Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Sibbie's something or another

So I thought that we were set when we found a website that mapped out free campsites. We loaded up the pickup truck and headed out for adventures to the beach in Atlantic city, NC.

After enjoying an old military fort, we pulled into a grocery store parking lot to find somewhere to put the truck overnight. It had a nice camper shell on the back for one of us and the cab was spacious enough for the other.  But lo and behold, the closest free campsite was on the Neuse river in Havelock: Sibbie's something or another.

We shrugged, voiced our motto: "adventures," and headed that way. The sun went down and turned the sky from blue to orange as we harmonized old hymns together and relived the music of our childhoods. After civilization had turned to back roads and ramshackle houses, and then to empty fields and the thick forest of the Croatan, we found the gravel road that led to the "campsite."

There was no sign, no information board, and no facilities at all. I don't even remember seeing a trash can. It became apparent that the small clearing with fire pits was really all there was. Ed was particularly found of reading information boards, so the lack thereof was disappointing. He is one of those who likes to know all of the rules for any given place or situation. Which I guess is good because I am not. I usually just go about my way in whatever manner I think is safe and not disruptive.

We got out of the truck to walk around and noticed a pallet torn apart to be burned and a whole tree lying across a fire pit. Broken corona light bottles glittered the ground and no one had picked up trash here for a while. It had a nice northern view of the Neuse, which meant that we could neither see the sun set or  rise. Ropes hung from the trees, probably to hang food out of the reach of bears. The trail was flooded and a huge tree had fallen across it. It was pretty much inaccessible.

Disappointed, we bailed on it and went in search of a better arrangement. I wonder about some of these free campsites. They seem unappreciated and so they become these trashy beer bottle graveyards. We enjoyed the rest of our evening elsewhere but it kind of seemed as if "Sibbie's something or another" had been forgotten a long time ago.

Hannah C. Mathiot

I am a local artist in New Bern, North Carolina. My artwork centers around the things that interest, challenge, and inspire me. To buy my work, please visit my studio or contact me.