Sunday, June 28, 2015

Carl Sandburg & Reedy Branch Falls

This post will wrap up my recent trip its always good to have these self published memories to graze through when our memory fades In fact I needed to recall some info from last years travel and I looked it up on my blog GOSH what will we do if Blogger should ever close? I always try to tag my post as this is 'my diary"

We headed to Greenville but along the way I wanted to see the Carl Sandburg House. To be honest I had never really know that much about Carl Sandburg...or his works. He was from Illinois and his first claim to fame was his biographies about Abe Lincoln, he was known as a poet of the people and he also was a folk singer.  

web photo

 I swear he reminds me of John Denver in this photo!! Or Maybe Denver fashioned his look after Sandburg? He purchased this 248 acre estate, Connemara,  in 1945 for $45,000!  His wife established an award winning herd of goats she called Chickaming after her home town! Sandburg won a Pulitzer in 1951 for his poetry,  was named International  Poet Laureate 1963, and passed here at this estate in Flat Rock NC in 1967.  


Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo.
Shovel them under and let me work—
                                          I am the grass; I cover all.

And pile them high at Gettysburg
And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.
Shovel them under and let me work.
Two years, ten years, and passengers ask the conductor:
                                          What place is this?
                                          Where are we now?

                                          I am the grass.
                                          Let me work

The estate is quiet lush and green it has several ponds and many types of plants and trees.  Sandburg was know to enjoy sitting near these fields and ponds to do his writings..

The house is typical Southern Mansion style built of wood  and stone, with 3 stories.  We did not take the tour since Casey had to stay in the van, we limited our time on the campus to 20 mins...Once again I had windows open and fans on for him..I don't have to see every detail of a place to enjoy it...we walked up the steep path and enjoyed the grounds and the gift shop in the basement level and that was enough for me.  While in the gift shop I got my N.P. Passport cancellation stamped and picked up the 2015 release of stamp sets! 

the house is going to undergo a restoration and all the furnishings and the library collection  of more  than 16,000 books will be packed up and held for  safe keeping off site while the work is done..

It was an interesting place to visit run by the National Parks Service...
It was about a 2 hr ride to my sisters home where we had a great pizza dinner and played 2 games of Sorry I won the first game and finished last in the second;o/ On Saturday we planned a picnic and water fall hike...

Well it wasnt really much of a hike only 600 ft.  Due to threatening storms I changed up the venue from the planned 2 hr hike to Opossum Creek Falls,  to this falls just off Long Creek ...Reedy Branch Oconee Co. SC


a 30 ft falls in a very pretty setting...

Because of the  system of "reserving"and having to pay for all the sheltered picnic tables (WHICH Is stupid..what about handicapped access to covered tables)...we had set up in a covered table, and were told by State Park staff it was reserved and we had to leave so by the time we found another spot, got mom out to it which took 2 of us, and set up the storm was upon us!
Thank you unkind staff of LAKE HARTWELL S.P. ;o(

The shelter DID NOT have a reserved sing on it and that was our second attempt at finding a handicapped access picnic table under shelter! We should have done the picnic first because right after I took this photo below the bottom fell out we all got soaked to the skin the wind blew the lightening struck the thunder boomed it came up so FAST  our plates of sandwiches blew away in the wind!! LOL Im sure if we had returned to the falls after the storm it would have had twice the flow as it did up there!!  We were drenched!! 

L-R Mom, My Friend Cyndi, and in red my Sister Marsha. 

Mom said "I told you we could have a picnic right at home"...
Later on we ended up eating our picnic at home...
and another game of Sorry I finished 2nd. 
I've been back home a week now and can't wait for my next adventure...meanwhile this week I've been back on the bathroom work! 

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Black Mountain Camp

I hope to get my last weeks trip all blogged out...I have one more after this
I didnt have good internet when I traveled and it was just too hot to worry with it so Im trying to blog from memory-its sketchy!

cooler tempts 

SO we left the OBX and took a motel for the night enjoyed a late night swim, then in the morning I made a few calls to check on campgrounds in the Pisgah Forest area of NC where it was cool, literally we were so happy to have the lower no humidity air! Called Mt. Mitchell State Park they were full, with only 9 sites I figured as much, but they gave me a tip so we drove west into the highlands of NC.

Many wild flowers were in bloom we were stopping and snapping through the van window...

Flame Azalea 

                                                                                     Firey Pink   

                                                                                 Oxeye Daisy

Trumpet Honeysuckle

White Yarrow 

The steep windy hairpin road hwy 80,  brought us right alongside Lake Tohoma, a very picturesque lake with some McMansions around it...this is called the Casino, its a private members only rec center...

When the road turned to gravel we followed along the South Toe River to the Black Mountain CG! 

We got a nice spot by the bathhouse--we took this site so we had only one neighbor...SO cool we actually had a fire in our fire ring that evening and watched the movie "SKINS" on my 7 inch rechargable DVD player! 

Casey Approved, not panting, 

We set up the tent for my friend and the site had a nice separation from our neighbors..
You can't see it but there is a Roadtek right on the other side of those trees...I highly recommend this campground and I reviewed it on Campendium which I recommend as a great tool for finding camp spots. 

Nearby is Mt. Mitchell the highest peak east of the Mississippi we went up and checked that out..not my first time up here but the weather was nice it can sock in real fast as the clouds move in and out...there is a summit hike of just over 6 miles one way and you can start that hike right here in the this is a great base camp for doing that.


there is some amazing views up there...  Unfortunately this little black weevil is killing the fir and spruce trees! 

                                                  new plantings, the beetle kills only old growth

                   Very unfortunate...WE were covered in the little blighters as we walked around..

its such a shame as the tress are so beautiful..

 Blue Ridge Mtns, 

the views from the platform at top are awesome...

beetle damage

... slept snuggled up in our sleeping bags that night the temps were in the low 60's...
We spent one night then broke camp to head to my sisters house to spend the weekend and pick up Mom and the Girls!
We made a stop along the way and that's up next..

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

First in Flight...

more on the trip to the coast of NC and the Outer Banks....
we broke camp on Thursday morning and we drove up to the north end of the OXB.

Our plan included a stop at the Wright Brothers Memorial and Museum near Kitty Hawk..


There is a huge Monolithic's really huge!  One side has this wing pattern on it and the other side 

has the names..


and a replica of the plane ...

Inside all sorts of cool facts n stuff..

Like this wind tunnel they used to test the effects of wind on the plane design.
I got my passport stamp here and on we went...up to 

Nope Im not gonna pay to make my heart race..

I like this little cistern building off the side of the house..what a great idea!  People take notice!  I know its illegal to catch rainwater in some areas but if it ain't we should do it! 

We had hopes to see some of the wild horses up around Corolla  but turns out its 4 wheels drives only or pay $50 for a "safari" type tour...passed on that you can help rescue a poor slaughter bound horse for that...
So we did have a nice dinner then headed back to the mainland we took a motel for that night and turned out they had a sweet heated pool so at 9 pm we were dog paddling!! 

My Impressions of the Outer Banks: 
TOO Commercialized! 

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.