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Mayberry, Mountains, and More in North Carolina

November 17, 2005

If you're like us and many others who had often vacationed in North Carolina, you usually end up in Western North Carolina and the Smokey Mountains. Let me just say that we've really missed out on alot of what North Carolina has to offer.

In the past we've always rented a cabin in Murphy, NC, hiked in the Smokies and the surrounding areas. Don't get me wrong, it is a great place to visit. But at some point one has to say "been there, done that." This time, we did and decided to stay in Central North Carolina. Especially since we had two places that were a must visit: the state capital of Raleigh and Mount Airy (more commonly known as Mayberry).

We arrived at the Oak Hollow Campgrounds near High Point, NC on Monday afternoon. This was one of the best campgrounds we've stayed at so far. It was a city owned campground and for just $16 a night we had a spot right on the huge lake with full hookups, 50 amp power, and cable TV. There were even swings right outside that the boys played on almost every day. On the lake were plenty of ducks and geese which Lucas and I enjoyed feeding on several mornings.

The next day was going to be a busy day, so we again headed out early. The first stop was Mayberry, oh wait, I mean Mount Airy. We passed by Wally's Garage first. There was a replica of the Sheriff's car and Wally's tow truck. When we arrived into town, I was a little disappointed at first. But then reality struck me when I remembered that the show was filmed in California. Mount Airy was just the town that Andy Griffith grew up in and what he based the show on. Walking through downtown, it wasn't the same as what I saw on tv. However, there was a Floyd's barber. And the barber inside had been there cutting hair for fifty years. I almost had him cut my hair, but we walked by twice and he was still working on the same guys hair. Oh well, maybe next time. The one thing we didn't get to see was next to Wally's Garage. The owner of Wally's bought an old building next door and recreated the sheriff's office inside. But it was closed at this time.

Our next stop was another place you heard about from the Andy Griffith show, Mount Pilot. In reality the town is actually called Pilot Mountain. It looked like a mountain with a large bottle cap on it. To us, it said "climb me" all over it. And so we did.

After climbing Pilot Mountain, we had one last stop before heading home. We went to the small town of Thomasville, NC. You've probably heard the name before. This is the home town for Thomasville furniture. We wanted to go there to see the world's largest chair on display in the center of town. Too bad we couldn't all climb on to it.

Wednesday was another capital city visit. Raleigh was one of the nicest capitals we've visited so far. It was surprisingly not a busy city considering its size. We quickly parked near the lieutenant governors house and strolled up the street admiring the several historical homes (see photos below). We then turned the corner and headed two blocks over to the legislative building. After touring the legislature building, we walked through the courtyard between the history and science museums to the capital building. We also took a self-guided tour of the capital building. After that we still had some time left in the day and quickly went through the North Carolina Museum of Science. The displays were impressive. For being a FREE museum, we liked it much more than the Boston Museum of Science which charged admission!

On Thursday, we decided to conquer another mountain. We headed up to Hanging Rock State Park for another outdoor hiking trip. See the rock in the photo below, that was the goal. The next photo shows the view from the top. And even more photos at the bottom of the page.

Our original plan was to leave today and head down into South Carolina. However our mail from Florida still hasn't arrived. So we decided to extend our stay through the weekend until Monday. It'll also give me some more time to catch up.

So, enjoy some more photos from North Carolina. I'll be back in a few days.


A tyranical judge...
...puts mommy in jail.

photos from Pilot Mountain:

photos from Thomasville:

photos from our campsite:

photos from Raleigh:

photos from Hanging Rock: