Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Lost in the Research Triangle

No, the Research Triangle does not gobble up RVs the way the Bermuda Triangle does ships, but then it could make for a scary legend.  What is the Research Triangle?  Well the corners of the triangle are three major and prestigious universities in North Carolina – Duke University in Durham, the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University in Raleigh, where we have been staying.  All three are only about 20 miles at most from each other.  I can’t readily think of another area where there are three major universities like these in such close proximity.   A lot of research institutes and business have opened in the triangle because of the access to these three nearby universities.

We explored each of the three campuses.  Not only are they great academic institutions, but each one of them has one at least one NCAA basketball championship and they have at least 10 titles among them.  The area is also known as Tobacco Road because of its heritage as the center of North Carolina’s tobacco growing region.




100_1596One thing we particularly enjoyed near the Duke Campus was the Sarah Duke Gardens.  Being the Spring and being in the south where they can grow some species we couldn’t in Michigan has made for a very interesting tour.



100_1634As long as we were in Durham, we had to take in a baseball game of the Durham Bulls.  They have a newer ballpark than the one from the movie and with all of their notoriety they have moved up from Class A ball to Class AAA.  We think we like the feel of the team and park from the movie better.  And once again we were treated to an over three hour game.  This time we gave up after the seventh inning stretch as the game was already 3 hours and 10 minutes old and the Bulls were behind 13 to 2.

We found a par 3 golf course and pulled out the clubs for the first time since Florida.  It seems that for Gary those lessons in Florida may finally be paying some dividends.  In my case, I am blaming it on the one private lesson he took without me.

0423121441aWe camped at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh.  A lot of fairgrounds have camping facilities in support of those who travel in for the fairs and then they rent them out the rest of the year for people who come in for special events or like us who are just passing through.  These campgrounds are generally not as beautiful as public parks or RV parks, but they can be a very good way to explore cities and are usually a bit cheaper than other parks.  One side benefit of this one was that the entrance road was lined with lush rose bushes in full bloom.  I availed myself of a few the day we arrived and when we left as well.

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