Bear with Us

Monday, May 03, 2010 Road Junkies 0 Comments

Day 3: Raleigh, NC to Williamston, NC via New Bern.  Before leaving Raleigh this morning, we checked out Lake Crabtree County Park near our hotel. Thanks to the interpretive signs on the Old Beech Native Trail, we learned about "sapsucker trees." Actually a loblolly pine, the tree we saw was 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 (pop. 28,000) is steeped in history. The town was 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 a bustling center of trade at a time when ships were the primary means of transporting goods up and down the coast. Today the commercial wharves and warehouses have been replaced by a shoreside recreational area, Union Point Park. 
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, a public art project features hand-painted designs on life-size standing and walking fiberglass bears placed throughout the city.

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. 

Ready to sail

Ric proudly points out the features of their new sailboat.  

MONDAY, 3 MAY 2010