Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day Ride

Since we don't have little kids around any more, Christmas morning is not the time for present opening.  Instead, and before my wife arises, I have a chance to get out for a little ride! 

It is mid-40s in temperature and misting when I start out, but I persevere, and ride easy roads to the south of home.  I go to Williamston, as I did a couple of Christmases ago to see whether their Christmas display in Mineral Springs Park is up this year.  It is.

This one was constructed by the Anderson SC Career Center Construction Technology students.  A little village of houses and a church. 

This one is by the Christian Motorcyclists Association Springwater Disciples.  It shows the real meaning of the Christmas holiday

This one does too -- the birth of Jesus Christ, who, if you believe he is the Son of God, can get you into heaven later on.   

Christ later died on a cross so that can happen.  He is a solid rock to stand on. 

Have a Merry Christmas. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Gritty Trip to Timms Mill

Last weekend, I took a little trip to a gritty place. 

Actually, if you are a southerner, or a southerner at heart, this would be viewed as a good thing.  You see, I visited a gristmill that grinds corn into corn meal and grits.

It is one of many that once existed all across the country.  Apparently, they used to be only a few miles apart, so farmers could take their grain there to be ground and bring back the meal in a reasonable period of time.  Remember that the roads were poor and horses provided the motive power. 

I visited Timms Mill on Six and Twenty Creek near Pendleton South Carolina.  Mr. Isaac Timms first built a mill on another site on the same river in 1784. The current one is its third location, the other two having been washed away in floods.  This one is pretty old though, built in 1898 (not by the original Mr. Timms, however!).  This mill was in continuous use until 1960, and now since the 2004 renovation, the fourteen-foot overshot waterwheel is once again turning to power the stones in the mill.

In 2001, David and Lisa Wortham bought the run-down gristmill with some surrounding property.  You might think that farm folks would become the owners of a place like this.  David, however, is a doctor, a gastroenterologist to be exact.  That means he checks out places you usually don't see, from the top and from the bottom, if you get my drift*.

The good doctor saw that the mill was in pretty bad condition, and the waterwheel was mired in mud, but he decided to restore the mill rather than tear it down.  It took a lot of restoration.  In fact, much of the structure has been replaced, so this was not a trivial project.  A before picture:

Copyright ©2012 Timms Mill

Since the restoration, they have been grinding fresh grits and cornmeal for local (or not so local) restaurants and produce stands.

A little education is in order here:  Grits and corn meal are the same thing except for the particle size that results during grinding.  Grits are coarsely ground while cornmeal is very finely ground, like flour.  You separate out the coarse from the fine afterward using a rotary screen separator. 

Every first Saturday of December they have an open house. It was to start at 1:00 PM, but I got there at 10:30 AM.  As it happened, I rode up and was greeted by a gentleman whose name is Carl.  He is the father-in-law of the owner.  He gave me a personal tour, and we had a far-ranging conversation over the next hour or so.

Now, I judged Carl to be about 60 years old, but found out very soon that he is two decades older than that.  Carl has been a business owner most his life, and comes out each year to help with the open house at the mill.  His children and in-laws, and a gaggle of well-behaved grand kids were busy everywhere, preparing for the crowds about to descend on the mill this day.

Carl is on the left in this view, but the other two men are the ones who operate the mill when it is working.
The number two mill operator made it very clear that he got a cut of the lead man's pay.  By the way, the lead man's miller wage is a big goose egg -- and so is his helper's.  They are successful businessmen who do this out of love for the mill, for the joy of showing people how it works, and explaining its importance to the community it served.  All were good-natured and jovial. 

Here is a photo of the mill as it looks now.
The wooden mill race is on the left, bringing water to the wheel.

This is a view from the wheel side of the mill.  The race enters at the top of the wheel from the right in the picture:

Note that the axis of the wheel is not perpendicular to the mill building's wall.  A wide leather belt in the building's basement (I was given a tour of that area, too.) drives other line shafts, and twists enough so that the driven equipment can be placed square in the building.

That wheel is the one that is fourteen feet in diameter, and it has been restored by its original maker.  There is a large segmented gear on the wheel that mates with a smaller gear on the shaft that enters the basement of the mill to drive all of the equipment by way of the line shafts and flat belts.

This picture gives a glimpse of the gears behind these kiddies:

Copyright ©2012 Timms Mill

The iron gears were worn and had to be replaced, so Dr. Wortham had wooden patterns made so new ones could be cast.

This is the horizontal mill inside the building.  The circular stones sit one atop the other. 

There are also two vertical mills that operate at higher speed and grind more per hour.  Here is one of them:

...and there is a rotary separator in another corner to segregate the meal from the grits.

You might have tasted the cornmeal and grits ground here, because you can buy them in many shops, and a few upscale restaurants serve them as well.  Two of the latter are High Cotton in Greenville, SC and Slightly North of Broad in Charleston. There is a complete list on the mill website.  They also have there a recipe for Shrimp and Grits, a low country South Carolina favorite dish.  It combines the grits and shrimp with cheese, bacon, green onions, with some hot sauce mixed in.  Tasty. 

I didn't stay for the official start of the festivities, but they were cooking up large pots of grits, and had apple cider ready to serve.  Free!

There was to be Bluegrass music by the group Tugalo Holler, and horseback rides along the river, downstream of the mill.  An original Ely Whitney cotton gin was brought in on a trailer for a ginning demonstration.

It is powered my a hit-and-miss gasoline engine, although it could just as well have been powered by the water wheel.  The soft cotton after ginning was to be used by the kiddies later to jump and play in.

Nearby is a corn shucker, also powered by this hit-and-miss engine:

Carl took me into the modern house above the mill to show me some restored gasoline pumps.  One of his businesses was gasoline distribution, so these pumps are very familiar to him.  It was while in the house that I spotted the vats of cooking grits to be fed to the crowds later in the day.

As I said, he gave me a very complete tour. 

Dr. Wortham also owns a sawmill nearby.  I didn't visit it on the day I was there, but I am told it is also worthwhile seeing. 

Oh, by the way, the road that the mill sits on is a little twisty and hilly.  It makes for a short segment of a good winter route.  I'll have to work on mapping the rest of one. The mill is at Pushpin B on the map. 

View Larger Map

The regular hours you can go to the mill are Wednesdays, 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM, and Saturdays, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.  You will be able to buy what you want during those times, but the mill may not be open and operating.  If you want to see it in operation, then call ahead and arrange a time to visit.

150 Timms Mill Road
Pendleton, SC 29670

There are a dozen or so picnic tables and a few benches next to the mill so you can bring your picnic lunch and enjoy the scenery while you eat it.

For me, it was an enjoyable day out on a warm fall afternoon, with good conversation, and friendly people.  

*    Colonoscopy, Endoscopy, Esophagoscopy, Esophagogastroduodenoscopy, Electrogastrogram, Barium Enema, Colostomy, etc. if you must know.  

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Hot Head

From the title of this posting, you might think this is a tome about road rage. 

It isn't.

Instead, it is about a way to get a good warm start on a cold day.

Recall that I ride year around here in South Carolina, so I need to keep warm as I sally forth on my cool-season adventures. 

It dawned on me the other day when the outside temperature was hovering at the freezing mark, and I had not brought my helmet in from the garage to warm it up the evening before, to heat it up some before donning. 

My solution:

High tech, huh?

I found that the heat from the furnace warmed it up nicely, and it felt quite cozy when I put it on.  The feeling lasted for a surprisingly long time after I got out into the cold and wind of the ride. 

Now, it doesn't substitute for bundling up to preserve your body heat, but it helps get a good start on staying warm.  I have written several times before about Dressing for Cold Weather Riding: Here, here, and here.  I still use those techniques to keep comfortable, even on long rides in the winter.

In fact, I just reinstalled my pair of Hippo Hands over the heated grips last week, and rode in toasty comfort for several hours on Saturday, in temperatures under 45 degrees. 

The helmet on the register trick also works in the summer, when a sweaty helmet needs to be dried out -- and aired out.  The cool, dry air from the air conditioner does the trick nicely. 

How do you keep warm when its cool? 


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Left Handers

I recently observed some riders on curvy two-lane roads while on vacation with my lovely wife.  Now, we weren't on the bike, you understand.  Instead, we were in the cage pulling our 1967 Apache popup camper behind us.
A shot of our venerable home away from home.
1967?  Yes, we get lots of use out of our purchases.  (I have been a tightwad from shortly after birth, you see.) 

We drove up to the Blue Ridge Parkway on US-276, past Caesar's Head and through Brevard North Carolina,
View Larger Map

then made our way, over the next few days, north to the Skyline Drive where it finally became too foggy to see much of the scenery.

A day in Washington D.C. was nice, as were Williamsburg Virginia and Wilmington North Carolina. 

Anyway, while driving along, we saw quite a number of bikers amongst the traffic, and in particular, I noticed a characteristic of the lines some of the bikers coming the other way used while they were in left-hand curves.  I'd estimate that about fifteen percent of the riders we met on their left-handers made corrections to run wider when they spotted us coming in the cage in the other lane. 

Sometimes this was a subtle correction, other times it was more pronounced, but it was readily observable.

At this juncture, I must assure you, kind reader, that I was not driving over the center line in the car, so it was the bikers who were making the correction based on their judgment of the curve and oncoming vehicles.  These riders apparently made their corrections to avoid their leaning into -- or close to -- the other lane.

Why were they doing this?

Well, when I ride, I try to make it a point to stay to the right of the lane in a left hander until I can see the exit of the curve, at which time I may apex if it is tight enough to do so.  This staying to the right makes the curve less sharp, and gives more clearance between me and oncoming traffic.

There are exceptions, of course.  If there is a patch of sand, or a pothole, or some oil in the wide line, then staying closer to the centerline is just fine -- as long as you don't stray over the painted line with any part of you. 

This didn't seem to be the case for the riders in question.  Maybe they were shying away from a ditch or dropoff, or a mountain wall. I have done that, but crossing -- or leaning -- across the centerline is a very poor last resort.

There might be another reason.  Taking the left turn closer to the centerline makes it, in effect, a tighter curve, increasing the acceleration felt in the seat of the pants.  Maybe they were trying to increase that feel even when the curve wasn't all that tight.  I confess that I have done this on occasion, too.

At any rate, we don't want to be doing what this guy did: 
Yes, he hit the car's mirror.
 How about you?  Do you make a little --or big -- correction on your left handers?


Take a few minutes today to thank God for our country, for our manifold blessings, and for our freedom.
Freedom from Want
Norman Rockwell, 1943

Friday, October 19, 2012

Hold On To Your Wallet and Your Freedom

The election coming up is critical for our country.  If the vote is to reelect the president and Senate, then the country is doomed to socialism -- a method of governing that has failed every time it has been tried.  

Here is what it means to you:

Taxes.  This is what it will cost you next year if the present tax plans are not rescinded.  Find your category and see the reality. 

What could you do with that amount of money instead of giving it to the government?  Maybe make a down payment on that new bike you have been eying? 

Health Care.  You will soon be covered by Obamacare (there will be no alternatives that can compete with it), but be sure you don't get seriously ill.  You will wait a very long time for routine procedures.  You might die before you are treated...but that way there would be more money to treat someone else who is more favored by the IRS, the administrators of the system.  Same as in Great Britain and Canada.  Read about it here.  By the way, how comfortable do you feel having the Internal Revenue Service in charge of your health?  For me, not so comfortable.  Maybe the DMV people would be better. What do you think? 

Also, if you don't want to pay for Obamacare, you are free not to do so, but then you have to pay a penalty of $2000+ every year.  In a few years, if you are fond of, say, eating cheeseburgers, you may be denied treatment because you didn't take good enough care of yourself.  Or, say, if you ride a motorcycle, you will not be treated because you took part in risky behavior. 

Morality.  If you are religious, or even if you are not but are interested in truth, here is some of what the Democrat Party platform stands for.  They stand for gay marriage, and abortion at will paid for by our tax dollars -- both intrinsically evil.  The Republican Party platform, on the other hand, encourages self-reliance, less interference of government in our lives, freedom from dependency on government, and contains nothing in support of anything intrinsically evil.

Right to Bear Arms.  The second amendment to the United States Constitution reads, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."  The reason for this amendment is not to facilitate hunting and target shooting; it is to facilitate self-defense, against both government oppression and private aggression.  The right to bear arms is in the Bill of Rights because that's the last form of defense against such tyranny.  Hilary Clinton and the Obama State Department have been working long and hard to make us beholden to the United Nations whose despot members want to disarm Americans

Regulations.  Government is stifling us individually, as well as our places of work, with regulation.  What they cannot tax, they regulate.  Whenever there is a regulation written, we all have to figure out how it applies to us, then comply with it.  That takes money -- money that could otherwise be spent for new equipment, or raises for employees, or more employees (or motorbikes). 
Chart from The Heritage Foundation
Read the details here
Tiny example: Do we really need the government to tell us we must wear a helmet when we ride a motorcycle?  It is not such a great idea to ride without a lid, but should the government decide for you?  Maybe your insurance company should charge more if you don't want to wear one, but the government should not regulate it. 

The Bottom Line.
Add Senate Democrats to that. 

Cast your vote carefully, friends.  

There may never be another chance to save America. 

Other resources: 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Wandering Some More

Have you been out wandering lately?

Last post, I told you about some places I have discovered while following where my nose pointed.  Even within the meager 100-mile radius from home I usually ride, there is an abundance of things to see.  A few of these things merit greater coverage, but sometimes it is nice to be surprised by something unusual but not write a War and Peace-like documentary about its every detail.  [No snide comments, please.]

Come again with me to see some more of these sights.  

I found these markers along Bass Road down near Hartwell Georgia.
This one is inscribed:
Jesus Said
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
Deuteronomy 6:5
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Mark 12:31
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Matthew 22:40
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Matthew 6:33

This one says:
King of Kings
Lord of Lords
Jesus is Lord
I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 
John 14:6
These are neither in front of a church nor cemetery.  Some great inspiration way out in the country. I stopped for a few minutes of quiet time there. 

Remember that I told you about my love of player pianos?  Well, this guy puts me to shame.  He has a whole house and two story building full of them, with a couple of pipe organs thrown in for good measure.
This is a Steinway OR grand with a built in Duo-Art reproducing player action.   It plays beautifully, and looks like it was just built, though it is somewhere around 88 years old.  You can hear it here playing Flight of the Bumblebee (with a Boogie Woogie encore).  Here is another song.  Delightful music, this. 
This is the console of one of the pipe organs, made by Link Company.  It is a theatre type organ, originally meant to accompany silent films. 
This one is also fixed up top play MIDI files, if you like. Hear it here.
You find the darnedest things when you are out riding!  Link also made flight trainers during the 1930s through the early 1950s, also pneumatically operated.  They were used to teach pilots how to fly by instrument. 

Over in Central South Carolina is the Central Railway Model and Historical Association

They have several model railroad layouts in this building and in the basement of another nearby.  Here is a quick view of one tiny section. 
An important note to the modelers:
The S-gage layout.  
This is a 1941 poster of the Southern Railroad.  Note the first vehicle in the line waiting for the train. 
The museum is open 9AM to noon on the second Saturday of each month.
The actual Southern Railroad line runs just north of the museum.  If you are a model railroader or are interested in full-size railroads, don't miss their newsletter page

In nearby downtown Greenville, is the Reedy River.  This man and his dog were having fun on a cool day in December three years ago.  The dog had an insatiable appetite for retrieving the stick in the frigid water. 
This is what is just upriver from the dog bath, taken by another photographer during warmer weather.
That is an unusual site to see in a metro area. A great place to walk, lay in the sun, or people watch. 

For all you baseball fans, the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum is also in Greenville near the baseball stadium, which, by the way, is modeled after Boston's Fenway Park.  Jackson was a great baseball player, but was one of the White Sox accused of being influenced by sports bookies to throw the 1919 World Series. 
The museum, his parents' former home, is filled with memorabilia of his career. 

There is a special place just off SC-11, the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway, called the Tamassee DAR School.  The school was established in 1919 by the Daughters of the American Revolution, and serves our area children by providing education in a residential care and day care setting.
I rode through their campus recently and found this engaging bronze.
The plaque reads, "In honor of Buddy and Bobbie Hagins, dedicated October 10, 2006." 
They were a couple active in supporting the DAR School: Angus Benjamin "Buddy" Hagins, Sr. and Barbara Mealing "'Bobbie" Hagins.

Looking Glass Falls can't be missed if you are riding in North Carolina just north (west on the road signs) of Brevard North Carolina on US-276.  It is within a few yards of the road.
Watch for traffic and slow-moving vehicles along this section of road.  The falls is on the right side of the road heading north (west on road signs). 
You will note that the Blue Ridge Parkway is just a little over nine miles north of the falls. 

Also not far from the falls is the Cradle of Forestry, the birthplace of forest conservation in America.  George W. Vanderbilt was interested in reforestation of abused and farmed over land that once ailed the landscape surrounding his Biltmore Estate. Vanderbilt hired Frederick Law Olmsted to oversee the design and construction of the gardens and grounds on the magnificent estate.  Olmsted also helped design New York's Central Park. 
Every year they hold the Forest Festival Day and John G. Palmer Intercollegiate Woodsmen’s Meet, a lumberjack competition that includes a Log Roll, Axe Throw, Pole Fell, Pole Climb, Cross Cut Saw, Single Buck, and other events. 
This is a picture of the pole climb. 
There are also many other displays and scenery to see there. It is located about five and a half miles north (west) of Looking Glass Falls, and about four miles south (east) of the Blue Ridge Parkway on US-276. 

Just above Wildcat Branch Falls on SC-11 is this cross commemorating one David Paul Hrab, 42, of Greenville, who died February 16, 2007.  He apparently had a checkered past that ended here. 
Nearby US-276 north (actually west on the road signs) is a good twisty road to ride.

And a perfect ending for our little tour, the end of a rainbow, leading right to my scooter's seat. 
In the Book of Genesis, the rainbow came in the wake of the great worldwide flood brought by God in order to remove sinful and evil-minded man from the earth.  The rainbow symbolized the covenant God made with Noah (representing mankind) not to destroy the world in such a way again:

"I do set my [rain]bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which [is] between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that [is] upon the earth. " (Genesis 9:13-16, KJV)
From BibleStudy.org.

Well, we have covered a lot more territory today during our wanderings.  If you find other interesting little points of interest along your ride paths, let me know, so I might enjoy them too. 

. .

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


When I am out riding, there are times I try out roads that I have spotted on a map somewhere, or that I turn onto at whim to see where they go and what is there.

Sometimes I find little or nothing.  Other times I find some gem that I had not expected.  These things can range form natural to manmade, and everything in between. Since my head still has lots of room to take in new things, I thought maybe yours might too. Come along with me to see some of the sights I have discovered in the last couple of years riding the bike. 

Just a couple of weekends ago, I went out on some familiar roads, but stopped to get a better look at something I had literally passed right over -- Toxaway Falls.  Toxaway Lake is dammed up to provide municipal water and recreation, but just below the dam is a waterfall of some beauty.  The only thing is, the road crosses over the waterfall and makes it hard to view.  There is also no public access from below the falls.
This is what the road and bridge above the falls looks like, facing toward the east on US-64.  There is a parking lane on the north, or dam side, of the road, but there is only a narrow place to park the bike on this side of the road.  Also on this side you can walk between the concrete barrier and a fence to get a better look at the falls below without worrying about being hit.
This is what you see close to the bridge.
This vista is downstream.
According to Rich Stevenson on the NCWaterfalls website, Toxaway Falls "spills and slides over some very colorful bedrock in a 240' change in elevation before the river disappears into the forest. In 1916, the dam gave way and Lake Toxaway came gushing down the gorge, stripping away the dense vegetation and exposing the bedrock along the falls and below." There are some very nice photographs and videos of the falls on Rich's website.  There is also a sweeping panorama of the falls at the Highlands Newspaper website

Another interesting thing I stumbled upon a few weeks back was a meeting of the Dixie Jewels Insulator Club at the World of Energy at the Oconee Nuclear Station.  I know people collect all kinds of things.  I, myself, for example, can be accused of that, owning three player pianos, and a huge number of paper rolls to play on them.  The Dixie Jewels, however collect electrical insulators.  Like these. 
And these.
As I was perusing the treasures, I spotted an insulator with some points on the skirt (or petticoat, to be more correct in terminology).
Do you know their intention?  Well, the Hemingray Company, doing business between 1850 and 1970, patented the design on May 2, 1893.  The points allow rain water to drip off more readily.  Interestingly, when I got home, being the dutiful husband I am, emptying the silverware basket in our dishwasher, I found that it has points on its bottom for the same reason -- to make the water droplets fall off so they don't land on your kitchen floor.  I would never have thought about it without having discovered it by accident looking at a bunch of antique glass insulators.
...now if they were collecting piano rolls, I'd understand that...

There are quite a number of gravel roads in the areas I ride, some of which I have written about.  (Search for the word "gravel" in the box at the upper left of the screen.)
One road that I recently discovered, White Cut Road, is cut very sharply into the terrain.  The angle of repose of the cut, in civil engineering language, is almost vertical. 
The soil and rock here must be very stable to allow this.  It is not a big thing, but I found it interesting.  The road is quite passable on the street bike, but it is narrow, so watch for the infrequent oncoming traffic.

Here is a very odd structure a found.  I first spotted it from across a railroad track, visible on the left of the photo, when I was wandering around near Piedmont, SC.
Looks like a super-size playhouse to me.  It encompasses a twin-trunked tree, has an enclosed space elevated above the ground, and it has an open observation deck above that.  It would be the best treehouse around -- if that's what it was.  It isn't.  It overlooks a cemetery!
Why, I don't know.  I asked a maintenance guy who was nearby, and he just said it was to be able to overlook the cemetery.  You can certainly see the extent of the graves here, and you can see this tiny and peculiarly pointed-roof stone building. 
It was once the cemetery office.  All this is at the Resthaven Memorial Gardens.  The map below reveals a giant cross, best visible from the air, that is located just to the right of the pointed-roof building in the photo above. 

This is a little memorial to a church that once stood here, the Whitmire Methodist Church. The building is long gone, but this stone memorial and the cemetery across the street remain. 
From a history of Salem Methodist Church:
"In 1913, the Whitmire Methodist Church closed its doors and united with the Salem [SC] Church. In the 1950s, the congregation decided to once again use the Whitmire building. After a few years, they decided that the Salem location was the best place to be and went back. In 1956, under the direction of Homer Griffith and James Whitmire, the old building was torn down and replaced." 
The church site is only a little way from a gravel road I followed last year called Winding Stair or Cheohee Road. 

The guy who owns this land also collects things -- mostly automobiles and automobiliana, by the looks of it. 

The car under the Coca-Cola shed says "SHERIFF PATROL" on the hood, and sports a gumball machine light on top.

Not far away, on Banks Road is Brown's Forest.
...or "BROWN'S FOR-REST" as they put it. Must be a great place to retire. I hope to do that some day. 

Up just beyond the Blue Ridge Parkway on NC-215 is this bridge.
It is picturesque on its own, but there is a nice view of cascading waterfalls just above it.
There is a place to pull off the pavement on the far side (north) of the bridge in the first picture, so you can walk around to various vantage points.
I hear that the road has been repaved there recently, but there are sections with heavy gravel on the road between the Blue Ridge Parkway and north to US-276.
NC-215 is usually clean south of the Parkway, and makes a nice extension of the twisty US-178 between SC-11 and Rosman, NC.  

Some of you who ride custom bikes and choppers might recognize the logo on this building. 
It is the shop of Redneck Engineering.  They sell anything from parts to complete bikes, ready to roll out the door.  I visited there one day, and found that they were working on various frames and bikes, and they have displays of their wares arrayed on a mezzanine around the periphery the shop.  The tattooed guys working there were a bit intimidating, by the way. 

Right down the street is the Moo-tel.
Actually, this is the Dalton Ranch.  Hospitable folks -- if you are a cow, I'd guess. 

If you need to stop for a few minutes of prayer, this little chapel might be a good place. 
Despite that fact that it is very well kept, it is a bit off the beaten path.
This miniature golf course is right up the street.
Both are near this view.
Do you recognize it?  That is Lower Whitewater Falls just left of center, viewed from the Bad Creek Pumped Storage Facility overlook.  .
The chapel and golf course are a little beyond the overlook, on a gravel road. Don't be going too fast past the overlook -- the gravel road is on the right at the next left hander, and there is a gate across the paved road after that. 
Pushpin A is the chapel, B is the golf course.  Scroll around the map and note the very large houses on this neck of land.  Maybe it is not so out of the way after all!

I went to Maulden South Carolina in May of last year and found a couple of unusual sights.  One is this log cabin.
It is the Gosnell Cabin, about 200 years old, now located at the Mauldin Cultural Center.  The style of the cabin probably indicates that it was begun by an Indian and finished by a white man.  It originally had a dirt floor, but was later jacked up and a wooden floor added.
Its original location was in northern Greenville County, near Poinsett Bridge, completed in 1819.  The cabin was used as the construction headquarters while the bridge was under construction.  The site of the cabin was later to become Boy Scout Camp Old Indian.
The other interesting thing I found that day was that a model train show was going on in the former school there.  This fellow was closely inspecting the displays. 
There were hundreds of scale miles of trackage, and thousands of railcars.  I happened to see a fellow rider, Dan and his young son there that day.  The kids really seemed to enjoy the activities.
They have the show every May, put on by the Piedmont 'N Southern Model Railroad Club and the Atlantic Coast S Gaugers.  How many of you are old enough to remember when S-gauge came out?  (It was in the 1930s, but became the more realistic two rail instead of three in 1946.) 

You know that there are redwood forests in the American west, but did you know there is one in Greenville South Carolina?  There is. 
It is on the campus of Bob Jones University.  It is, in fact, a Dawn Redwood, given to the university by General Chiang Kai-Shek of China in 1952.  The Dawn Redwood is the least tall of the redwoods, growing to about 200 feet (60 meters) in height.

Believe it or not, this is a tire store.
Looks very tropical, don't you think?  Here is a closeup of one of the murals. 
On second thought it looks a little 1950s.  This fine artwork is found at Ed Allgood's Tire store.  
If you can't go on without some pink plastic flamingos for your yard, here is the place: Get Flocked.com

You may recall that I collect and restore player pianos.  These instruments, most popular between about 1900 and 1929, are operated pneumatically, and a paper roll with perforations tells the instrument what notes to play.  Some of the music they produce sounds very mechanical, but others are uncannily realistic sounding -- to the point of your not being able to tell that a real pianist is not playing.
The fellow who owns the 1927 Lake Lure Inn, is a collector of such instruments, and some of them are displayed in the lobby of the hotel.
This instrument likely provided background and dance music for an early 20th century dance hall, possibly in Europe.  It contains a piano, organ pipes, and drums.   
The instrument below sounds a lot like the one at the inn, except that it does not have drums. The one in the video contains a piano, several ranks of pipes, and a reiterating xylophone. 

Here is a photo of a grand piano that plays like a human.  It is called a reproducing piano, and was built in 1926.  This one (similar to one at the inn) happens to be a Knabe brand, and it plays Ampico rolls.
The drawer beneath the keyboard slides open to load the paper roll.  It can hide in the closed position either when playing automatically or when the piano is being played by hand.  You can see and hear a piano like this here.  It is amazing what they did back then with purely mechanical workings -- no electronics whatsoever. 

There aren't very places where you would see a sign like this one.
It is placed on a road that ends in a boat launch into the Lake Hartwell visible behind it.  I found it when I went down to Lawrenceville Georgia for a class.  Apparently, the transition between the road and the ramp is not distinct enough and some people have driven right into the lake.  Fortunately, I heeded the sign and stopped in time to avoid a bath. 

Well, we have covered a lot of territory already.  There is more to come, but that's it for now.

See if you can visit some of the same spots and enjoy them as much as I did.  Maybe you can visit all of them in one day.  It is possible.