Day 22 Surf City, NC - Two Far 2019 - Coasting Along to the Maritimes - CycleBlaze

May 16, 2019

Day 22 Surf City, NC

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Today was a rest day and I was going to be content sitting in the sun, reading my book. (I finally got to Crazy Rich Asians and it is very entertaining.)  Kerry, for a change, didn't want to chill at the motel today.  He went out after breakfast for a walk to the pier and talked to the fisherman. 

The Surf City Pier. Notice the steep bank from the houses down to the beach.
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Keith SpanglerVery nice place to read a book ~
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3 months ago
View of houses along the shore from the pier
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A well supplied fishing set-up on the pier
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A shrimp trawler
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Great sign!
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This is the bridge we rode across yesterday.
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 We went to lunch, then he wanted to ride down the island to Topsail Beach to a local history museum, Missiles and More.  I really didn't want to go, but I was a good sport and rode down there with him.

The museum, while small, was interesting.  The topics ranged from missiles to pirates (hence the name).  One of the main exhibits was about  Camp Davis, which was built near here during WWII as an Army training post.  Part of this exhibit was about women pilots called WASPs  (Women Airforce Service Pilots) that trained there.  They weren't members of the military and didn't fly combat missions, but provided essential  air support and services.  38 WASPs died in service, all buried with no military honors.  It was not until 1977, after a long fight, that the surviving WASPs received  recognition and benefits as WWII veterans.

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Another exhibit was about the top secret missile facility  that was once located here.  We learned that in 1945, Topsail Island was seized by the US government for use as a missile testing site.  The Navy conducted top secret early missile testing here under the name Operation Bumblebee.  It was also here that the Navy developed the first RAMJET engine.   As part of the secret test site, 8 concrete observation towers were built to observe missile flights.  They are still in existence today  with most of them being converted into houses or businesses.

Here is an observation tower that has not yet been converted into a home. We wondered what this structure was when we passed it on our way to the museum.
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Keith SpanglerThat would be such a cool home! Bullet proof and unique at the same time. You could have a raft on top in case you had to evacuate during a hurricane. Cool
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3 months ago

There were other exhibits about barrier islands, local natural history, and the Marine V-22 Osprey Aircraft which underwent development and testing at nearby Camp Lejeune.  If you're ever on Topsail Island, the museum is worth a visit.

Margaret & Rose. They gave us a personal tour of the museum which added a lot to our visit. Thanks!
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Keith SpanglerVolunteers right! Friendly and kind.
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3 months ago

Today's ride: 14 miles (23 km)
Total: 758 miles (1,220 km)

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