Tuesday 14 October 2014 Wilmington North Carolina
Today I planned to spend the morning in Wilmington before driving to Raleigh. Wilmington is in south-eastern North Carolina and is bordered by the Cape Fear River to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east.
Port City Java was the first stop – it’s on N. Front St and the best coffee I’ve had in my four-week trip. Two blocks north I find the Cape Fear River and a nice board walk, some water craft activity and plenty of old buildings that have been preserved and are in use today. Even though there were not many people around, it had a really nice vibe. It reminded me of Savannah Georgia not that far south.
There are many signs of the impact of the American Civil War on this port city. It was strategically important during that war as it served as the entry point for the bulk of supplies of the Confederate States. With the fall of Norfolk, Virginia in 1862, Wilmington became the main port for the Confederate States.
Wilmington was ultimately captured by the forces of the Union, with the Battle of Wilmington fought over twelve days in 1865, mostly outside the city, at Fort Fisher, thirty miles downriver. The Union victory there meant that Wilmington could no longer be used by the Confederacy as a port. For the remaining part of the War, this city remained under the control of the Union.
After some time at the waterfront, I wandered around the historic district and then visited the North Carolina State cemetery.
It was steamy, with heavy and dark clouds overhead. A local told me that the this was the tail of a storm from Puerto Rico. Finally it started to rain as it had promised for a while.
It was time to leave and I motored north up the Michael Jordan Highway (the basketball legend hails from Wilmington).
Half of the two-hour drive was filled in wonderfully by the Howard Stern interview with Neil Young. Neil covered a range of topics – his new book, new album, his Pono music system, renewable energy and Crosby Stills Nash and Young (particularly David Crosby).
I found my hotel, near the Raleigh/Durham International Airport. Tomorrow New Orleans.