Tag Archives: Small Towns

Old Friends, New Friends

Swan Quarter, North Carolina
Swan Quarter, North Carolina

Kathy & I spent an extended Labor Day weekend visiting eastern North Carolina, generally the towns of Belhaven and Washington, NC.  We’ve become friends with Andy & Karen Fisher who own Belhaven Water Street Bed & Breakfast in Belhaven, and we like to get out there a couple of times a year.  We checked our records when we got home and realized that we’ve been going to Belhaven and staying at this B&B since 2007.  And I like to joke that, even though we are friends with Andy & Karen they still charge us to stay there!  Of course I am completely joking – it is worth every penny, plus I think she does give us a discount.

Belhaven, North Carolina
Belhaven, North Carolina

Other friends James & Yvonne McKelvey operate Wine & Words…& Gourmet in Washington.  Just like it sounds, they operate a wine store with used books & music plus yummy food items.  We make the trek to Washington a few times a year because James specializes in good wine at good prices.  Our palates are very similar and we can count on his recommendations being spot-on.  It’s a long way to go for wine, but it’s just another excellent reason to head out that way.

Belhaven, North Carolina
Belhaven, North Carolina

Another reason I love to visit the Belhaven area is that I have a number of favorite photo spots.  I’m a firm believer in re-visiting places, and there are a number of places in the area that we visit every time we are there.  This time, I had some new equipment to try out, and what better place to try new equipment than a place I have come to know and love?

Downtown Washington, North Carolina
Downtown Washington, North Carolina
Downtown Washington, North Carolina
Downtown Washington, North Carolina

We usually spend at least part of a day walking around downtown Belhaven and Washington, and this year was no exception.  While much of the scenery doesn’t seem to change much, every so often I come across something new and interesting.  And sometimes just the change in light and shadow creates something I haven’t seen before.

But...Welcome!
But…Welcome!
Downtown Washington, North Carolina
Downtown Washington, North Carolina

Another place we like to visit is Swan Quarter.  While known to most people as the place to catch the ferry to Ocracoke, we’ve come to know it as a place with interesting fishing boats.  About the only time we visit the ferry terminal is to use the restroom, because there aren’t a lot of alternatives in that area!  Swan Quarter is home to Hobo Seafood, and a number of boats dock there.  There seems to be something new every time we visit.

Swan Quarter, North Carolina
Swan Quarter, North Carolina

Another place we enjoy returning to is Englehard.  It is home to several fish houses and has a fairly good size harbor with a lot of boats.  It is often a good spot in the late afternoon, but this time we were there closer to mid-day.  Fortunately it was a day with good clouds, so with good timing I was able to make some photos I am happy with.

Englehard, North Carolina
Englehard, North Carolina
Englehard, North Carolina
Englehard, North Carolina

Something new for us on this adventure was a visit to Aurora & Oriental, across the Pamlico River from Bath & Belhaven and accessible by road or ferry.  We took the 30-minute ferry ride over and back.  It is a fun way to travel and a nice break from driving.  Plus the ferry itself always has a few photo ops!  While we were there we came across RE Mayo Seafood in Hobucken, NC and another batch of fishing boats.  We had lunch in Oriental and spent a little time exploring, but decided that we needed to head there for a whole day when we had more time.  So it is on the list for a return visit!

Ferry from Bayview to Aurora, North Carolina
Ferry from Bayview to Aurora, North Carolina
Aurora Fossil Museum in Aurora, North Carolina
Aurora Fossil Museum in Aurora, North Carolina
RE Mayo Seafood in Hobucken, North Carolina
RE Mayo Seafood in Hobucken, North Carolina
RE Mayo Seafood in Hobucken, North Carolina
RE Mayo Seafood in Hobucken, North Carolina

I’ll write later about my thoughts on the Fuji X-T1, but suffice it to say that I am very happy with this little camera and have no regrets at all about making the switch.  I’m still learning the ins and outs but every time I use it I feel like I’m working with an old friend.

Lake Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge, North Carolina
Lake Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge, North Carolina

Colorado Adventure: Estes Park

One of a number of taffy shops in downtown Estes Park, Colorado
One of a number of taffy shops in downtown Estes Park, Colorado

I guess I kind of knew it at the time, but I didn’t carry my camera at all while we explored the town of Estes Park.  Mostly we were there in the evening, and when going to dinner I didn’t want to lug around a camera.  But I had my phone!

Random photos in downtown Estes Park, Colorado
Random photos in downtown Estes Park, Colorado

Here are a few representative shots of downtown Estes Park.  Nothing terribly artsy but it does give a good flavor.  And yes, there were a number of salt water taffy shops…these are just a few of them!

Random photos in downtown Estes Park, Colorado
Random photos in downtown Estes Park, Colorado
One of a number of taffy shops in downtown Estes Park, Colorado
One of a number of taffy shops in downtown Estes Park, Colorado
One of a number of taffy shops in downtown Estes Park, Colorado
One of a number of taffy shops in downtown Estes Park, Colorado
One of a number of taffy shops in downtown Estes Park, Colorado
One of a number of taffy shops in downtown Estes Park, Colorado
One of a number of taffy shops in downtown Estes Park, Colorado
One of a number of taffy shops in downtown Estes Park, Colorado
Oh, they had T-Shirt shops too!
Oh, they had T-Shirt shops too!
Random photos in downtown Estes Park, Colorado
Random photos in downtown Estes Park, Colorado
Random photos in downtown Estes Park, Colorado
Random photos in downtown Estes Park, Colorado
Silver Moon Inn in Estes Park, Colorado
Silver Moon Inn in Estes Park, Colorado
Beer at The Wapiti Colorado Pub in Estes Park, Colorado
Beer at The Wapiti Colorado Pub in Estes Park, Colorado

Colorado Adventure: Grand Lake

Grand Lake, Colorado
Grand Lake, Colorado

The town of Grand Lake sits on the western end of Rocky Mountains National Park, and is the gateway to the park for those entering on the west side of the continental divide.

Grand Lake, Colorado
Grand Lake, Colorado
Grand Lake, Colorado
Grand Lake, Colorado

The lake known as Grand Lake is the largest natural lake in Colorado and lies at an elevation of 8367 feet.  Grand Lake is known as the headwaters of the Colorado River.

Grand Lake, Colorado
Grand Lake, Colorado
Grand Lake, Colorado
Grand Lake, Colorado
Grand Lake, Colorado
Grand Lake, Colorado

We spent three nights in Grand Lake, and used it as a base for our forays into Rocky Mountains National Park.  It has more of an “outdoorsy” feel than some of the other towns we visited, and we enjoyed it very much.

Where we stayed - Western Riviera Lodge, Grand Lake, Colorado
Where we stayed – Western Riviera Lodge, Grand Lake, Colorado
Random photos in downtown Grand Lake, Colorado
Lunch menu
Business Opportunity
Business Opportunity
Grand Lake, Colorado
Grand Lake, Colorado

We were a little concerned when we found out that our motel didn’t have air conditioning.  There are few places where we would want to not have it.  But the first night we were there the temperature dipped into the 30s, so all we needed to do was keep the windows open!

NOT where we stayed - Grand Lake Lodge in Rocky Mountains National Park near Grand Lake, Colorado
NOT where we stayed – Grand Lake Lodge in Rocky Mountains National Park near Grand Lake, Colorado
View of Grand Lake from Grand Lake Lodge in Rocky Mountains National Park near Grand Lake, Colorado
View of Grand Lake from Grand Lake Lodge in Rocky Mountains National Park near Grand Lake, Colorado
Grand Lake Lodge in Rocky Mountains National Park near Grand Lake, Colorado
Grand Lake Lodge in Rocky Mountains National Park near Grand Lake, Colorado
Grand Lake Lodge in Rocky Mountains National Park near Grand Lake, Colorado
Grand Lake Lodge in Rocky Mountains National Park near Grand Lake, Colorado
Grand Lake Lodge in Rocky Mountains National Park near Grand Lake, Colorado
Grand Lake Lodge in Rocky Mountains National Park near Grand Lake, Colorado

A Visit to Belmont, North Carolina

Downtown Belmont, North Carolina

Not too far from our home is the town of Belmont, North Carolina. Not surprisingly to many readers of this blog, there is a restaurant there that Kathy & I like to frequent. 😉  One recent Saturday night we took the short drive, and anticipating a short wait for a table I took along my trusty 5D.  Just some random walking around town stuff, and just for fun.

Downtown Belmont, North Carolina Downtown Belmont, North Carolina Downtown Belmont, North Carolina Downtown Belmont, North Carolina Downtown Belmont, North Carolina