One Last day in the Coastal Plains

Terry Smith with Blackbeard

The last day in Coastal Plains, I gave a talk to the Carteret County Wildlife Club in Morehead City. I had been invited by Terry Smith, the president of the club. Terry is also on the board of Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail and on the North Carolina Trails Committee–and a lot more. This guy is involved.

Oh, and he’s also a docent at the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort. That was our first stop. The shark teeth were interesting but the big attraction was the artifacts being brought up from Queen Ann’s Revenge, Blackbeard’s boat. Yes, Blackbeard was real and he met his end on the coast here. Queen Anne’s Revenge was discovered by divers in the present Beaufort inlet between Shackleford Banks and Bogue Banks.

Terry had made a list of all the retail outlets that might carry my book. And I was amazed how many bookstores and other stores sold new books. The Rocking Chair in Beaufort, Dee Gee’s in Morehead City and Beach Book Mart in Atlantic City all sold new books. We went into each place. I introduced myself, shook hands and told them about The Mountains-to-Sea Trail across North Carolina. I felt like a door-to-door saleswoman.

Beaufort burying groundsBut wait, we had missed the Burial Grounds in Beaufort. So back across the bridge we went to catch that. It’s an old, old cemetery. Well, the town dates back to 1709. At least one British officer is buried here. Upper crust families of the Coastal Plains are also here together.

But everyone wants to see the gravesite of the girl in a barrel of rum. Kids bring trinkets to decorate the grave.

Here’s the story from the cemetery brochure.

In the 1700s an English family, including an infant daughter, came to Beaufort. The girl grew up with a desire to see her homeland, and finally persuaded her mother to allow her to make the voyage. Her father promised his wife he would return the girl safely. The girl enjoyed her visit to London, but died on the voyage home. She would have been buried at sea, but her father could not bear to break his promise. He purchased a barrel of rum from the captain, placed her body in it, and brought it to Beaufort for burial.

I actually sang (or talked) for my supper.

Carteret County Wildlife Club starts its meeting with a pot luck dinner. Then the talk–that was me– and finished with a short business meeting. They meet every month.

But most of their business is on the trail. They maintain the Neusoik Trail, about 22 miles of the MST, among others.

I’m now back in the mountains, but not for long. The MST is a state trail and I’m going all over the state to promote it.

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