Day 8 – Carolina Raptor Center & Plaza Midwood

Carolina Raptor Center

After our hike yesterday Elliot and I were up for a bit of adventure even though we were still tired, but we weren’t sure about the weather last night so we waited to be sure this morning about our decision on what to do with our day. We were thinking about heading over to Asheville, but we woke up on the later side today and decided against it. The snow had melted, but it was rather gray outside and it was a 50-50 chance for it to rain. We decided to do some research on something closer to see.

Carolina Raptor Center

We found a “Raptor Center” in Huntersville at the Latta Plantation Nature Preserve. Basically, the Raptor Center is a hospital for birds of all kinds. There are birds that have lived here for 20 or more years, and there are birds that have just arrived there. This hospital is one of the largest hospitals for birds in the United States. Many of the animals that have brought into this hospital have been brought in because they’ve collided with a vehicle trying to scavenge food on the side of a road. Another reason why quite a few have ended up there are because of gunshot wounds. As amazing as it is that they’ve rehabilitated so many birds of many species back to health it’s disappointing that so many birds have gotten hurt just due to interaction with humans.

Owl at Carolina Raptor Center

Most of the animals that enter this hospital end up back in the wild, but if not they keep them safe and sound at their Raptor Trail. They have everything from ravens (my favorite after today), to owls, to hawks to vultures.  They usually have eagles, but the exhibit was closed for nesting. One part that I really enjoyed was an area that was Harry Potter themed. It was called “Raptors of the Silver Screen” Anybody that knows me knows I’m in love with Harry Potter; both the book and the movies. Naturally, at a bird hospital, they of course had OWLS! Owls everywhere! Of course, it was day-time so they weren’t all that active. But it was still amazing to see our everyday owls up close. Fortunately, the hospital knows better than to keep a Snowy Owl in North Carolina… It gets way too hot in the south for these guys.

After we were done with the trail at the Raptor Center we went to the Plaza Midwood area. We wanted to check out the Buffalo Exchange that’s in the area. I know thift stores hold some pretty great items that are just waiting to get picked up, but I get way too much anxiety when I don’t know what I’m going to find, or if I’m going to find anything…
So we sifted through a few things and then made our way over to Legion Brewing. Neither of us have been to a brewery before so we weren’t really sure what we were supposed to do. It turned out that Legion Brewing doesn’t actually do tours, but you can check out the brewery from above. We still got some beers and chilled out for a bit. I got a “Carolina Sparkle Party”, a Berliner Weisse, with strawberry & basil simple syrup and Elliot got their “First 52” Imperial Stout. I’m not huge on beer, but the Carolina Sparkle Party was a good start for me.

Here’s to hoping the weather is better tomorrow so we can make it into Asheville for the next two days! We plan to hang out in the area and camp for a night or so! Cheers, guys!

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