Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year's Rovings and Ramblings

Since we had already gone to Mass for the Holy Day last night--it was actually an evening Latin Mass for the 31st's Feast of St. Sylvester, but it satisfied today's obligation nonetheless--today was a day for adventuring. We decided that it would be an excellent day to do something outside, active, and in nature, and elected to check out Medoc Mountain State Park, fifty minutes northeast of us.

Those who've traveled with me before won't be surprised to learn that we left without so much as a planned route. Finding the way is half the fun of traveling, in my opinion. Rosemary is a little skeptical of my philosophy, but she didn't know that I hadn't mapped anything out until we were on our way. In any case, we stopped at Sheetz in Louisburg and feasted on fifty-cent hot dogs before meandering the rest of the way along country lanes. I love how the boys consider that a treat.

Along the way, we encountered a New Year's parade in the little town of Centerville, where a formally dressed policeman motioned us off the road. Any other day it would have been annoying, but today it was as good as the Rose Bowl Parade as far as the boys were concerned. They happily collected candy, and even a pack of baseball cards.

The Centerville, N.C., New Year's parade. Almost as good as Pasadena!

Yes, that's a Confederate flag... and a deer's head mounted to the front.

Finally we made our way to Medoc Mountain, which we found to be a bit of a misnomer, as there isn't a mountain, or really any high elevation at all. Nonetheless, as it was a beautiful day for a hike, we found a trailhead and set out. I had the boys looking out for bobcats and carrying staffs to protect themselves, making it a true adventure. The most exciting fauna we encountered, however, were those pictured on the trail-signs.


Rosemary is definitely ready to have the baby!
True to form, Clement fabricated an adventure of his own, tripping over a root and leaving a bloody bruise alongside his left eye. He recovered in time to join in footraces and hide-and-go-seek when we finally found our way to civilization again.

Clement's bruise.

On the way to Medoc Mountain, we had seen a road-sign pointing down a side-road to a place called Bethlehem. That piqued everybody's interest, especially given that it's Christmastime, so on the way back toward Louisburg we turned down that road and traveled the few miles to Bethlehem.

The boys were concerned with finding an inn; they were even hoping that there might be a room for us to spend the night. Thence followed an interesting conversation about how this might not be the precise Bethlehem where Mary and Joseph had visited. Alas, this Bethlehem turned out to be a hamlet consisting of a few houses, a road-side store, and a tribal school. No inns in sight.

Bethlehem. Not the most exciting hamlet in the state. Oh well.

Then, since Cyprian declared that he hadn't gotten enough hiking in, we decided to visit the Louisburg College botanical garden along Hwy. 401 on the way home. We had meant to stop there many times but hadn't yet done so. It was well worth the visit, and we'll likely be back again to explore. We hiked through the woods to a small waterfall, where Cyprian nearly fell in, before hightailing it back to the car as the sun went down.

So, it was a full day for the Klein household. Happy New Year's Day to all of you from all of us!

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