The Land of Dragons

March 26, 2023

It’s finally time to leave Beaufort. The original plan was to visit New Bern, but that requires a little backtracking. Instead, we decide to hit Oriental.

During our voyage, a storm rolled in. Lighting struck, thunder roared, and the rain was pouring. We were in a small channel with nowhere to stop. Our only course was to push through. The Coast Guard announced that the storm would pass in another 20 minutes so we kept trudging. As we approach our destination, a bolt of lightning strikes between us and Coda, so close you could feel it. Thankfully, the storm passed just as we were preparing to dock in the town of Oriental.

Oriental, NC is known as the sailing capital of North Carolina. It was settled in the 1870’s by Louis Midyette “Uncle Lou.” The United States Post Office Department established a post office and Lou was named postmaster of what was then known as Smith’s Creek. Lou’s wife Rebecca thought the town needed a better name and found the nameplate from a sunken ship “Oriental” on the beaches.

March 27, 2023

The town is small, yet quaint. There is one major road that houses small shops. The local marina has a small hotel with an unheated pool. That was a hard pass as it was already cold. No need to jump into a cold pool. There’s also a small tiki bar and restaurant nearby. We arrived a day too late and missed a dragon burning, bluegrass live music, and Shrimparoo-fest.

We strolled the streets, played at the park, entered the shops, and just enjoyed the scenery. In the evening, we had a Chinese feast in honor of the town’s name.

One thing I do enjoy are the Wisteria flowers that are in bloom. When the wind blows, you can smell them in the air. The sunrises over the water are also lovely. I’ve been able to go jogging in the morning and was fortunate to catch the sunrise.

I also love how the town embraces their name and decorates everything with dragons.

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