Merchant’s Millpond State Park – December 2014

North Carolina also has some nice parks, but I find the Virginia Parks better, like Occoneechee.  But, I wanted to go out and adventure, camping again.

Merchant’s Millpond State Park is about a 90 minute drive from Chesapeake.

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An “enchanted forest,” primitive species of fish relatively unchanged over millions of years, towering bald cypress trees with massive trunks, luxuriant growths of Spanish moss – this is Merchants Millpond State Park. Here, coastal pond and southern swamp forest mingle, creating one of North Carolina’s rarest ecological communities. Together with upland forests, these environments create a haven for wildlife and humanity alike.

The camping here was quite good actually, especially considering I had the ENTIRE state park to myself.  Not another soul around, although when I got up in the morning, some folks had driven in to walk their dog.

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Like most parks, they don’t want you to bring in your own wood owing to the risk of introducing new species to the ecology.  So, they will sell you some.  I developed the trick of emptying my panniers of all my gear and then making “wood runs” to a shed a minute or so away and too far too walk.  I did this several times on this trip.

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As usual, the mule handled wonderfully hauling me and all my gear. Still, I need more practice fully loaded at low speeds.  I was in the middle of the park, which is in the middle of a forest.  It was wonderful and peaceful.  I never did see the pond.

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This wood burned very nicely.

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For dinner I cooked up some sausage and onions and read beans and rice. It went perfectly with the 32F temperature I had most of the night and the next morning.

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Here I am sporting my $1 watch cap.  It’s cheap but does the trick.

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