We left New Bern this morning after spending several lovely, relaxing days with Dan’s family, finishing up with a short drive to Kinston, NC for lunch at Boiler Room (best burger I’ve had in ages) and a quick side trip to Mother Earth Brewing (holy solar panels!).
We arrived at Congaree National Park slightly before dusk, so we decided to walk the Boardwalk Loop rather than the slightly longer Weston Lake trail.
We got a great cross-section of the Congaree flora over the 4-ish miles we walked, from the immensely tall bald cypress trees to the near-complete ground cover of switch cane. Congaree also smells amazing: rich dirt, fresh leaves, and the occasional strange waft of something warm and sweet.
We didn’t see much wildlife, outside of squirrels, moths, and a multitude of spiders that glittered when we shone our headlamps on the ground. Several times, though, we heard some sort of animal call that sounded like a dog howl mixed with an owl call; Dan described it as a “barking hoot,” while I was convinced the beast from the Tailypo had found us. We did some wildlife research when we stopped for the night but none of the indigenous animals seemed capable of such an eerie cry.