We were getting ready for dinner the night before we planned to move on to Virginia when we decided we really weren’t ready to leave yet… so we called up the ranger and paid for another night. Love this lifestyle! So what did we do the extra day? Well since the temperatures dropped into the mid nineties we decided it was time for a bike ride.
After a morning visit to the Raleigh Farmer’s Market (a good one, by the way) we came back home to plan the day. We wanted to see the North Carolina State University's JC Raulston Arboretum which is highly regarded. We also wanted to tour the NC State University campus. So I plotted us out an 8-10 mile ride and off we went… Well we no sooner got started when we realized we were lost. After checking with our GPS on our smartphone we retraced our route till we were headed the right direction.
The JC Raulston Arboretum lived up to its billing and even in these hot summer days there were many flowering plants available to see, smell, and just plain enjoy. There is quite a diversity of both trees and other plants to see in this arboretum and the trails are varied and well laid out.
After taking it all in at the arboretum we biked on down the road to the campus of North Carolina State University. We visited the student center (which was under construction), the library, the bookstore and rode by their softball stadium. Then we set off to find a small tavern to have a frosty beverage but couldn’t find one near the campus where we could still keep an eye on our bikes (we forgot to bring our bike locks). So we decided it best to just start on back to the campground.
We rode up the main drag from NC State until we came across Meredith College which we were unfamiliar with. Chartered in 1891 it is one of the largest women’s colleges in the USA. There was a greenbelt bike trail along its perimeter so we took the path and even though I knew it was taking us the wrong direction. After we rode around their campus we noticed that we had entered the greenbelt area of the North Carolina Museum of Art which is pretty close to the campground.
So we took the trail all the way to the Museum and then hoped no one would steal our bikes (not at a cultured place like a museum – right?) and went inside. There is no fee (only a donation if desired) and we walked around and took in the arts that were on display. Gin and Syl recommended we visit this place and here we were – they were right it should be visited if you are in the area. And as they recommended the “art in the park” may have been the best part of it (photos of it are above).
After consulting the GPS once again we realized we were a bit north of the campground so we plotted a new trail back and finally got back to our RV at about 4:40 pm. I think we must have drank about 2 gallons of water during this bike ride and I was sure it was longer than we planed based upon how we felt. So I plotted it all out on Google maps using their bike feature and it was just a shade over 15 miles… Yikes!!! no wonder we were tired.
Today is a travel day where we will drive a long leg since we were unable to find a park we wanted to stay at that was closer. Therefore we will drive 318 miles and set up camp at the Shenandoah River State Park for a few days and use this a base to visit our nation’s capital for a bit…