Eagles Island Camp- Wilmington, N.C. 1986


 Walking over the old Cape Fear River bridge, I dreamt of beginning a new life. I realized that I could change things if I wanted to. This camp was home from fall, 1986, until that spring. It was a wonderful time! The air was rich with the scent of Cyprus needles and river mud. Pelicans and alligators abounded in the marshes. Plum trees formed dense thickets on the sandy high grounds. Flounder, eels, croaker, rays, catfish, clams, and an occasional shark lurked in the dark waters. With minimal fishing and camping gear, food was never a problem. I collected water using a plastic tarp suspended over a pot of boiling river water. Time passed slow. Survival and quietude became great sources of pleasure. There was no need for hard work. All I had to do was what needed to be done right now. Interesting surprises gifted me daily. In the mud, I found an old, slightly damaged baby bath tub. Cleaning it in the river, then letting it dry in the sun, it became my wash basin. The ground yielded interesting curios such as old bullets, stainless steel cookware, shipyard debris, etc. Everything gave me something to think about. If it were not for the mosquitoes of spring, who knows how long I would have stayed? Eagles Island was, and still is one of the most beautiful places I’ve experienced.