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Migration to the Bull City

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Most of you may have heard by now that I have a new, full-time, job that I started last week. I think it will be a great experience, and I’m excited about the opportunity. The office is in Durham, which is a city I haven’t explored much since we moved up here. As you all know, I love to see what is new and explore!

I’ve only had a few chances to walk around downtown so far, but I thought I would post some pictures of what I’ve seen. Durham is a city that I do not have positive associations with–besides Duke, most of what has come into my perception about Durham is that there is a lot of gang activity and high crime. (Ok, high crime is relative. Durham is not Atlanta, but I’m used to Atlanta.)

The area where I work is near the courthouse, and it doesn’t seem to have undergone too much re-vitalization. Many of the storefronts are empty and the vast majority of open businesses in the few blocks around my office are also law firms. Apparently, there is a push to open loft apartments above the store fronts, but I don’t know how many residents there are right now. Personally, I think that it would be great to have a nice coffee shop/bakery within a block of my office–maybe there is and I haven’t found it yet.

Anywho, here are a few pictures. I will take more this week if the weather is pretty and I can take some walks on my lunch break.

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I always like ads painted on buildings.

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This is Trinity United Methodist Church. It is oddly situated, but its congregation has been at that site since 1861 so it has probably been there longer than anything else. Indeed, the street that leads to its front door is Church St. I think there is one occupant in that row of prettily painted storefronts.

Jordan Lake

We are having a beautiful, though pollen-covered, weekend up here! The weather is lovely. Reed and I have been trading off making decisions on what we do on the weekends, which, of course, means little trips and outdoors when it is time for me to decide!

Yesterday, we went out to Jordan Lake State Recreation Area, which is near Pittsboro. I love driving in Chatham county so much! It is just beautiful. We had been to the park before, when we went to see the meteor shower, but not in the daytime.

I picked the Seaforth area, because it had a trail with a boardwalk. Boardwalks are irresistible to me, so off we went. There is an entry fee of $5, and Seaforth is nice–a boat ramp, playground, picnic area, and swimming beach. The trail there is the 1.4 mile Pond Trail.

When we started out on the trail, we recognized that it was a little muddy. I was a bit annoyed with myself because I didn’t think about how all our recent rain would have affected the trails. If I had, I might not have picked a trail at the lake! But, whatever, it was just mud, so we trip-trapped along until we saw this.

That’s the boardwalk. Why, yes, it is mostly underwater! I thought we would just turn around and go back to the car–the trail is flooded!–but we didn’t. Reed was wearing his river sandals, and he walked out there and then looked through the woods to see that the boardwalk and trail were not underwater a little bit farther. He walked on the underwater boardwalk, but I had socks and tennis shoes on–and I was not taking them off! Reed suggested I walk through the woods where it was dry and meet back up where the boardwalk curved back around. So I did. (I walked on a log to get to the boardwalk to take this picture.)

Reed said the water was COLD!

Except my alternative wasn’t really that dry. One foot was almost immediately soaked, when I stepped into an ankle-deep puddle. The rest of the time, the non-path gave me the heebie-jeebies, because I wasn’t really walking on the ground. No, I was walking on the debris field where the lake had been much higher, and had pushed a thick carpet of pine needles over everything lying on the ground. It was the feeling you have when you can’t see your feet when you are walking in water or through very tall grass.

After that, we wandered along happily. There was only one other place where we had to make a detour because of the lake.

We saw a nest platform for what was probably an osprey, and an osprey!

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We also saw several ponds which might have been farm ponds before the lake was built. An apple tree was blooming near one of them. There were a few other hikers out, but lots of people having picnics. We drove home the long way, through Chapel Hill, and enjoyed the day.

Reed figured out when we got home that Jordan Lake has a place where you can hike out to see a bald eagle’s nest. We may go back and try to see an eagle soon!

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