Sunday, September 28, 2014

Morrow Mountain State Park

This weekend is the 50th anniversary celebration of the federal Wilderness Act, and the 30th anniversary of North Carolina's Wilderness Act. So we signed up with the local Sierra Club and had a celebration at Morrow Mtn SP, just outside Uwharrie National Forest.

It's an easy 2-hour drive from Raleigh to the group camps at Morrow Mtn.
The group camps have minimal facilities and aren't spread out very much, but they are quite inexpensive to register.

We took a tour of the Kron house and grounds and were treated to a park history lesson from Ranger Ron Anundson. The (now restored) buildings date back to the early 1800's. Ron was to-date the most knowledgeable and friendly park ranger I've ever met. I'd say he can rival any college professor with his knowledge of local geology, anthropology and historic cultural events. We learned quite a few interesting facts dating back 12,000+ years ago when native americans inhabited the area.

Then we drove to the top of Morrow Mountain and took the easy .2 mile hike around the peak. Some decent views of the relatively flat countryside, but the most interesting aspect of this trail is that there are tons of remains of stone chips from Paleo-era quarry activity here. (We looked for points, spear heads, but didn't find any.) This is the definite "must do" hiking trail of the park.

The next day we went on another short & quick hike around Quarry trail (.4 miles), and saw a much smaller quarry area.

Lastly, since everyone told us that "the Rocks Trail is the most scenic hike in the park," we figured we had to try it. This is the most disappointing hike I've been on in quite some time. Even the perfect weather didn't make up for this abysmal trail: nothing but downed trees and burned vegetation from a previous forest fire. After a 2+ mile hike (some of it on a boring bridle trail) we finally got to the end: a 30 yard scrabble down some rocks to get to a decent overlook of the Yadkin River.

Meh. Nice view, but certainly not a "scenic trail". I recommend skipping this trail and spending extra time at the top of Morrow Mtn.

All in all, Morrow Mtn SP was ok, but the history is far more interesting than the actual hiking trails.

On the way back we had to eat a veggie patty at SubWay since there were no decent restaurants open in the town of Troy on Sundays.  

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Thai Spices & Sushi of Cary

This is becomming a regular dinner location for us. Conveniently-located for grocery shopping, Thai Spices & Sushi is a good vegetarian-friendly restaurant.
The staff is very nice & attentive. They have the usual minimal veg-friendly sushi options, and the usual Thai tofu options. Some dishes are spicy, but there are others that are only flavorful.

This time, we tried the crispy tofu appetizer with sweet peanut sauce (yum), an avocado roll, a veg-sushi roll, and the sweet & sour tofu. All were great, at a fair price. We were a little over-stuffed since we didn't want to deal with leftovers.

We went back a few weeks later and just got the crispy tofu appetizer, one roll of veg-sushi, and the cashew tofu entree. We were still full, but not overly so. Next time we might forgo the appetizer and try a dessert...

Update: On our next trip back we tried something completely different. Mostly.

Praram is named after a Hindu god (it's complicated).
"Sautéed and served with steamed spinach and broccoli, topped with peanut sauce."
We'll have to remember the name of this guy.

The manager kept telling us how "Nobody ever orders this dish."
Okay... But it was still very yummy and healthy-tasting.

March 18, 2015:

Tried a different appetizer on our latest visit. Quite good, but judging on volume, maybe not quite worth the price.

July 28, 2015:

Another very happy visit.
Ginger cashew tofu, and Pad Thai. Both excellent.