The whole of Falls Lake State Recreation Area in North Carolina encompasses three separate campgrounds. This is a review of the Rolling View campground, east of Durham and north of Raleigh.
It was a lovely drive down from Longwood campground to Falls River, all back roads with very little traffic. The only hiccup came when I was shopping at Walmart and my watch dinged to remind me I had a concall in 15 minutes. Oops, I thought that call was an hour later. So I sat in the parking lot of the Walmart and did my call. To be honest, not my first time doing a call from a Walmart parking lot!
The whole point of me camping at Falls Lake was to be close to Durham, where my shiny new truck cap was slated to arrive from the factory sometime between September 21st and October 5th. It made its local appearance on the 28th, so I had it installed on October 2. Definitely worth all the hassle of delays and alternate arrangements I had to make to pull it off because it makes storage that much easier to have the extra height.
While at Falls Lake, I was still rehabbing my wonky knee and cranky shoulders, so I didn’t do much hiking and zero kayaking, although that big old lake right next to me tried really hard to be persuasive.
Instead, I hung out with friends, socially distancing with masks. One friend, last seen in Lancaster, PA, was down in Raleigh, so we had a fun meetup at an outdoor coffee shop and then I got to experience the joy of Raleigh’s Saturday afternoon traffic. But instead of that photo, here’s one of the blue sky and a cool building.
Another friend came by to visit and brought a “new to me” zero gravity chair she had found next to a dumpster at her RV park (a time-honored place to put stuff you don’t need when you’re camping). It was in pretty good shape, so now I have another chair trying out for a place in my collection.
And to complete the trifecta of friends, I met up Monday night with an old running buddy who used to live in Austin, Texas but now calls Raleigh home, We figured we last met up face to face in San Diego in 2014, so it was good to catch up. We did risk a bit of contact, giving each other a hug because he’s one of my favorite people and I couldn’t imagine NOT hugging him, even in the middle of a pandemic.
After almost a week of hanging out, resting up, and socializing more than I have in months, it was time to pack up, hitch up, and hit the road. Next time, I’m hoping to explore more of Falls Lake, from kayaking to hiking, and, if the pandemic ever ends, checking out Durham and Raleigh.
Rolling View Campground (NC State Parks)
- Site 24 (water/electric) had a little path down to the lake, which I quite enjoyed. The reservation site said this was a tent site, which I didn’t realize when I was reserving it. Turns out, no problem, it was a pull-through spot with a short flight of stairs down to the campfire and picnic table. Plenty of room for a tent or shelter down there as well. A loop is smaller, and therefore quieter than B loop. C loop has no services. Reserve at the NC Parks ReserveAmerica website.
- Services: electric/water, two lanes at the dump station, bath houses with showers and toilets. Plastic recycling only
- Decent ATT signal. Didn’t even try Verizon since I had used that a lot already this month.
- Groceries: 15 minutes to the Food Lion on Route 98. Because the campground is close to both Raleigh and Durham, there’s tons of shopping options, from groceries to malls and even a Whole Foods.
The universe will always send us little reminders of its chaos and power. Certainty is a complete illusion.
Gary John Bishop