Duke University

Here is a breakdown of our day camping at Falls Lake Recreation Area on Tuesday, October 30:

7:30 a.m.

I got up and set the GoPro to take time lapse video by the lake.  I then took Charlie for a walk around the campground.  It was a little chilly - in the lower 40s.  The sunrise was beautiful!

We had a good breakfast of sausage, scrambled eggs with mushrooms and onions, and whole grain toast with grape jelly.

After Clinton and I both took showers in the RV, we got ready to explore Durham, NC.

We usually pack a picnic lunch to keep cost down but this day we decided to use the Cracker Barrel gift card someone had given us.

10:30 a.m.

We used our new favorite app, Gas Buddy, to find the cheapest diesel in Durham.  We would never have found this gas station just driving around.  It was 10 to 20 cents cheaper than any we had seen.

After doing a little research on Yelp and Trip Advisor, we decided to spend some time at the beautiful campus of Duke University.  I am so glad we did!

When we decided to go on this camping adventure, we knew our finances would be limited.  So we look for things to do that are either free or almost.  We have learned that visiting beautiful college campuses can be excellent choice.

Now I'm sure not very many college campuses are like Duke's!

We drove around looking for a parking spot.  That can be the challenging part on any college campus.  Thankfully I had read a review on Yelp that said to park at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, pay a small charge ($4 for two hours) and walk around from there.

We were blown away by the beauty of these gardens!  We've never been to a college campus with such an amazing place.  Unfortunately we didn't spend enough time in the gardens because we spent a lot of time at the chapel and the basketball court.

Here is one picture of me standing beside a bamboo grove!  It was huge!

By this time it had warmed up to the upper 60s and felt amazing to be walking around this amazing campus!

A short walk later, we found ourselves right in the middle of this busy college campus and looking straight at Duke University Chapel.  It took our breath away!

Inside was even more awe-inspiring!  We were able to walk right in (there wasn't a service going on).  There was a student there at a desk right inside the doors to answer any questions (like where is the basketball court lol!).

Enjoy these beautiful pictures!

You can see we pretty much had the place to ourselves.  And we were able to take pictures and video.

After the chapel, we walked through campus to the famous basketball arena.  The campus itself was beautiful.  I texted my sister that I felt like we were in Harry Potter world!

We made our way to the famed basketball court.  We stopped in at the sports apparel store right across from it and asked one of the students working there.  He said we could go in and that a gentlemen is usually there conducting tours.

It looks so small from the outside, we didn't know if we were at the right place.  We found an open door and went it to the foyer area.  We knew we were in the right place but there was no gentlemen.  So we made our way through another open door and before you knew it we were standing on the edge of the Duke Blue Devils' basketball court!

It is a small gym but you can just imagine the excitement and memories this place holds!

After visiting the gym, we walked next door to the Duke Sports Hall of Fame.  We wouldn't have known it was there if it wasn't for the friendly staff at the store.

It was a super cool place where you can look at all their sports related trophies, pictures, stories, etc.  We had never seen the national basketball trophies in person before.

We were the only ones there, except for a few athletes coming in for practice.  I guess they make them walk through the hall of fame each day to get inspired!

We then walked back through campus and through the garden to get back to our truck within the two hour window we had paid for.  You could stay longer but we were getting hungry!

1:30 p.m.

We ate a nice lunch at Cracker Barrel.

After lunch we stopped at a Panera to upload pictures and videos - Cracker Barrel doesn't offer free wifi.  

On our way back to the campground, we stopped at a grocery store we had never heard of - Harris Teeter.  We loved that store!  Prices seemed a little high but if offered so many healthy items.  

Clinton snapped some awesome pictures of the lake near our campsite like this one.

5:30 p.m.

We ended up driving back into the outskirts of Durham to pick up a couple more items (including a pizza lol) and found ourselves waiting in a long line of traffic due to an accident and then on the wrong road to a different part of this huge recreational area.

8:00 p.m.

Eventually we made it back to our campsite and enjoyed a quiet evening eating pizza, watching TV and trying to slowly work on this blog!

Here's the breakdown of our cost today:

Lessons we learned today:

  • Visit college campuses - they are beautiful and free!
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions - that's how we found the basketball court and hall of fame.
  • Don't always trust your GPS - look at the whole route first before taking off!
Visit our Youtube channel to watch highlights from today:

Wednesday we plan to visit Raleigh and the check out the capitol building!

Stay happy Campers!



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