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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Abbeville and Home



29,642   8:47 AM   49° F

Waking up at Calhoun Falls State Park we peeked out the window to find fog on the water.
 Campsite from our little beach.
The beach has enough room to pull up a small boat.
Lake Calhoun beckoned, but we didn't bring a boat, so we decided to head for home.
29,663   10:28 AM   61°F

The small town of Abbeville, South Carolina was a fun place to stop and look for a mid-morning snack.

The Belmont Inn (1903) provided a place to stay for touring theatre companies performing at the Opera House.  Restored in 1984, it continues as a hotel today.
The historic Opera House also serves as the town municipal building.
There is plenty of easy parking behind the Livery Stable. The old stable is now an event space.
29,682   11:50 AM   66°F

Passing through Hodges, SC we noticed a sign indicating a turn to Park Seed Gardens.  Beth, being the plant person in the family, was excited about seeing the gardens of this large mail-order seed company, so we followed the signs.  November is not the time to visit. The garden didn't have much growing and a sign on the door asked visitors to not disturb the workers. The place was a major disappointment, but it wasn't far off our intended path, so no big deal.

29,967   5:33 PM   54°F
We're home in North Carolina amidst a flurry of falling leaves. This completed our southeast loop of 3,622 miles over the course of four weeks and a day.

If you're interested in the whole trip, click here to start at the beginning, then click the "Newer Post" arrow to step through the twenty-four posts.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Augusta Waterways

29,509   6:29AM   38°F   Magnolia Springs State Park
29,552   9:54AM   51°F   Augusta Canal National Heritage Area

We arrived just in time to join a canal boat full of youngsters for a narrated tour of the Augusta Canal. The kids were very well behaved, asking good questions that made the hour-long trip more enjoyable.

A few old cotton mills still stand.
Turtles, birds, and otters live in and along the canal. Using electric motors, the quiet canal boat doesn't disturb the wildlife.

In the Canal Museum, cotton looms are displayed, warped as they would have been for weaving cloth.
The generator is still in operation converting water falling from the canal to electric power.
Huge steam boilers remain a testament to the coal burning power used before hydro-electric.


29,544   1:00 PM
Augusta Museum of History and Visitor's Center

Leaving the Canal Discovery Center, we proceeded downtown to see the Savannah River and the levee that protects downtown.

The museum wasn't open today, but the visitor's center staff provided advice and a free walking tour map.

 Stripes on the levee represent flood levels. The topmost stripe is inscribed with "1929 - 149 feet"
While downtown looks active, not all the storefronts are filled. This closed camera shop still sports a broken reminder of my career in silver halide based photography.
A statue of Augusta's native son and Godfather of Soul, James Brown, stands in the median of the main street.
Architectural details abound on the downtown buildings.


 
29,564   1:22 PM   65°   Martinez, GA
The Augusta Canal obtains is fed from the river at Savannah Rapids Park.
Perched on a hill, the Pavilion deck offers a great view of the river below.
It isn't always easy to get both of us in a picture without resorting to selfies.
 Three picnic pavilions sit not the hillside.

The falls and rapids block the river to navigation.
The dam and lock provide access to the placid waters of the canal.

The trail back to the parking lot followed a stream with several waterfalls.
The very hilly bicycle trails offer something we hadn't seen before, a public maintenance stand including an air pump and tethered tools.

This free park is a wonderful place to stop if you are traveling near Augusta.
29,642   5:00 PM   60° F
Lake Russell, South Carolina

We ended the day in a pull-through waterfront campsite at Calhoun Falls State Park.  Site 28 even has a little private beach.  At $25 per night, we want to return with our sailing kayak.

Sunset behind the trees and a panorama of our little piece of paradise.

Monday, November 14, 2016

St. Simons, Sailors, Fire, and Magnolia Springs

29,028 miles  9:45 AM  73°F   Leave Sun-N-Fun
29,334 miles  4:34 PM   64°F  Arrive Coastal RV Park

The drive from Sarasota, FL to Brunswick, GA was uneventful. We joined the Good Sam RV Club through a special offer that includes a one night $25 rebate, so we decided to use it at the Coastal RV Resort. At $39.69 a night, it is designed for big rigs with full hookups and pull through, paved sites. Despite being sandwiched between the freeway and an airport, there was very little noise. The facilities are modern, convenient, and clean. We could have easily fit another camper, or two, in our site.




29,334  10:05AM   55°F  Leave Coastal RV Park
29,352  11:10AM   55°F  Arrive St. Simons Park

The city park in St. Simons Island has a perfect back-in parking spot for us within view of the lighthouse.

The St. Simons lighthouse has been in continuous operation since 1872, when it replaced a lighthouse destroyed in the Civil War.
The light keeper's home is part of a museum on the grounds.
The waterfront walkway showed signs of recent flooding. Stairways lead to a beach where we wouldn't recommend swimming due to the strong tidal currents.
 Old oaks grace the town park along the waterfront.
Only a few fisherman were out on the town pier. Proximity to shops and restraints probably make this a very popular area during tourist season.
While in St. Simons, we caught up with fellow Pleasure-Way owners Jack and Linda. We felt privileged to tour Silver Girl, their brand-new Catalina sailboat. It was great fun peeking into the numerous nooks and crannies to discover perfectly clean and neatly installed systems. We wish them many years of adventures in their beautiful floating home. If you want to follow along, their blog is at https://silvergirl2.wordpress.com.
29,450   4:05 PM   Claxton, GA
We stopped for 18 minutes while fire crews extinguished a car fire on the opposite side of the road.  The flames raged with thick black smoke for at least ten minutes.
Firefighters put out the fire and cleaned up the road before allowing traffic to resume. We were impressed with how quickly they had the highway safely ready to reopen.
It appeared that everyone got out okay, but the car was a total loss.


29,505   5:32 PM   57°
Magnolia Springs State Park

Paddle boats and kayaks were available to rent. I'd go for the aluminum paddle boats as they had higher freeboard and were tied to the "Alligators Present" sign.
Cool air meeting warm water formed mist on the pond.
This has to be one of the nicest campground restrooms I've found. The campground hosts even put flowers on the sinks!
Site 14 was $30 plus a $5 park entry fee. No immediate neighbors made for a quiet evening.

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