Happy 4th of July, everyone! For the holiday weekend, we headed to Jordan Lake State Recreation Area in Apex, North Carolina.
Typically, when we travel, we head west or south. This time, we were headed northeast toward Raleigh. Just outside of the city, there's a massive lake called Jordan Lake. All the pictures seemed beautiful (and they had a site available), so we booked a site for 4th of July weekend. We hoped that we would be able to watch some fireworks over the lake from our canoe!
I loaded the truck and trailer up over my lunch break on Friday, and by 3 p.m., we were heading to the lake! Lunabear was ready for another adventure—although probably hoping there wasn't another six-mile hike in her future...
We were a bit hesitant to go camping in North Carolina, since our Coronavirus regulations have been heading in the wrong direction lately, but we were curious to see the park. As we approached the entrance, we could see that it was certainly feeling the effects of COVID. Several areas of the park were closed down, and neither the beaches nor the camp office were open. When we got to the gate, a masked security guard laid out a massive list of rules: no alcohol, no firewood, no beaches, no visitors, and no entry after dark (among others). It sounded more like being grounded than camping. Just sit quietly in the woods until it's time to go.
With commandments in hand, we headed in to set up camp.
The park was absolutely massive. There were six different camping loops, each with 50 sites or more. You'd think a park with that many sites would pack the campers in, but the spaces were huge too! We had tons of space, and the woods made the sites seem almost private. Aside from the list of demands, the park itself was promising.
The minute we stepped out of the truck, we got a taste for what the weekend would be like. It was HUMID. Minimum 120%. It almost felt like you could drown without even getting to the lake. It also didn't help that the temperature was 93 degrees. I guess we should have expected it. What's the 4th of July without scorching summer heat?
The 4th of July is always a special occasion for me and Rose. It's the day we met! So we made sure to go all-out with the celebrations and decorations. We had flags, table cloths, a centerpiece for our dilapidated picnic table, and red white and blue soft cookies! As you can see, Rose did the decorating while I "helped" by lightening the snack bag.
The next morning (the 4th of July), we woke up and enjoyed our coffee in the woods. It wasn't super humid yet, so we decided to take a long walk around the campground. Following our walk, we left Luna in the trailer (with the air on) and took a bike ride to check out where we could launch the canoe. It was still ungodly hot, but the breeze on the bikes made it almost tolerable, at least until we stopped.
The boat ramp suited such a massive park. There were four ramps at the primary launch with easily 60 trailers in the surrounding parking spaces. The lake seemed massive from the shore, and we were eager to get in. Not only is it fun to canoe, but we were dying to cool off in the water.
We biked our way back to the camper, grabbed LunaBear, packed our cooler, and headed back to the boat ramp. Luna was clearly not feeling it. She was so sleepy that she didn't want to leave the truck—although who could blame her with a black, fuzzy coat in such ridiculous heat.
After some coaxing, we got her into the canoe and we went off to sea. And a sea it was.
There were a lot of boats, and the waves were absolutely insane. We've canoed in the Atlantic Ocean and haven't seen waves like these. We could barely maneuver, and at one point, a wave was big enough to make it over the front of the canoe! Luna hated every minute of it and almost flipped us a couple times. Defeated by the wake, we decided to land on a nearby beach and swim for a bit.
The scenery was pretty, but the water was hot and not as refreshing as we had hoped. Still, it didn't stop us from enjoying the day.
We asked someone at a neighboring beach if there would be any fireworks at night, and he said that they had all been canceled. There would only be private fireworks, and they'd likely be shut down quickly. We were a little disappointed, but it's not like we could have fought the surf to see them at night anyway. After a bit of swimming, we headed back to the camper for the nightly festivities—meaning relax in the woods.
We were tired from our day of fun in the sun (or on the sun because who could tell the difference), so we kept the rest of the night pretty mellow. We cooked some hot dogs, drank some soda (riiiiiiight), and enjoyed the night.
It might not have been as rowdy as the 4th of July weekend we met, but it was fun nevertheless.
He likes pizza.