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I was up at 9:15 today, Robert arrived shortly after 10:00, and shortly after that, we headed to Lillington, NC to do a little hike in Raven Rock State Park.
Okay, I'm not going to get into the fact that the directions on their web site talk about taking 421E, when 421 runs north/south. Let's say it all together now, so we can remember it: the odd routes run north/south, and the even routes run east/west.
After riding through the cutest little town—Jonesboro—to get back on track, we made it to the park.
We decided to do the Fish Traps Trail and the Raven Rock Loop in order to see the Cape Fear River and the park's namesake.
The Fish Traps Trail ended at the river, which is why we took it of course, and once we reached it, we were treated to this:
The river was running a little in this area, and spilling over some rocks, though not quite as much as shown here:
We followed the trail along the river wondering if it ended there or looped back up:
Shortly after that, we reached the end of the trail:
On the way back, while walking back up these steps:
I said, in exaggerated panting, to folks coming toward us, "Enjoy the trip down."
A little further, still returning on the Fish Traps Trail (it was not a loop), we came to the Raven Rock Loop, which we took. About a half-a-mile into that trail, we came to this overlook:
where, peering over, we saw:
minus some of the foliage.
We carried on for the other half-a-mile of the trail, and reached the big moment—the park namesake— which to access required a fun walk down these stairs:
This is it—Raven Rock. Two views:
[Thanks to firstname.lastname@example.org, who evidently, chose the exact same route as we did when he went, and he brought his camera with him.]
On the way home, just a few miles down the road from the park entrance/exit, we stopped for gas. While I pumped, Robert ran inside the little country store where he saw some homemade-looking biscuits and apple turnovers.
"Are those homemade?" he asked.
"Well they are, but we get them from a place just up the road in Broadway called the Roadrunner Cafe," the person replied.
Robert asked, "Oh? Are they open for lunch? Would it be a nice, local place to grab a quick lunch?"
They said it was, that it would be, and that's exactly what we did.
It was a cute little town, and the owner, one Mr. Green, was in the place, and thanking every customer that came and went, urging them to please come again.
We had the best barbecue sandwiches there—it was smoked with some kind of wood— and just delicious. The onion rings were pretty damned good, too.
The owner came over and talked to us for a bit, and it was all very pleasant. All in all a very serendipitous pit stop.
Back in Raleigh, I napped for about 30 minutes, and then I met Kevin (av8rdude) at Helios for about an hour-and-a-half, while Robert continued his nap.
Kevin and I caught up—it'd been a week or so since we'd been in touch—and then he did grad school homework while I worked on Friday's blog entry.
Back at the house, Robert and I had Vegetable Chow Mien for dinner, and then at a little after 8:00, we headed over to Flex for dancing.
It was a good night of dancing, during which I had my first two-step ever with Bill, which I really, really enjoyed. He's a great lead.
They stopped the dancing at 10:30 to get right to the Mr. Flex contest. We promptly exited the place.
We sprung forward to bed.