Hiking for Habitat: Day 16, April 7

Luke Bennett Day 16

April 7 (27 miles)

Today I hiked through Bladen County, a county rich in history and Carolina bays. I had no idea about Carolina bays until visiting the museum at Jones Lake State Park. They are oval-shaped depressions in the earth filled by rainwater of an uncertain origin. Many have dried up due to vegetation creeping inwards during a drought. Fewer than 900 Carolina bays remain, with about 80 percent located in North Carolina. I dunked my head in Jones Lake and kept hiking. Jonathan helped take the load off today by stopping on the side of the road to hand out doughnuts and later picking me up and taking me out to dinner with him and his family. Vegetables have never tasted so good. After dinner, they gave me a tour, passing on their love for the region’s geography and community. I made camp at Harmony Hill Plantation, home to one of the oldest residences in North Carolina, built by Col. James Richardson on the Cape Fear River. Dogs barked in the distance and bats flew around my tent. Can’t wait to go to sleep.

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