Raleigh - home of rock mines, exotic fruit gel, and construction

For the 3-day July 4th weekend I drove 7 hours to spend 2 nights in one city - Raleigh, North Carolina.

After braving the stormy weather of the Maryland and DC area I made it to Raleigh around 4:30 in the morning. I found the current abode of JT, TB, and FG (absent), looked at the sofa bed in appreciation, then closed it up and unrolled my sleeping bag.

The first day of adventures began fairly early, maybe 10:00AM. Using the power of Google Earth TB found a couple promising sites to explore. The amphitheater turned out not to be an evil cult site like we'd hoped. So we headed over to the quarry, which was really interesting. There was a lot more wildlife than I'd expect from such a blasted waste. We startled a few deer out of their hiding spots, saw several frogs, and JT was rather entranced by the pigeons. A long metal tube led us lower into the quarry where we encountered pudding-like soil.

Our exertions in the quarry made us extremely thirsty, so we stopped at a convenience store and slaked our thirsts with refreshing beverages. Some time was spent at the pool in Wildwoods, and dinner was eaten and enjoyed. Unfortunately I cannot recall when we saw Howl's Moving Castle, but we did. It is the latest Studio Ghibli movie (the same crew that brought us Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away). It was well worth the admission.

TB had acquired a length of fuse so we found an empty parking lot and proceeded to set varying lengths and shapes of it off. Some were really cool, some were very hostile. At one point my hair was attacked by an errant fuse who mistook me for an enemy. Day one ended, with all parties exhausted.

Day two ended also, but not before it happened. We got up around noon thirty and headed down to Lake Johnson. On our short hike we found what I believe to be Wooly Aphids, which have an odd, cottony carapace type covering, some dragonflies, and turtles. Lake Johnson is a nice lake, not incredibly scenic but probably a good place to go boating.

Dinner was had at a Mongolian Stir Fry restaurant, where you pick what you want from a myriad of meats, vegetables, and sauces, and then they cook it up before your eyes. At night we ventured into EB2, the as-yet-unfinished engineering building. There was much machinery and dirt about. JT performed a silly walk down the stairs, and he and I messed around with loooong shutter speeds in an attempt to capture the BBT building on film.

I am tired, and so I will end the account of Raleigh 2005-07 here. Nothing else much happened, and the drive home was successful. Though there is one small detail to clear up that you may not be sure about: I'M THE MISSING PRINCE.

This article was updated on July 4, 2005