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Lynwood Park Zoo: Local attraction near Camp LeJuene

I recently found myself driving the several hundred mile trip to Camp LeJuene North Carolina to spend four and one half hours of liberty with my Marine son who was at the New River Air Base attending MCT at Camp Geiger.

Though I knew I was only going to get a few short hours with the boy, I arrived a day early and brought my two best cameras with me so that I could get some photography opportunities if any were to present themselves.  It turns out that it rained the whole way down, (except for when it snowed), and I got very few good shots even though I had driven through the Cumberland Gap, Bean Station, Tennessee, and Moravian Falls.

All that changed once I arrived at Jackonsville, NC though. It was here, while I was awaiting the opportunity to check into my hotel for the night, that I did a quick google search for local attractions. The very first listed attraction near me was the Lynnwood Park Zoo located at 1071 Wells Rd. in Jacksonville, NC, (phone number is: 910-938-5848).

This is a cash only zoo, but the price of admission is only ten bucks, so I took a chance and went. Boy am I glad I did. Not only do they have a very nice selection of animal exhibits, (which are photograph friendly), but about halfway through the exhibit, two handlers are there to give you a personal encounter with many of the more exotic and personal animals. I was allowed to handle and experience a variety of snakes, a tortoise, a very soft chicken, a blue tongue skink, and Rufus the hairless rat. I had a blast and got lots of extraordinary photographs to boot.

I can’t recommend this little private zoo highly enough, and if you are going to Camp LeJuene anytime soon, or just want to visit the Carolinas on a military surplus tent adventure with the family this year, make sure you put Lynwood Park Zoo on your agenda. I assure you that you’ll be glad you did.

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The Military Surplus Store, several reasons you need to shop there

The government warehouses are full of treasure and buying surplus military clothing and equipment is the way to mine it. Though the days of the battle ridden surplus of World War Two and Korea are gone, many can still recall the joy of sifting for hours through piles of olive drab. Treasures back then were different than they are today.  A long bayonet, canvas .45 holster, or a metal canteen – often replete with a bullet hole or two – could set both man and boy aglimmer with excitement at the prospect of a world at war. The bullet riddled items scarcely cost much more than the ones that could actually be used but they were always the first to be snatched up.  Old Colt .45’s and Tommy Guns with thirty round magazines could be found next to Springfield 1903’s and M1 Garand’s, all silent after having barked their destruction into the mass of an invading army. There was so much equipment left after WWII that the government had a rough time getting rid of it.

The world moved on and the rules have changed. You can’t buy old flamethrowers and weaponry as surplus anymore but that does not mean that there aren’t treasures galore to be had in the new piles of military surplus gear and equipment. Today’s market isn’t restricted to USA surplus either. European military surplus has been made available to the masses, as has Russian, German, and Israeli.  A trip to your local surplus store can reveal almost anything. Of course you buy camo pants and shirts, but did you know that you could possibly find a BPS, (military jargon for a big plastic shoppingcart)? Was your father or other family member in the armed forces during a conflict? Quite often you can find unit insignia and period surplus uniforms which match those that he, she, or they wore during their service.

There are many practical civilian uses for military surplus items. Old document cases and shoulder packs make excellent ipad cases. Modern day hunters who like to shoot primitive weapons such as black powder rifles will be well pleased with a military bread bag to use as a “possibles bag” for quick at hand shooting supplies. Two bread bags would be an ultimate for dove hunters, one to hold shells and the other to hold birds. Military surplus makes a great medium for artist and upcyclers as well. Consider upcycler Jake Wright who makes beautiful furniture from decommissioned, upcycled military surplus; while others find surplus gear and accessories useful as an artistic  medium for a memorial day war display.

No matter what your needs are you won’t find equipment and gear more rugged or well crafted

Than that used by the military.    You won’t find a better value for your money either, as some statistics show that military surplus usually sells at 1 – 2% of its commercial value.1 So if you are a hunter, outdoorsman, picker, artist, upcycler, war buff, or collector, make sure you check your local surplus store. You just might be surprised by what you find.

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