Amidst kudzu and trumpet creeper, a doe stands sentry high above the North Oconee Greenway on a Sunday afternoon.
Six years after visiting North Carolina’s Outer Banks for the first time, I returned this summer. Kudzu continues to slowly swallow this house on Highway 64 in Jamesville. View photos from that initial road trip here.
The latest section of greenway spits cyclists out near Lexington Road. A short ride west under Loop 10 leads to the now-vacant homeless camp called Tent City, which sits on one of many recently clear cut and mulched embankments around town. Hike up to the top of the hill, past a handful of abandoned huts and peek under the overpass for an incredible view of kudzu blanketing a stretch of buried railroad.
Red Wolf Crossing, Unlawful to Feed Bears…
North Carolina’s historic Albemarle Highway snakes east through juniper swamp, and giant swaths of tobacco and corn.
With a slight drawl distinct from Georgians down south, a soft-spoken girl shelving jars of chow chow takes a break to explain the sign below. Mackey’s Ferry Peanuts, a small country store in Jamesville, North Carolina (population around 500), offers jams, sweets, books on Carolina lore, boiled peanuts (only salted – no cajun), and sweet muscadine cider slushie samples on a hot day.
The acronym stands for outlying landing field, and the girl says a proposed airstrip threatened to displace farmers from land worked for generations.
She fails to mention that the Navy’s plans would disrupt one of North America’s most critical migration paths for tundra swans and snow geese, who winter in the protected refuges nearby, in addition to local endangered red wolves. According to the opposition’s website, on January 22nd, 2008, “The Navy announced it is abandoning its plans to build an outlying landing field in Washington and Beaufort counties, along with Craven, Bertie, Hyde, and Perquimans counties in North Carolina.” Click here for more on a battle between the United States Navy, North Carolina Wildlife Federation, farmers, and the National Audubon Society.