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Flat Tire

posted Feb 11, 2019, 4:37 PM by Justin P   [ updated Feb 13, 2019, 5:02 PM ]
Sandy had this past weekend off, so we took Alexander out for a weekend of camping and hiking.  Our plan was to head out to Dismal Swamp State Park and then camp at Merchants Millpond.  We left early Saturday morning and about 30 minutes from Dismal Swamp, we got a flat tire, conveniently in the middle of nowhere.  I was able to change it out for the donut and we continued to the park, which is right next to a rest area so hopefully a better location to deal with our tire issue.  I went into the visitor center to get Alex's passport stamped.


Since I was here, I asked the ranger where we might get another tire since we couldn't make it back to Raleigh on a donut.  He suggested a couple places that might be open on a Saturday.  Alex was getting very frustrated being stuck in the car for so long, so before we left, we took him for a short hike around the Swamp Boardwalk trail.


It makes a figure-8 through the Great Dismal Swamp.


Then we headed back across the bridge over the canal.


This canal runs from Virginia south and is part of the intercoastal waterway managed by the Army Corps of Engineers.  From here, we headed to Tom Perry's in Sunbury.  He had a used tire that he put on the car that would get us home and was a real life saver.  By this time, we were hungry so went to China King for take-out and had a picnic lunch at Merchants Millpond State Park.  After lunch, we checked in and set up our tent at the family campground.  It was still early and Alex needed to get some hiking in, so we took the campground spur to Lassiter Trail.  The trail crosses a tributary on a boardwalk at one of the most scenic parts of the millpond.


Further on, there were some more scenic views of the swamp.


We would be hiking this trail tomorrow so, used the fire roads to mix it up a bit.


As we finished up the loop, the sun was getting lower in the sky.


The pond was really pretty in the evening light.


Lots of cypress knees all along the shore.


When we finished up, we started a fire back at camp.  It was nearing sunset so I headed back to the Millpond for some last pictures.


It got really cold after the sun went down so we made a big fire to keep warm.  Even Alex wrapped up in a blanket to sleep - not too often that he gets cold.