Friday, June 03, 2016

Every day in June: Day 3: Carolina Thread Trail

It was a hot one today. In the 90's. Sunny and humid ... Bring it on!

I love summer, love the heat, love sweat dripping down my face, hair and bandana soaked when I take off my bike helmet, and the long drink of cold water afterward. I know most of you don't share this sentiment, but there it is. I come from a long line of southerners, so I suppose it's in my genes.

Today I had to squeeze in a ride between a delivery to Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden and a drive to SC to visit Mama and Daddy. Cramerton was the perfect place to do it. Strava tells me I rode 9 miles. It was mostly a meander.

This little town along the South Fork of the Catawba River feels a little bit like a town that time forgot. It is bisected by the railroad. There are houses with deep front porches and back lawns that slope down to the river; small, former mill village houses along a grid of narrow sidewalk-lined streets in the upper part of the town; a gazebo with rocking chairs right in the center. This was a textile town in the glory days of textiles in the south and though the textile glory days are past (but coming back in some measure, I hope), the town retains the feel of care and community, of place. I told my dad this evening that along my ride I saw at least five people sitting on their porches. Not looking at phones. Not reading. Not talking to anyone. Just sitting. There were young boys riding bikes through the center of town and teenagers fishing off the dock. These are not things you see everyday.

Goat Island Park and the Carolina Thread Trail make Cramerton special. Not many towns have their very own pedestrian bridge across a river to their very own island with a great playground, disc golf course, kayak launch, and fishing dock. Pretty sweet. The Thread Trail weaves together history, geography, culture and the natural beauty of this Piedmont region of North Carolina. It is good to get to know it better by bicycle!

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