Amazing greenways, and a surprise dinner meetup

4/13/22

Another full day today, with beautiful weather here in Raleigh.

I had not been aware, until today, of just what a prodigious greenway network there is in and around this city. It’s amazing! My host told me that Raleigh’s car-free greenway system is the most extensive of any city in the Carolinas. From what I have seen, it rivals any city I have visited so far (with the possible exception of Tucson and its amazing Chuck Huckleberry Loop).

So I headed out today to experience more of these beautiful—mostly paved and forested—trails.

First, though, I wanted to experience Raleigh’s all vegan cat café, Purr Cup. It is a place with a café section of coffee drinks and vegan pastries (including the first macaron I’ve ever eaten, since it is hard to find vegan ones) and then a separate section with four adoptable cats. Normally you have to make a reservation—and pay a donation—to spend quality time with the cats, but the staff there kindly let me go in for just a couple minutes in between other patrons’ booked sessions. When I went in, two of the cats were sleeping, and the other two (pictured) didn’t seem to be in an interactive mood, but it was still fun to see them and enjoy their cuteness.

After the café, I headed out for several hours of biking on a number of greenways, including the Rocky Branch, Walnut Creek, Neuse River, Mingo Creek, and Crabtree Creek.

By the time I got finished with all that nature cycling, I had made a serendipitous Facebook connection with my Portland friend Indigo, who travels often for work, and who happened to be right near Raleigh this evening! We met up for dinner at a local falafel restaurant, and caught up on each other’s lives. What a fun coincidence!

Tomorrow, I will make my way northwest of here to Durham. Fingers crossed that I can arrive before the forecasted thunderstorms. Right around the time the storms are supposed to start, at 5:00, I will be meeting up with two local Durham Marillion fans for dinner at an Indian restaurant.

I love technology and social media, which make so many of these wonderful interpersonal connections possible.

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