So far I’d had an interesting, completely random morning of exploration. I’d visited Buffalo and met some nice folks. I got the opportunity to tour a historic building – was actually pulled into it. It wasn’t the last time I’d get pulled into something this day. I still had lots to see and do.
It was one of those days. I had so many projects at home that needed attention. However, Tuesday was the one day this week I didn’t have an appointment of some kind. I wanted to get out of the house and do some photography and exploration. However, I had run out of ideas. Was there some place new in the Upstate I could explore? Some place I hadn’t already visited and photographed many times? I kind of left things to chance, and I’m glad I did. I was literally pulled into some new explorations of Union County.
This past Saturday Laura and I joined the Upstate Minis for their annual History/Mystery Tour. In the past the group has visited the Georgia Guidestones and other historic locations in South Carolina. This year the tour took on an X-Files theme, with a visit up to the Pisgah Astronomy Research Institute, aka PARI, in Rosman, North Carolina. This was our first time on the History/Mystery Tour, and despite bad weather, we had a blast.
Laura was away for a faculty retreat at Furman. I decided I would check out a couple of new spots for breakfast. I hit two home runs, first with Bika’s Drive-In on Wade Hampton on Wednesday, then again with O. J.’s Diner on Pendleton Street on Thursday. I had two great breakfasts on two consecutive days.
Jocassee can be many things. Beginning paddlers can hang close to the bank and still get to some cool geological features and small waterfalls. Intermediate paddlers and venture further up to Wright Creek Falls and the Thompson River and Whitewater River areas. Experienced paddlers can take longer trips across open water to the Horsepasture and Toxaway arms of the lake. Regardless of the route taken, conditions on the lake can change in an instance, turning a leisurely paddle into a real challenge. That was really born out on my most recent trip to the lake.
I was driving on Wade Hampton when I made a sad discovery. Shinola Antiques has closed. There was a real estate sign on the building and a huge dumpster out front.
Lately I’ve been hit with a deluge of old family photos. There are the Wright Family photos we found out on Samish Island. We shipped eleven boxes of albums and photos back to the east coast. Then there are the Taylor Family photos – thirteen organized and labeled albums. Throw in all of the photos I’ve taken in pre-digital days, and the number of images is astounding. I would really like to convert all of these to some sort of a digital format, but it is a mountain of a task. For the past several days I’ve been working on workflow and equipment to make the job go as smoothly as possible. Here’s what I’ve learned…
I’m enjoying my last leisurely morning coffee in the cool air of Samish Island. It’s been a great, relaxing two weeks, but this evening we board a red eye at SeaTac to return to the heat and humidity of South Carolina. With limited Internet on the island, I haven’t done many posts, but I thought I’d recap a few things from the past two weeks that didn’t fit into one of our epic excursions.
The Hole-in-the-Wall is notorious among sailors. It’s a narrow opening between two cliffs that separates the Swinomish Channel from Skagit Bay. The currents can be strong and tricky, the wind howls between the rock faces, and the tides can be extreme. Add to that an old rock breakwater with its own tricky hole-in-the-wall and siltation from the Skagit River, and you get a recipe for a paddling trip not lightly attempted. Yet, that’s just what I did, and I had a blast doing it.