The CWPP team has recently ﬁnished up two more counties – Columbus and Carteret, which we revisited to complete 12 more districts. In Columbus, we met up with two of the assistant county rangers, Jeremy and Rex, who were incredibly helpful in both scheduling meetings and assisting us with our database. We met with Acme-Delco-Riegelwood, Brunswick, North Whiteville, Old Dock, and Williams Township ﬁre departments. Rather than meet at the county ranger oﬃce or ﬁre departments like we have in the past, we were able to conduct our meetings at the Lake Waccamaw State Park, which gave us a nice change of scenery. We saw many different birds at the lake, as well as various species of dragonﬂies. Columbus County was scenic and the people we worked with were incredibly kind.
We returned to Carteret once more to work with Brian, the Carteret County Ranger, and Dusty, the Forest Fire Equipment Operator, on the last 12 ﬁre districts in the county – Atlantic Beach, Beaufort, Broad & Gales Creek, Emerald Isle, Harkers Island, Indian Beach/Salter Path, Marshallberg, Mill Creek, Morehead City, Newport, Pine Knoll Shores, and Wildwood. Our second time in Carteret was just as wonderful as our ﬁrst visit, with Brian and Dusty pointing out more cool sites to visit and going to some delicious local restaurants.
Most recently, the CWPP team took a backpacking trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park! We spent three days hiking just about 26 miles through the park, with about 20 miles being on the Appalachian Trail. We hiked to the top of Clingmans Dome, the highest point in the park and in Tennessee, which was pretty exciting for us. We even saw a black bear up in a tree, which was the ﬁrst black bear sighting for many of us! The trip certainly wasn’t easy – particularly the steep ups and downs – but it was incredibly fun! We learned quite a bit about backpacking, camping, and Leave No Trace ethics.
Stay tuned for more updates from Brunswick and New Hanover counties, as well as the many adventures of the CWPP team!