A Trip Through Eastern Carolina: Lake Matamuskeet and Aurora

In mid-October 2007, I took a day off to ride past one of North Carolina's great wonders and the site of what may have been the goofiest argribusiness scheme in US history. Along the way I found some great animals, plants, distinctive architecture, took a couple of ferry rides and dug for fossils at the Aurora Fossil Museum.

The first sight of the trip:  cotton at sunrise.  I didn't even know people GREW it here!  The sunrise color adds a nice touch and in fact the light seemed to vary from minute to minute all day.
More cotton at dawn.  (Okay, I helped the blue of the sky a bit.)
I was a bit lost -- a fog had rolled in -- when I happened upon one of those troubling moments about traveling in rural areas. (Middletown NC, near Lake Mattamuskeet -- and yes, the picture is straight.  The sign is crooked.<g>)
My guess is that someone did a very nice job updating an older house.  Neat siding, gingerbread etc!  A house just off Lake Mattamuskeet.
A bald cypress by morning light.  They're neat trees that can live in shallow water, growing their distinctive triangular base roots.
Morning view off a dock on the lake (with a bit of filter work).
River Forest Manor in Belhaven, NC.  It's a B&B.  Built in 1899
River Forest Manor, from the other side.
Next stop:  the ferry.  Eastern Carolina is laced with rivers, sounds and bays, and so you sometimes have to drives to get to a place that's only a mile away as the seagull flies.  They're always a nice ride if you've got the time.  This is the Aurora Ferry, put in place to make it easy for employees of Potash Crop's phosphate mine, the largest in the world.  We're going across it to get to the Aurora Fossil Museum.
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