Saturday, November 13, 2010

North Carolina, revisited

I headed south into North Carolina, putting in a six hour drive to reach Jones Lake State Park, southeast of Fayetteville, northwest of Wilmington. A small park of only 20 sites, no two alike in shape or size. I found one that could handle the whale's formidible bulk and settled in for the night. There was no electricity available at this park, so it would be a good test for my new two-battery configuration. I cooked over a wood fire and stayed out until it died down and it got cold. It got so cold that I turned the furnace on inside. All was well until I awoke at 3:30 in the morning and perceived that the blower fan was spinning noticable slower. So I got up and switched to the backup battery, and it made it through the night. The lesson learned is that the furnace is a battery hog, and it's not a good idea to camp off-the-grid in cold weather. The next day I ran the generator and charged up the dead battery, and then as the daytime temperature climbed into the 60's Toby and I went for a nice long hike:

The trail took us through sandy forests of longleaf pine, amongst giant rhodedendron-like trees, live-oaks with spanish moss, and along Jone's Lake:

I made contact with a friend from back at Madrigal Audio Labs, Mark Moore, who relocated to Wilmington almost a year ago. I had hoped to be able to drive down and have dinner, but Mark and his wife Valerie suggested that I bring the truck and trailer down and park overnight in their driveway. After explaining that my camper is shockingly large, and discussing the route through the city to his house, we agreed that I could come in. It was no problem, and Gigantor and the Whale fit in the driveway with feet to spare:

While Mark and I caught up, and Mark showed my how is entire garage and half of the rooms in the house are full of audio gear, Valerie prepared a delicous meal, and her daughter Mary joined us for dinner. The next morning Valerie was back in the kitchen making blueberry pancakes, so they sent me off to South Carolina with a full belly!

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