Seemed like a good idea to leave Florida in early March and start our trek North. The entire country had been enjoying record warm temps and Florida was already near 90 degrees. Of course mother nature had a surprise for us and a little March snow along with night temps in the 20s. But then the sun returned, temps moderated and we enjoyed beautiful days and comfortable nights.
We have been to North Carolina many times. It has always been popular with Floridians as a getaway from the hot summer. This was our first visit as full time RVers. On this trip we are explored central North Carolina near Winston-Salem, an area known as the Triad. It is also part of an area known as the Piedmont.
It is a beautiful area of gentle rolling hills, abundant deciduous forests, big rivers, old houses, farms and tobacco sheds. It also has a lot of railroad and American history. After the warmest February on record and snow our first morning in NC, Spring was more typical with one front after another. Warmish days, followed by cold nights and chilly afternoons, then warm and sunny. We found plenty to do.
In nearby Greensboro we visited a model train show and railroad history society housed in the historic depot. Then we learned of a historic re-enactment of the crucial Revolutionary War Battle of Guilford Courthouse. The event was held at the National Military Park. The actors did a great job and the narrator was very informative. Nearby Greensboro was named after the American General Nathaniel Green. Green never won a battle but won his campaign against General Cornwallis. The British abandoned their efforts in the Carolinas and Cornwallis went on to Virginia where he eventually surrendered ending the war. The huge crowd enjoyed the event and the colonial life actors in camps and historic settings at the park.
Winston Salem is home to Wake Forest University and we visited Reynolda Gardens created by Katherine Reynolds of the tobacco fortune. The gardens were in late Spring mode with lots of daffodils and a classic Lord and Burnham greenhouse filled with familiar tropicals. The adjacent campus was very beautiful and we found lots of walking opportunities.
Thomasville is famous as chair city. Once a hub of furniture manufacturing it is now a quaint town in the Triad of Winston-Salem, Greensboro and High Point. Most of the production is now overseas. In 1960, Lyndon Johnson’s train stopped here during JFK’s campaign. LBJ got up on the chair.
Roanoke Rapids is a small city we had never visited before. Turns out it was a transportation hub in the 19th century. With railroads and a canal, it was a historic magnet for us. A 7 mile hiking trail drew us into a walk from an old cotton mill, to a depot, to the falls (rapids) and the canal.
North Carolina was a pleasant place to spend a month in Spring. People were friendly, roads were good and not crowded. Weather was variable but not severe. We can see ourselves coming back for more exploration.