Thursday, September 9, 2010

In the Wolf Den

We are at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds, in Raleigh (map). The fairgrounds has plentiful RV sites with 30- and 50-amp full hookups for $25 per night. That's steeper than our usual fare, but not bad in an RV-unfriendly town. In addition to the state capital, Raleigh is a university town, being home to the NC State "Wolfpack," and college towns are notoriously hard for parking.

We had a nice drive from Greensboro Tuesday afternoon on US-70, which brought us all the way to Raleigh and the Elks lodge off Lead Mine Road, where we had planned to stay. Our guide said they had two 30-amp spaces for $10 a night, and the Elks parking Yahoo group had a couple of posts with more detail about how to access the lodge.

When we pulled in, however, we were accosted by an extremely rude individual, a member we presume, who informed us that parking was no longer permitted there. I went inside to check with the manager, and, sure enough, a reckless RVer who caused thousands in damage has ruined it for everyone else (that's no excuse to be rude about it, though). There is no longer any RV parking at the Raleigh lodge.

As Raleigh has forbidden RV parking almost everywhere else in town, this left us few options. Fortunately the fairgrounds was convenient for us, and it's been hot enough that having unlimited power for the air conditioning has been a bonus. It was a short two-mile scooter ride to Louise's cousins just down the road, with whom we had a nice visit. It was another two miles beyond that to one of our two clubs here in Raleigh, the Cardinal Club, where we had a very pleasant lunch today on the 28th floor, overlooking the Capitol and a vast panorama of verdant forest, so so it would appear from that lofty height.

With our visit done, we are eager to move out of the high-rent district, and so will be moving on shortly, after availing ourselves of the "full hookup" aspect of our site. We checked in this afternoon with our Red Cross handlers in Washington, and, given how close we are, they'd like us to head up to the "hot site" in Richmond, Virginia (about three hours from here). We had all the arrangements made to meet up with our "big boss" there tomorrow morning, right up until we all found out that this is the weekend of the Nascar race, and the track is literally across the street from the hot site. Qualifying will be tomorrow, and the race will be on Saturday, making the facility all but inaccessible between the traffic and the cops directing it. While our Red Cross badges will get us around the cops, none of us wanted to battle thousands of crazed Nascar fans driving to and from the track.

What we decided on instead was a plan to slow-roll toward Richmond, with the idea of being there perhaps Monday sometime and spending a few days there. A very slow roll, because in the next few days what is currently Atlantic Investigation Area 92L might become some kind of storm, and we may well have to reverse course and head south or southwest. After consulting our myriad directories we found an Elks lodge in Rocky Mount, NC with power for $10 a night, and that's close enough to where we are now for us to be settled in well before Louise has to teach her class tonight.

If Rocky Mount turns out to be suitable, we'll likely spend a couple days there, at least until we know what 92L and/or Tropical Storm Igor are doing.

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