We arrived at the Holly Point Campground, Falls Lake State Recreation Area on March 30th, but we would not officially start as Camp Hosts until April 1st. The loop of the campground that we were in was not even open yet, so we had the whole place to ourselves. The next day we met with Ranger Dave Mumford, our boss, we worked out our schedule, and were updated on changes since we were here two years ago.
Normally we are supposed to stay in the campground through the weekend and be available to the campers in case they have any issues that we can resolve. However, Michigan State University was playing in the Final Four and was only on cable. Ranger Mumford gave us permission to be out of the campground and we had a family Final Four party at Elisabeth’s house. Unfortunately, Duke won and they faced Wisconsin instead of MSU.
We had Elisabeth out to the trailer to celebrate her birthday with one of her favorite meals and homemade cheesecake for desert. Isn’t it great how birthdays allow you to eat all of the things you shouldn’t?
The routine in the campground was pretty relaxing. We would clean our assigned bathrooms, get our workouts done, have some lunch and generally goof off the rest of the day. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it, right?
Pat and I thought we would check out some of the local attractions. Our first stop was the Sarah P. Duke Gardens at Duke University. The Duke Gardens began in 1934 as an Italian-style terrace garden and has expanded over the years into four unique gardens. I’m not a fan of gardens, but even I was impressed by the layout and maintenance of the gardens. It is a great place to get away from the hassle of the day.
The Neuse River is a popular fishing and paddling area. The City of Raleigh has established a number of launch sites for canoes and kayaks as a park of the Raleigh Greenway. Elisabeth and I paddled the upper eleven miles of the river. The weather was very strange, we had an ideal day with sunny skies and a light breeze, but Pat reported that the campground was hit with heavy rains. We saw turtles sunning themselves, squirrels ran up trees on the shore, and geese honked at us and flew off as we paddled towards them. The Neuse River biking and running Trail runs parallel to the Neuse River and we saw bikers and runners through the trees as we paddled downstream. This was the annual Neuse River clean up day and we picked up a couple of large trash bags worth of plastic bottles, basketballs, inflatable beach toys and other junk that ended up in the river. All in all, a wonderful day!