Day 7: Charlotte, North Carolina
Miles traveled: 1,080
States visited: 5
Weather: 75, sunny
My two days in Charlotte were nice although I wish I had done more advance planning so I knew which neighborhoods to check out. On Friday, I read in the Charlotte version of the City Paper (which is bizarrely called Creative Loafing) that there was a gallery crawl in the NODA neighborhood. I was amused at my good fortune at finding something cool to do. I thought NODA would be a big, walkable neighborhood like Lawrenceville, but it turns out it’s basically just an intersection, with a few businesses on each side. I counted 3 galleries, none of which were interesting enough to walk in. Lamest gallery crawl ever!
There were 3 kids sitting on a corner playing Metallica’s “One” on acoustic guitars. The neighborhood boasted one noteworthy attraction – a cleverly-named grocery called the Salvador Deli.
I drove around to find a bar, on the off-chance that they might be showing the Penguins playoff game, and amazingly I found one. They were showing the Pens game instead of the Carolina game, remarkably. I got to watch the first half and I left thinking the Pens were doomed, but evidently they came back and won. Woohoo!
Saturday morning I found myself stuck at an intersection for 30 minutes while hundreds of 5K runners went by. I wasn’t in a hurry so it didn’t bother me too much, but I was shocked that the police did this without alerting drivers to available detours or blocking off the street entirely. You just can’t make people sit there for 30 minutes with no advance warning!
I went for a jog and for some reason I kept thinking I was in Seattle. Maybe it’s just because the area felt like Seattle, lots of bike lanes, beautiful scenery and seemingly progressive people. Now I know how musicians feel when they’re on tour and they have to ask the audience, ‘What city am I in again?’
In the afternoon I stopped by a mall, but that was pointless. There’s nothing for me at malls. I looked around for some good thrift stores but couldn’t find any. My GPS located the office headquarters of Goodwill, but no actual stores. Then I went to Reedy Creek Park and played the most awesome disc golf course anywhere. This course even has water hazards! It was very challenging. I shot +28 for the 18 holes. I managed two pars, which I celebrated as if they were holes-in-one.
My tee shot on #17 went awry:
Charlotte is a really beautiful city. I could see myself living there. In the next week I’ll be headed into South Carolina, then Athens and Atlanta, Georgia, then up to Knoxville and Nashville. I’ve located a campground in South Carolina that charges $7 a day. I think I’m gonna hang out there for a couple days and relax. I need a vacation from my, um, vacation. If I do that, I may not have internet access until Tuesday, so be patient, the updates shall return…