Neusiok Trail & Wright Memorial, NC

The pictures in this gallery are from two very different locations. My day began in the Croatan National Forest near Havelock, NC at the Neusiok Trail where it was raining and ended in Kill Devil Hills, NC at the Wright Memorial where the weather was better than at any other time during my entire trip.

he Neusiok Trail is a difficult one to find despite being 20 miles long. Finding directions to the trailhead is easy, itís finding the right roads to get there thatís difficult. Letís just say that backwoods North Carolina doesnít much value road signs. Luckily, there arenít too many roads on which I could lose myself.

You canít really tell from any of these pictures, but it was windy and drizzly when I got here. It had been raining on and off all morning. Luckily it was also a warm day. 60s. The rain might have put me off from another trail, but not this one. I could tell from the beginning that this was going to be a nice trail. Well maintained, well marked Ė itís the kind of trail thatís a real pleasure to walk.

I had seen a wide variety of trails on this trip. Some, like the trail at Allegheny Forest, had been so bad that I was forced to eventually turn around. Many others had been much easier to follow. But this trail was the best, hands down. This compares to the Pinchot Trail North Loop or Adirondack trails near Wanakena. Great trails.

When it began to really pour I wasnít about to give up without a fight. I happened to be near a trail shelter and stood underneath it for 10 minutes while the first wave of rain went by, taking the time to read and sign the trail register there. There were plenty of entries from distant travelers! I guess Iím not the only one impressed with this trail.

I started out again, hoping the rain would wear itself out and subside. It did not. Instead, it began steadily building from a drizzle with occasional downpours into a steady downpour that got heavier with every step I took. Eventually I had to wrap the camera up in plastic bags and put it away. I went on, hoping it would stop. It didnít. I hated having to turn around. I had barely walked a quarter of the trail. But I was soaked to the bone and I had to go back.

Of course that made the rain stop, but I wasnít about to play this game. Once I made up my mind that I was done hiking, I was done hiking. Itís no fun going back and forth on a trail playing chicken with the rainclouds. But that didnít stop me from taking out my camera and snapping off a few pictures on my way back.

I got into my car and began to drive. The weather got progressively better the longer I went. By the time I had gotten to Kill Devil Hills it was 70 and sunny with a light breeze. It was amazing. I hadnít planned on going out that evening, but I couldnít help myself.

The nearest point of interest was the Wright Memorial about two blocks from my hotel. I went there for a quick walk. I wasnít the only one. It was an unusually pleasant day and plenty of locals were taking advantage of it. Thereís plenty to see here, but I made for the obvious target, the enormous monument in the middle of the park. I had no idea such a thing even existed! This is the location of the Wright Brothersí famous experiments at the turn of the 20th century. They flew gliders from this hill to test airfoil designs and later flew their own powered aircraft, a historical first, in the field below.

Unfortunately, I couldnít stay too long. It was near closing time when I got there and I didnít want to get locked in for the night. Besides, my hotel was right on the water and I could walk around a bit more out there.

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