The end of summer is upon us. Throughout the state the weather is pleasant. The unbearable days of August are past, taking the bulk of the mosquitoes with them. The nights are cool, and all nature is taking a deep breath between the labor of summer growth and the mad rush to prepare for winter. It is time for a man to do the same, to take his nose from the grinding wheel, to escape from the various boxes he has been trapped in. It is time to trade the man-made enclosures and restrictive lines for spaces formed by wind, water, and sun. It is time to camp!
The man with little vacation time need not take a week to execute an elaborate adventure, nor travel to the Appalachians and beyond for scenery. There are several State Parks in central and Eastern North Carolina that are ideal for a weekend escape.
Eno River State Park north of Durham has ten primitive camp sites. Primitive means just that. Electricity and running water are not provided at the camp site, or anywhere near it. The parking area is approximately a mile from the closest camp site. Lavatory facilities consist of an outhouse. Do not be dismayed! This is a benefit to the man who truly wishes to leave civilization behind. The obnoxious people one meets at developed campgrounds are out of earshot. Cost is $13/day
William B Umstead State park is for those who prefer running water and showers nearby. Their non-electric camp sites have a tent pad, table, and fire ring or grill. It is possible to park a vehicle at the camp site, making this a good choice for the elderly and for parents with children. Canoes and boats are available for rental. The gentleman angler is advised to have his NC fishing license on his person.
Raven Rock State Park leaves the light pollution of the Triangle far behind. The man who camps in one of their primitive sites will be undisturbed by the noise of interstate highway traffic, it being replaced by the Cape Fear River flowing over a large outcropping of rock. The Cape Fear River is a popular attraction among fishermen, and the miles of hiking trails can straighten the back of any stooped over office dweller. Cost $13/day
Kerr Lake State Recreation Area in Vance County has hundreds of camp sites, some with electricity and water on-site. Boat ramps are available. Cost is $20/day for a non-electric camp site, $25/day for a camp site with water and electricity.
Jordan Lake State Recreation Area just west of Cary has every sort of camping accomodation, from primitive to full RV utility hookups. The office escapee will be most interested in the primitive sites at $13 per day with outhouse, or the non-electric sites within walking distance of running water and showers at $25 per day.
At times, a man must take to the wilderness, leaving the comforts of bed and the constriction of society behind. Once free of their toxic influence, he can live simply and honestly with himself. He may understand that the source of his being lie in his God and in himself, not in vocation and possessions. He may take responsibility for himself rather than live in thrall of the merchant for his food or at the mercy of the police for safety. Refreshed thus, he can take his new found vigor back into civilization with him. His restored mental clarity allows him to see the petty struggles of domesticated men for what they are. Compared to the man who walked into the woods a few days before, he is more confident, more decisive, and hopefully a bit more wild.