Friday, July 24, 2015

Mapping Oriental: the Bridge

"The Bridge" is a focal point of Oriental life. It looms high over the water. Where the Neuse River curves left and heads to New Bern, Smith Creek cuts off to the right and divides into three creeks: Smith, Kershaw, and Greens.
In the photo above, you can clearly see the three fingers sticking into the northwest from the big water. You can see the white line of bridge cutting across the neck of the creeks like a choker.

The span of bridge, as seen from the Wildlife Ramp on Smith Creek, at the end of Midyette St.
Here's a better close-up map of the village and its waters:
In the new Dog Days of Oriental story, the ketch rests in the shelter of that breakwater, a thin strip of rock that juts into the joint of the Neuse and Smith Creek, offering a nice anchorage at the opening of Raccoon Creek.
Here's the anchorage. The sailboat at anchor sits in front of the rocky breakwater. This is the dinghy dock where Muffin and her lady sat to rest after disembarking from the ketch. The big bridge is out of sight, to the right.
Shrimpers pull nets at twilight just southeast of the bridge. 
They're not allowed to net for shrimp on the other side of the bridge in the creeks, although they can drop crab pots there and gather them.
Gaggles of seagulls follow the small shrimp boats and harass the fishermen.
The shot below, taken just before the fireworks show on July 4th, shows the bridge as viewed from Greens Creek.
The bridge pilings dwarf the tiny shrimp boats.
From the Wildlife Ramp, looking out into the Neuse:
This "earth view" map gives you a more accurate idea of what I mean by the Wildlife Ramp and its three docks. You see the bridge. You see the white parking lot area straight north from the bridge,in the photo's center. Two docks jut west from the parking lot, and one sticks southwest into the water, parallel with the bridge. That's a favorite spot for photographing the bridge, and was where I was standing for the photograph above.
On this map you also see Raccoon Creek, which feeds straight into the heart of the village -- town dock and the Bean. Hodges Street cuts across it. The breakwater is evident. The three L-shaped docks of the Oriental Harbor Marina are in the center. You can even see the dinghy dock, sticking out at the end of Water Street. The only glaring inaccuracy I note is that the Catholic Church, St. Peter the Fisherman, is NOT located at the Wildlife Ramp! Why Google Maps chose to locate it there is a mystery to me!

at the foot of the bridge, near the Wildlife Ramp
viewing the Wildlife Ramp area, looking back up Smith Creek on the left.
I'm standing on the single floating dock. 
the junction of Smith and Kershaw Creeks, viewed from the Wildlife Ramp
the pair of floating docks at theWildlife Ramp, looking at Smith Creek.
The little fishing boat was probably picking up crab pots or looking for flounder.
Perhaps this quick tour with the bridge as a focal point has helped you understand Oriental better. If you read my dog stories, now you can follow the pups as they walk around the docks, the park, and Water and Hodges Streets.


  1. Great photos! I like the different angles on the bridge. X

  2. Wow, beautiful images of the water.

  3. Your creeks look more like rivers to me! :) Now, I'm getting confused about something. I need a Google view from further out in space, I think. I'm wondering just what the Neuse River IS. I would have thought that east of the bridge was the Atlantic Ocean. Is there land between you and the ocean? Dumb question? :)

  4. Oh, I see! I love Google maps! The Neuse really does dwarf the little creeks. And there is quite a bit of land between you and the Atlantic. Still learning in my old age. ;)

  5. Wow, this is really neat seeing how your little village is on the map. Thanks for sharing.

    Have a nice weekend ~ FlowerLady

  6. You do live in a very lovely area. I like visiting the ocean but I couldn't live near it because of my asthma. - Great photos of the bridge.


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