Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Wild Goose Chase

Posted January 30, 2007

Join me for a wild goose chase today.  We’re headed east down US 64. It’s about a three hour drive to Creswell in Washington County. From there it is just a seven mile jaunt south to Pettigrew State Park on Lake Phelps, the second largest natural lake in North Carolina. Phelps, Pungo and Alligator lakes are part of the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. Each winter thousands of migratory birds on the Atlantic Flyway sojourn here. It is a glorious sight and if you enjoy natural sound recording as I do a haunting almost ethereal experience.

You should also visit Lake Mattamuskeet, the state's largest natural lake nearby in Hyde County. Mattamuskeet inspired a song by the same name on my Peaceful Journey album. XM Satellite radio plays it several times each week complete with the sounds of tundra swans and snow geese that I recorded one chilly January night.

Scientists say up to 100,000 migratory birds winter in the area. December and January are your best months for a visit. But Pettigrew State Park also has other magnets including some giant trees, great bass fishing, windsurfing, kayaking and ancient dug out canoes, one of which is believed to be 4,400 years old .

It is so easy to put on the cruise control when traveling 64 East until you get to Manteo and Nags Head. Do yourself a favor. Put on the brakes when you go through Washington and Tyrrell counties and check out Pettigrew State Park.

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  • mindismom Jan 30, 2007

    Lake Phelps has to be one of the most beautiful and peaceful places in NC! When you are there, it is almost like you have stepped away from civilization. And yes, the fishing is good too. I totally agree, do yourself a favor and visit the park!! Thanks for the beautiful audio slideshow.

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Bill Leslie