New and old acquaintances
I started the first full day in Statesville with a visit to Fort Dobbs. That is, I actually (of course) started the day by enjoying Lori's excellent breakfast. Fort Dobbs is located a little north of town, and the first time I visited the place back in 2015, there was literally just a hole in the ground and a replica of a well. In April of this year, I had visited the place with Charlotte and Bill, and by that time they had almost completed a replica of the old fort building. I heard that it was now open, so now I wanted to make another visit. As it turned out the building was finished and all the construction engines was gone. However, the fort was not yet open to the public, as some security certificates were needed and only those working there were let into the building. The official opening day was not until September, and I couldn't wait that long, but I had a good chat with one of the volunteers, who works at the site. My new goal is to go back during my April 2020 visit to the area.
Margaret the Mummy at Iredell Museums
From Fort Dobbs I returned to the center of town where I would visit Iredell Museums which is only one (small) museum, despite of the name. Before I went into the museum, I tried to call John Hawkins, one of my acquaintances in the Caldwell County. I had already tried a few times in the morning before leaving Clichy Inn, but each time I had a busy tone and I the same happened this time. However, I decided that he couldn't be busy for so long, so there had to be something else wrong. I therefore chose to send him an email as I was sure it was the right number I used, because I had called him several times before without any problems. John had suggested that we should see the Tom Dooley play in Wilkesboro together, and we just had arrange when, so I explained in the email that I had tried on the phone, but with no luck. Before I even left the car, he replied that his phone was broken for the third time in a few weeks, which annoyed him some. However, he hoped it would be returned from repair later that day. However, he told me, he had been having a fever the last few days (he is about 80 and retired teacher and museum director), so he would have to pass on the play and then meet with me at another time. I suggested a date and place, and then I entered the museum.
The museum's exhibition area consists largely of a single room, and on this occasion it was dedicated to Egypt - or rather to ancient Egypt. The museum owns a female mummy, so the dead lady was the "main attraction". Margaret The Mummy it has been named by the public. Before I got that far (I had only reached the "reception" desk) I met - honestly - Laura Foster, the woman Tom Dooley was convicted of killing - in the shape of Emily Baker, who had played the part when I attended the rehearsals for "The Tom Dooley Project" in April 2019. Emily is the Programs and Operations Manager ofthe museum, and as she also remembered me, we had a nice chat before I went on to look at the exhibition. Also the lady who played Pauline Foster in the play works at the museum, but she was not present that day. After my visit, I have become friends with Emily on Facebook, and it's always nice to be able to add new friends to my North Carolina circle. Having said goodbye, I set course for Lake Norman State Park, a drive of about 10 miles. In April, I had canceled a walk in the park to drive to North Wilkesboro to have lunch with another acquaintance, Carl White, who produces and hosts the TV series Life in the Carolinas. Now I would remedy this interruption and go for the 5 mile walk that I skipped then.
I parked the car in the same parking lot as last time, and got ready for the hike; that is, put on sunscreen, put on my hiking hat and got some water from the cooler. After that I left, but the hike ended up being even shorter than three months earlier, when I actually walked about a mile in each direction, because after about 500 yards, I turned around and walked back to the car. It was simply too hot and too humid. The temperature at that time had passed 100 ° F in the shade and the humidity was in the high 90s. As it happened both rain and thunder struck before I back to Statesville late in the afternoon. So instead of walking, I drove to the small beach, that is situated within the park. Here there are a lifeguard on duty and the beach is designed for bathing. However, the lifeguard wasn't too busy, as there were only very few people on the beach. I enjoyed the view from the hilltop above the beach and took a few photos. When I had completed that task, I headed - as in April - to North Wilkesboro to see if Carl happened to be in his studio, but he wasn't. In fact, the door was locked and nobody was around. So I headed back toward Statesville.
The fastest route would have been by NC Route 115 directly between Wilkesboro and Statesville, but I chose otherwise. Instead, I took US 421 east and at the intersection with I-77 I turned south on the interstate, for which I had a special reason. For a long time, I had been following a fierce local debate on the web (ie local in Statesville, not Brøndby) about an American flag at an RV dealership. Some people thought that the flag was far too big, while others thought it didn't matter how big it was. The Statesville administration obviously has some rules on the size of flags, and this was much larger than the city ordinance allowed. The owner of the place had been instructed to remove the flag, but had refused. The very patriotic among the debaters felt that he should be allowed to set up as large a flag as he liked, while the more law-abiding debaters believed he should abide by the rules just like everyone else. And now I wanted to see this flag. As it turned out, the flag was actually very large, not least in relation to the height of the flagpole. It would simply be impossible to fly the flag at half mast without it touching the ground, which had been one of the arguments against the flag. As in Denmark, there is no legislation on how big a flag must be, but in Denmark we have a lot of unwritten rules that most people adhere to, for example, that the height of a flag must not exceed one fifth of the height of the flagpole. There are no such "rules" in the United States, and I would guess that the flag here was at least about two-thirds the height of the pole.
The former railway depot in Mooresville, now serving as an art center.
I only saw the flag from the car, as at that time it had started to rain, but I continued south on I-77 to Mooresville, the largest town in Iredell County, with more than 35,000 residents. The county seat, Statesville, has about 27,000. On previous occasions I had only driven past or through Mooresville, but now I wanted to take a look at Downtown. I found a place to park the car and as the rain had stopped, I walked down main street where I discovered that Tim had his own table - at least there was an eatery named Tim's Table. I also got a look at the old railway depot, which now serves as an art gallery. As is the case with all other towns in western North Carolina, only freight trains run to and through Mooresville today, and passenger traffic was abandoned years ago, so most former depots are now used for other purposes. I also looked at a few other things, among these a sculpture of a lady on a bench and one of the many, old advertising murals that it have become very fasionable to restore; in this case, an advertisement for a Franklin sports car that may have been from the 30s or 40s. However, there were several things in town that I did not managed to see, as the rain returned and a bit heavier than before, so there is a basis for more sightseeing on my next visit to the area. As it was getting late, I returned to Statesville, but this time by smaller roads than the interstate. It was on my way home, that the rain turned into a thunderstorm. When I got back to the inn, the rain had stopped once more. I found Lori in the kitchen with a couple of girlfriends, and I chatted with them for a short while before retiring to my room.
About half past six, it was still not raining and there was even a bit of sunshine through the clouds. It was still warm (about 90 degrees) and humid, but not as bad in the morning, so I decided to take a walk around town and then have some dinner downtown, before returning. In the end I walked between 4 and 5 miles that evening. I had dinner at Twisted Oak, the same place I had lunch with Charlotte and Bill the previous day, and after dinner I walked back to my B&B while enjoying the song of the cicadas, who hid in all the trees along the route. There were many trees and the cicadas were very loud! Well back, I immediately went up my room and relaxed for the rest of the evening with my tablet and the book I had brought from Denmark.