With the Umstead 100 fast approaching, I have been thinking about my relationship with the park and race so I thought I might give you a little history.
My first encounter with William B.Umstead State Park would have probably been in 1963 or 1964. My family had moved to Wake County over the Christmas holidays just after my 8th birthday and I was soon involved in Cub Scout and church activities and I have vague memories of picnics and gatherings in the following years. There may have been trips just with the family but it is hard to remember much from nearly 50 years ago now. I do remember playing in the creek down the hill from the main picnic area where the Sycamore Trail crosses on a bridge now.
In those days it was a long drive through the country to get there from Garner and other than the airport, which was much smaller then, there was no development on either side of the park so it seemed very remote.
When I was in high school I know I made a few trips out into the woods there and in probably 1972 or 73 I took a date there and we rented a rowboat and paddled around Big Lake. I've got some old photos from that day and if I can find them I'll see if I can scan them in the computer and post them.