 Road Junkies 0 Comments

Raleigh, NC to Williamston, NC via New Bern
Before leaving Raleigh this morning, we checked out Lake Crabtree County Park near our hotel. The Old Beech Native Trail was the perfect place for a morning walk. Not only did we learn a lot from the brochure and trail markers there, we found a letterbox also. One of the more interesting things we saw was this "sapsucker tree." Actually a loblolly pine, the tree is riddled with rings of tiny holes drilled into the trunk by the yellow-bellied sapsucker woodpecker. These holes allow the sap to drain, and the oozing sap attracts insects, like a delivery service for the sapsuckers' dinner.

Leaving Raleigh we headed for New Bern, NC, a town near the coast where our friends have their new sailboat moored. Celebrating its tricentennial this year, New Bern is a city (pop. est. 28,000) steeped in history. New Bern was first settled in 1710 by a group of Swiss and German colonists led by Baron de Graffenreid, who named the settlement after his home town of Bern, Switzerland.

Located at the convergence of two wide and navigable rivers, New Bern was once a bustling center of trade when ships were the primary means of transporting goods up and down the coast. Today Union Point Park provides a beautiful recreation area where warehouses and docks once stood.
New Bern still maintains a close relationship with the city of Bern, even sharing the same city flag. And like Bern, New Bern has a love affair with bears. Bears are everywhere! In addition to the many businesses incorporating bears in their name and decor, local artists created hand-painted designs on life-size standing and walking fiberglass bears which are placed througout the city for the tricentennial celebration. At one of the local marinas, we caught up with our friend Ric, who, with his wife Cathy, recently purchased a 42-foot sailboat. This impressive craft is currently residing in New Bern and will be sailed to its home port of Brunswick, Georgia, in mid-summer. The boat is equipped with every kind of electronic gadgetry we could imagine and more. We didn't go out on the boat today but found this photo on the internet of what this beautiful craft looks like at full sail.