I’ve been doing research and exploring the French Broad River, so when the Western North Carolina Kayaking Meetup announced a trip on the river, I knew I had to sign up. The trip wasn’t on any part of the river covered by the Mountain Lily story, so I’m not calling this “Part 3.” The timing was convenient, though, and it did give me a feel for traveling on the river.
My latest historical obsession has been the Mountain Lily, a steamboat that plied the waters of the French Broad River between Brevard and Hendersonville. I’d been able to dig up a bit of information about the boat, but now it was time for a photo trek to see what evidence and remnants remained of the ill-fated boat.
While browsing through the mountain of posts on Reddit I came across a link on the Asheville Subreddit about the “Mountain Lily”, a river boat that once plied the French Broad River between Brevard and Asheville in the 1880s. This was the first time I’d heard of the boat and I wanted to know more about it. That brief post launched me into my first RandomConnections obsessive trek since I got back from Washington. That obsession would involve research, a photo trek, and a river paddling trip. First though, some background about the ill-fated riverboat billed as the “Highest Steamboat in America.”
I’m still seeking out groups similar to those with which I played in Washington. I’m still scouring the pages of Facebook and Meetup.com for ideas and I have had some success. Last week I played with two different Celtic gigs. This week it was pop standards, mountain music, and an abortive attempt at ukuleles.
I left a rich musical environment in the Pacific Northwest, wondering if I could find something analogous back home. All I’d been able to find before I left for Washington were song circles like the Pickens Flea Market, featuring old country and gospel, or bluegrass at the Oolenoy School. That’s OK in small doses, but not really what I was after.
When I got back to SC I started searching for music groups that might work and I found several events of interest. This week I tried out two different Irish music sessions – one at Ftizpatrick’s Pub in Greenville and one at The Stomping Grounds in Greer.
We made it back to South Carolina in time for me to join my Lowcountry Unfiltered friends on their Second Saturday paddling trip. In Washington when we were packing for the return trip I made sure that the gear I’d need would be available for this trek, so when the time came I was ready. For this trip we would be paddling out to the Morris Island Lighthouse in the Charleston Harbor.
I’d only been away a year and I grew up here, but I was still suffering from culture shock. I’d gotten used to certain things in the Pacific Northwest and found some things (mostly behaviors) either odd or downright irritating. I decided what I needed was a full cultural immersion, so on Wednesday morning I headed to the Pickens Flea Market.