Freeman park, don’t bring glass containers…
April 24, Freeman Park.
I left the Sea Mist Campground at around 10. I never did see the administrator of the campground since they were supposed to open the office after church at 1 pm.
I baked along the intracoastal in near calm wind until I reached Cape Fear. The Redneck Riviera finishes at Holden Beach. From there on it’s a lot prettier.
Once you get to Cape Fear you leave the canal for an open river that is about two mile wide. You share the seaway with the multiple ferries and large ships.
The outgoing current was against me for the entire length of the river. I would not have made it without the strong wind from the south east. The boat did not pitch too badly since the waves were sort of disorganized. I still maintained an average speed of about 4 miles per hours.
After about 8 miles, there is a small, very small cut that takes you back to the coast and the remainder of the intracoastal. That cut is very nice. There is a national park on the south side and some sort of recreational area on the north side. People told me that it was possible to do primitive camping at the park. I pushed on anyway since I had another spot in mind.
In the cut, the current was pushing me in the right direction really fast. Once outside of the cut the current continued to be favourable and I got to Freeman park really easily (http://maps.google.com/maps?q=34.078157,-77.878847&num=1&t=h&sll=34.427112,-77.54608&sspn=0.073645,0.128059&hl=fr&ie=UTF8&ll=34.088493,-77.853756&spn=0.073926,0.169086&z=13, 34.078157,-77.878847).
Freeman Park allows trucks on the beach. The campers pay per vehicle so in theory I did not have to register or anything. The place was very lively but is mellowed out quite nicely in the evening.
While sitting with campers I was present during a little incident with the police. A cop showed up at the fire were I was sitting and told us that not glass was allowed on the beach. He told us that the fine was 50$ per containers but that he would let it slide if we emptied all our beers and wine bottles and put the glass in his blue plastic bin. I was sitting with the couple and another guy from a group of soldier that had their little camp a few yards away. I hurriedly emptied my beers and had an appreciative gesture for the cop and said sorry about that. All should have been fine in my mind but at one point for reasons that I cannot imagine, the couple got into an argument with the cop. The cop did not like that. The soldier and I backed away slowly. The cop told us to stay but the girl said we were not with them. Which was true and we are very happy that she confirmed this at once. Thank you! I did not witness what happened after that but hours after I was in my tent the police lights were still on. I later learned that the couple spent the night at the station. I cannot imagine the sort of trouble it would have been for a foreigner to have something like that happen. I would probably have been told to leave the country. I get shivers when I think about it. As an outsider, we don’t have the same rights and things can go very wrong, trips get cut short…
In the morning the couples truck was gone. The wind was up and the tide was super low and promised to push me all the way to Surf City.