Edenton's Hidden Gem: Edenton Bay Running Club--Run Edenton!
Experience 1700 mansions, the old Cotton Mill house, narrow roads, the famous Penelope Barker House, colonial homes, and cannons peppering your peripheral view as your sneakers smack pavement through downtown Edenton, North Carolina. For locals and visitors alike, an extraordinary run, no less.
As six-thirty on a Tuesday nears, you'll begin to see wick-away-attire, bare legs, and sneakered feet gathering either in front of or inside the Edenton Bay Trading Company which is located downtown at 407 Broad Street. With its unique finds, premium wines and craft beers there is also a courtyard in the back where everyone gathers after.
It's a group that meets for exercise, food, beverage and idle chit-chat. Something all need post covid-19, I am sure. You'll find runners, walkers, bikers (yep, not just runners) from five years to fifty-plus with careers from teachers to IT techies to authors among this Edenton Bay Running Club. So all are encouraged to join.
The entire competitive nature of this crew can be fit into a pinky; a stunning quality that rings loud, like the trumpet sound after a battle won. And should you fall behind amidst this run? Have no fear someone will swing back and scoop ya up, so going it alone just doesn't happen. Their soldiers' camaraderie is just that rich.
A three mile run begins slowly as sneaker bottoms meet with brick sidewalk along Broad street. Soon Edenton bay waters run alongside after taking a left onto Water street. Not far are a succession of cannons; their aim out among the bay. Water street curves around then a right onto E. King street. The Queen Anne Creek Walkway sign comes into view. Then they pass the old Edenton Cotton Mill, which now houses condominiums.
Trekking onward another right is taken onto McMullan avenue all following like soldiers within a squad as seventeen, eighteen hundred colonial homes slip by. The group spans easily across these old narrow roads. They all take yet another right onto Church Street (route 32) trotting along for a short bit soon to head into Village Creek. Its shade shields them from summer's sweltering evening sun. The group emerges moments later (well maybe a little longer than that), to begin back, a left onto Church street, left onto McMillan avenue, left back onto E. King street.
Not far on E. King street sits the historic 1767 court house, still in use today. They repass the Old Edenton Cotton Mill House and follow the curve back around to Water street. Minutes later cannons and the Edenton bay are alongside once again.
When they come back to the corner of Water and Broad street some go right returning to the start, while others go left continuing on a bit longer. The first to return to the Edenton Bay Trading Company gather in the courtyard with its tropical foliage, brick fish bowl and begin the camaraderie of food, drink and chit-chat.
The other group that continues on, passes a garden, an historic statue and yet another cannon amidst the center of Broad street's south end, and the Penelope Barker house as well, where the first women's political action took place in western culture. How was it for these gals in 1774?
Seconds later feet hit the wood of the bay boardwalk taking them out further over the Battleship bay waters. Ancient winds from days long gone skirt over sweaty skin and soaked wick-a-way attire. Glaring yellow paints the sky as the setting sun blinds til dock's end is reached before turning around. Dusk hints at the battles lost in its waters. The eerie vibration of soldiers buried a few centuries since past piggyback the run's finish, lingering.
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