Wednesday, October 21, 2009


When I was visiting the swamp, I kept reading of various firsts. New Bern lays claim to quite a few, including:
  • It was the first permanent seat of the colonial government of North Carolina; later it became the first state capital of NC.
  • The first printing press in NC was set up there in 1749, and the state's first newspaper published two years later.
  • The first free public school in North Carolina was established there in 1766.
  • It held the country's first celebration of George Washington's birthday.
  • The world's first practical torpedo was assembled and detonated there in the 1890s.
  • First Jewish synagogue and RC church in North Carolina.
  • The Masonic Theater is the oldest theater in America in continuous use.
  • Pepsi-Cola was first concocted there in 1898.
Nearby Washington boasts of being the first town in America named after George Washington (when he was just a general and yet to become the first president). And Bath touts itself as North Carolina's first town, first port, and the location of the first public library in the state.

Now I can claim a personal first that took place in New Bern: my first time in a kayak. ScribeGirl told me we'd be taking the kayaks out on Brices Creek, so I came with various bits of gear that I'd need. I usually avoid pursuits that require special gear (and strenuous activity, particularly if it makes you sweat), but I was game to give this a try. So, I took Spooner's advice and bought nylon pants (capris that I got off the half-price end-of-season rack at The Mountain Goat, a shopping trip that took all of 15 minutes) because he says to avoid cotton clothing when boating. ScribeGirl said I'd need waterproof shoes -- not flip-flops because, if the boat flipped over, they would flop off my feet -- so I brought my stylish sling-back Crocs. And knowing of Rosenbeans' various mishaps with electronics landing in the drink when kayaking, I got a super waterproof pouch for my camera. We were out on the creek for about an hour, paddling past trees with Spanish moss waving in the breeze. It was pretty fun, as exercise goes. Perhaps my first time kayaking won't be my last.
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1 comment:

  1. ScribeGirl7:30 PM

    Backwaters and blackwaters! I have more pix of paddling which I will have to try to get to you.