Up and out to the Great Dismal Swamp for a hike which was supposed to be 4 miles to the huge mid-swamp Drummond Lake and then 4 miles back. But.... we only managed 2.5 miles and had to turn around. The heat and humidity were just too much. Our previous experience of this southern climate was Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas in July 2002. This was much tougher than that even tho North Carolina is further north and we are only just into June so it's a bit crazy. However...... the walk we did manage was pretty amazing.
The air was buzzing with swampy bird and insect sounds and there were basking turtles, jumping frogs, zebra swallowtails and other really big butterflies all around.
So the Great Dismal Swamp was anything but dismal ... unlike that night's motel in Elizabeth City which was totally shit. Still, it's never dull with bikers next door, a posse of drunks stumbling back at around 1.00am and then a massive girl-boy fight kicking off in the car park at 3.30am. Thank god for earplugs.
Here's a couple of typical US town pics taken near the motel. It wasn't all dismal - the IHOP restaurant breakfast was awesome.
Like road trips we've done before, we're avoiding big highways so you get to see backroads, small towns and interesting garden design.
In the rural areas of North Carolina you see mile upon mile of crop fields framed by swamp-edge forests and isolated farmhouses under vast skies.
You rarely see any people but you see a lot of buzzards!