Posts Tagged ‘Bentonville’

A first for me!

October 2, 2009

My intention today, was to take in the scene around me instead of racing down to Wilmington to see my daughter, Christine. Usually, I set the cruise control at around 75mph, crank up the music and don’t slow down until I hit New Hanover county. Today, I was determined to experience a little something of the countryside that I so often had ignored. There are a few intrigueing exits on the 2 hour drive from Cary to Wrightsville Beach…among them is a place called ‘Meadow’ (I’m  just SURE it’s a serene little village). There’s the Duplin Winery. And, there are at least two Civil War battlefields. I had made up my mind to stop and experience the first one I came to. It was Bentonville Civil War Battleground  (They have an EXCELLENT website)bentonvimain01 Now, I’d like to say this, if you decide to go and you’re coming from Cary, take Exit 343 and go LEFT off the exit. Unfortunately, (or perhaps providencially) the brown sign that should have been there to indicate which way the battleground was…wasn’t. So, I went right. I took a quick little 5 mile drive in the country, in the wrong direction…but no matter, I wasn’t in a hurry or on a schedule. I did see a couple of the coolest barns and old abandoned houses that I thought, well, maybe someday I would re-visit to photograph and/or sketch. Probably wont happen, but it was a thought. Anyway, there were fields and fields of cotton. Now, I DID recognize the stuff but it’s so foreign to me that I got a little mesmerized by it and was VERY tempted to stop the car, get out and go get me some. But I resisted.

So, after turning around and heading back past the exit, I came to the first brown historic site sign letting me know I was indeed now going in the right direction. Thankfully, there were no more missing signs and I found my way to the destination after about 3 turns (after the first two, I decided to write a couple notes because I’m pretty good at finding my way TO a place but I usually have a heck of a time getting out!). The site was very nicely laid out and I took a walk across the gravel access road to the cemetary and monuments. Now, as a Northern, I had to wonder…had my southern friends learned of the battle of Bentonville in Civics class, and perhaps even come here on a field trip? To my knowledge, I’d never heard the story of this place. There were several monuments and markers…now, as I was reading the last one, I noticed the field across the road was brimming with cotton. Upon closer inspection, I saw how the plants came within just a few feet of the shoulder. I couldn’t stand it…I HAD to go over and check it out. Cotton fieldSo, I crossed the all but abandoned road and tip toed through the few feet of tall grass that separated the roadway and the cotton. I need to mention here, that I was wearing (as usual) flip flops on my feet. I walked up to the very first plant that had those sweet little white cotton balls on it and bent over to look more closely. Suddenly, my feet and ankles were under attack by some mean little red ants. Now, my friends who know me well will laugh…I just CAN’T get away with anything the least bit sketchy. I always get caught somehow ; )  Well, I grabbed one of the soft little orbs and ran away while swating those nasty stinging ants off my feet and pants legs. Sheesh!

So, a couple firsts for me…picking cotton, getting stung by ants and most importantly, a lesson on slowing down and experiencing what’s around me instead of rushing through!