Impromptu Camping

Sunday, June 07, 2009 / Posted by PageOne /

A couple weeks ago, I took a solo camping trip down on the NC coast. My goals were to surf, camp (obviously), and catch a screening of the surf flick,Picaresque. I camped at a state campground between the sound and the beach. As it was pre-Memorial Day weekend, it was pretty quiet, which was great. The weather was still cool enough to keep most of the bugs away. I think that the truck is smiling in the above picture.

I got in pretty close to dark. Once I set-up the tent and got a little food in my belly, it was time to start a fire and have a couple cold ones. Had a little slow-shutter fun. Smiley.

I was glad I decided to take the PDUB cruiser. I could pedal to the facilities and also check the surf. It was also nice just to get some time on a bicycle again. I love riding.

Between exhausting surf sessions (see below), I did a bit of hiking. This part of NC is one of the few places in the United States to have a variety of carnivorous plants growing in the wild. One of the trails I took was the "Venus Flytrap Loop," and I couldn't find one of the little bastards to save my life. Did find this radical pitcher plant though.

Sooooooooooooooo greeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen.

The wind was a blowing strong over the couple of days that I was down there. Currents were a force to be reckon. As you could see in the above photo, there was a large amount of soup to paddle through. That made for a pretty tiring paddle on my 6'1".

Once I finally made it our there, much of the surf was about overhead. Unfortunately the wind swell made for waves that popped up anywhere and everywhere. Pretty inconsistent. Not alot of folks were out, and because of the conditions, I didn't spend much time out there by myself.

Post surf lunch of chumpions.

Oh, cool. Tell him I said, "What up?"

The second night, I headed into downtown Wilmington for the screening. Whenever, I'm down there, I make it a point to stop in for some pizza at a Slice of Life. Top-notch pizza and beer in a quaint little space. Recommended.

Grabbed some parking just off Market Street. I had to take the bike into town. I knew the gates to the campground would be locked by the time I got back, and didn't want to walk back to the spot.

The boys from Picaresque showed up shortly thereafter. The Bastard Lovechild of Rock'n'Roll aka "BLORR" is also part of the, now international, tour. The screening and performance were hosted at the historic level 5 bar. Set on the 5th floor rooftop, I can't think of a better view to scope whilst sipping on a cocktail.

Inside the 5th floor historic theater just prior to the showing. As you'd expect for a surf film, the atmosphere was upbeat and casual. There were plenty of XX flowing, resulting in joyous hoots and hollers throught the flick. Overall, I thought it was great. All shot in 16mm, Mikey Detemple's (filmmaker) creative perspective shown brightly through. I was talking to one of the guys on the tour, and he said that there was a big push to make the soundtrack amazing. They ended-up spending $15K in licensing alone, and it was well worth it in my opinion. Once distribution is flowing, I'm definitely going to pick up a copy.

Level 5 Bar... just a few steps up from the theater door.

The view from the bar. This looks towards market street. There were also spectacular views of the Cape Fear River and the U.S.S North Carolina. I like the "Ladies Always Free" text.

After the Picaresque festivities were completed, I headed up the block and dove into a Commie themed bar. The physical bar space was pretty rad. They had a variety of infused vodkas that they created on premises. You can see them fermenting in the pic above. Actually, that might be my favorite shot of the trip.

I think this was my first Russian beer... Baltika. Solid... similar to a czech-style pilsner or the Italian biggies: Moretti and Peroni.

Day 3 began with more exhausting, but fun surf. It's hard to keep in paddling shape when you live +2 hours from the coast... especially when you avoid the gym, like myself. Anyway, afterwards it was time to pack-up and get back home. 2 nights away had me fiending for the family. My time was up, but I missed my girls, and was ready to get back.

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Comment by Duane Fernandez on June 08, 2009

Awesome photos my friend! Great stories to boot.
Glad you finally found that carnivorous / elusive plant.

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