Merchants Millpond, NC

I woke early, determined to put as much distance between winter and I as reasonably possible in a days drive. Highway 13, straight through Delaware, no stops. Focused, with the first prickling trickle of travelers adrenaline starting to enter my bloodstream, I arrived at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel. Pictures cannot to the mammoth bastard justice. I experienced my first true sense of awe in nearly a decade. I opened all the windows in Thee Witch so she could soak up the sea air, some sort of righteous cleansing ritual for us both. I howled and hollered at oncoming traffic through the tunnels. The experience was rife with symbolism, a piece of what I had been looking for since the inception of this whole thing had been revealed to me.

It had snowed the previous evening at Merchants Millpond, a ranger had called to warn me. "We wanted to know if you still intended to stay here, the campground roads are covered in ice." .  "Yeah man, definitely," I said, considering the fact that I was about an hour away and out in the middle of fucking nowhere on a logging road that had just kissed the windshield of Thee Witch hard and terrible. "I'll be there, I don't need anything fancy, just a place to park the van for the night.".

When I arrived the rangers reported that I would be the sole camper in a roughly 3700 acre park that I would have entirely to myself. They had plowed a small section of the picnic grounds for me to set up camp with all facilites. I immediately parked and set out on the trails. The day was filled with thick mists spiraling around massive bald cypress trees in semi-frozen swamp. Crooked bridges caked with crisp ice. I was finally "up on some Tolkien shit". Fucking bliss. I was so taken with the fantasy of the place that I took few pictures. I will return with the thaw. Definitely a location that demands more exploration.