Who knew that we were just miles away from one of the smallest towns in North Carolina?! Columbia, NC has a population of just 891, so the students were a little more than dismayed to find out that “nightlife” is pretty nonexistent. However, that did not stop the OBX family from having one heck of a good time!
The field trip to Columbia, NC was a part of our two-week orientation to get us acquainted with our new territory.
We started off the day with an art class at Pocosin Art Lodge. There were no crayons, markers, or pastels in sight. Instead, this art class contained saws, bowls of sulphur, and a drilling machine! Needless to say, as a very clumsy person, I was afraid to touch anything!
Our class was taught by the very talented Laurel who has been studying art for years. She told us that we would be making key chains with pictures of either wolves or bears. These key chains would have a copper back and plastic front held together by copper bits drilled through to hold the back and front together.
We selected our pictures and got to sawing and drilling. While the process took a lot of patience and concentration the end result was magnificent. The key chain Gods would be proud of us!
The rest of the morning was spent discussing the human dimension of our capstone but afterwards, we were let loose to discover what lies in Columbia. We found a few gems: an antique store that sold 300 dollar vintage dolls, Red Wolf Coalition headquarters, and Elements cafe that looked like it belonged in a magazine.
We had a fantastic dinner from catered by Elements Cafe where Laurel and David Clegg, who is the county manager for Tyrell, joined us. Mr. Clegg told us everything there was needed to know about Tyrell county. A politician with a theatre background made for an interesting discussion about how Tyrell county involved into what it is known today.
The night continued with catching Pokemon and an encounter with a couple who manages Scuppernong Gazette. We landed a picture that was posted on the Scuppernong Gazette Facebook page.
We spent the night in the Pocosin Art Lodge which ended after Julia and I whooped Jack and Andy (Economic professor) in spades. GIRLS RULE!
The next day we spent with Ken Cherry, the richest man in Tyrell county. We asked about the history of the town and how people have formed opinions about the wildlife among them. We looked through his art gallery and were later taken to his farm where bears, wolves, and coyotes frequent.
All in all Columbia, NC is a hidden gem. Big memories made in such a small town!