Sunday, September 06, 2009

Weekend Perambulations/Photos 2

Here with the crop of photos from this weekend's travels around the Carolinas.

We started with a trip to Landsford Canal State Park, in South Carolina.

We weren't aware that wolverines are a menace to South Carolinians:

After incurring Sara's wrath over a buxom, too-friendly waitress at the Ryan's Family Steakhouse in Lancaster, SC, I knew it was probably asking too much to be allowed to go into this establishment:

Here's a sign near the visitor's center. The canal was dug to bypass shoals in the Catawba River in colonial times:

Here's a view upriver:

And downriver:

Here is an indian (casino variety) carved from a log:

The indian was on the porch of the visitor's center, housed in a log cabin. The cabin has been fitted with central a/c and heat for the park staff. Sitting on the porch in wooden rocking chairs, I only lacked a rifle across my knees to fulfill my retirement fantasy of living in a log cabin:

After leaving the park, we headed south in the general direction of Columbia, South Carolina. There was one long stretch where you leave the Piedmont and enter the Sand Hill country, the road there is straight and hilly, and looks as if it needs to have the wrinkles pulled out by a friendly giant. Along this road, we had a close call when a fawn deer (Bambi, we dubbed him) nearly stepped out onto the road in front of us.

We discovered the ultimate small southern town: Ridgeway, South Carolina. It's probably even more rustic and more full of charm than the fictional Mayberry; here's the current police station (sorry for the slant, I was holding the camera crooked):

It replaced the old police station, which was slightly smaller. I guess that unruly citizens of Ridgeway were handcuffed to the iron benches:

And here's a view down the charming main street:

On the return journey north we passed through Cheraw, SC, which we discovered was the birthplace of the late jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie:

Today was Sunday, and we decided to visit a couple of parks west of Charlotte, Crowder's Mountain State Park and King's Mountain National Military Park/State Park. We didn't get any photos at Crowder's, but found a few at King's Mountain. Near the eastern entrance we found The Bear's Den, no doubt a center for the study of southern heritage:

Across from the Bear's Den, inside the park, was a serpentine fence:

Here's the sign for the National Military Park. An important Revolutionary War battle took place here, and it was in fact the turning point of the war toward the Patriots:

After leaving the park, we stopped by Belmont Abbey College, a Catholic institution in Belmont, North Carolina. The campus is dominated by the cathedral, with its statue of St. Benedict out front:

Sitting in the darkened cathedral (light only from the gorgeous stained-glass windows) was soothing, and I took no pictures out of respect for my former Catholic faith. In the entry (can't recall the architectural word) is a large granite stone that once served as a block for displaying slaves for sale; it is now used as a baptismal font. We walked around the grounds for a bit, and sat in a small flower garden for a bit, with Saint Francis for company:

And so to home. Weather over the weekend was wonderful, we're hoping for the same for next weekend, when we have a beach trip planned.

No comments: