Yesterday we went to see the “Bull” Durham baseball team, play ball with Charolette. The team is a minor league feeder for Tampa Bay Rays in Durham North Carolina. The game was delightful even though the Bulls were not able to put any runs on the scoreboard. After the game, there was an incredible fireworks show that delighted the crowded park.
Bull Durham was the name of the Kevin Cosner film about a long-term minor league player. Cosner’s character spent less than a month in the major leagues. In the movie Crash Davis was a catcher who was sent back to the minor league and tasked with educating a new pitcher. The plot is an assembly of stories by the director/writer Ron Shelton. Shelton played minor league baseball. Shelton also chose real minor league baseball players to round out the cast.
The real-life Crash Davis played second base for the Durham Bulls. Crash Davis has his portrait at the stadium. The only reason that I knew the namesake was really a player for the Bulls is the portrait. After the movie came out the real Crash Davis got quite popular. Davis even appeared in the movie Cobb (also about a baseball player Ty Cobb).
Durham (North Carolina) has been known locally as Bull Durham since the 1800s. The name was associated with the Bull Durham tobacco product. By 1900 Bull Durham was a well-known trademark. The tobacco company was purchased by James Duke and renamed the American Tobacco Company. Today we know the Duke name associated with Duke University located down the street in Durham.
Our stay here in Raleigh (near Raleigh) was composed of two stops. Neither one was actually in the city and both stops were lots of fun. First, we stayed west of Raleigh at Lake Jordan State Recreation Area. A few days ago we moved north to Falls Lake State Recreation Area. Both are an easy drive to Raleigh, Durham, Wake Forest, and Chapel Hill.
The hot muggy weather has relaxed just a little bit and we haven’t seen the afternoon thunderstorm for a few days. I think this would be a good place to visit and learn more about except for during the peak summer months.
Since our stops have been very close to large bodies of water we have been enjoying our morning and occasionally evening kayaking trips.
I joked with a friend that the day after we took the kayaks off the car the skies opened up with a two-inch rainfall. Even on that day, we were able to sneak out for a sunset kayak paddle. Kayaking is much easier when you are staying right on the water. If you call us this evening we will probably be out on the water again.
Tami made all the arrangements for my birthday. The day started with getting up early to visit the dentist followed by a visit to a French bakery to make sure to counteract the dental care with coffee and sugar. After that, we went to the evening Bull Durham baseball game with Tami’s friends Jersey and Joan. To complete the birthday Tami arranged for the fireworks show. I never had a fireworks show on my birthday before.
I want to add a thank-you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday. I also want to express how happy I am that Tami takes such good care of me. I am a lucky guy.
This stop north of Raliegh is the last in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. When we departed the Smoky and Blue Ridge Mountains to the west, our Piedmont travels began. Asheville lies in the mountain region of North Carolina. In Asheville, we saw the Biltmore Castle a little more than a month ago. Here is a link to that story. Amazing Biltmore Palace
Since Asheville, we have moved eight times for a total of 342 miles. Of course, had we gone in a straight line, the journey would have been less than 235 miles.
This last move north of Raleigh starts our trip further north into southern Virginia. I don’t expect things to be much different between southern Virginia and northern North Carolina. Just like our travel through the Piedmont region in North Carolina, we will be staying at four more lakes in Virginia as we move to the west.
One difference between North Carolina and our kayaking in Virginia will involve my fishing pole.
Links to things & places mentioned in this article.