Back in September of 2010, I traveled down to a town called Belton South Carolina. It is about twenty-five miles from home, with easy roads to get there. They have a huge structure in town called the Belton Standpipe. Actually, it is a water tower built in the early 20th century. I wrote about it then.
Last weekend, I met up with a new friend who rides a 1982 Honda CB450SC Nighthawk, and we rode down there again. My friend was apologetic for the older machine he was riding, but it was more than up to our little jaunt today.
The reason for our trip was not only to enjoy some of our unseasonably warm winter weather, but to view an art show. Sounds very cultured, doesn't it?
Well, this art show is at the Belton Center for the Arts, and until the end of March, displays only motorcycle-related artwork. The show is called "Two Wheels, One Journey." The famous local motorcycle photographer Patrick Welch has four of his photos on display amongst paintings, pastels, carvings, and other media. Patrick had his photos printed on special paper, and they really stand out from typical prints.
Here are thumbnails of Mr. Welch's work on display. You can purchase exact prints of the photos on display from his website.
Some of the other artwork in the show includes these.
The carving on this one is very intricate, and the finish is impeccable.
There will also be the The Ultimate Bike Show Rally on the Square in Belton on March 24th between 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM. You can enter as a participant or just go and drool.
Across the street from the art gallery, is the old Southern/Blue Ridge Railroad Depot. When built in 1910, it served 68 trains and trolleys, but by the 1960's, service to the station ceased.
It now houses a museum with mostly farming artifacts from the area right now. For you John Deere fans, a 1943 model "LA", advertised to be the equivalent of three horses:
The woman who greeted us in the museum, a retired school teacher, asked how we had found it. We said we had come to view the artwork, which she proceeded to tell us was across the street in the art gallery. She couldn't get over the fact that we had stumbled in to the museum instead. She had us sign the guestbook, and she took our pictures, which I am sure will show up in the local newspaper. Maybe they don't get many visitors. Anyway, she provided some local interest that added to our visit.
The South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame is in the same building, but we were so eager to go get our culture for the day in the art gallery, that we forgot to go in.
The standpipe is still there, by the way. See:
The roads leading to and from Belton are well-paved, but rather uninteresting for the most part, good for cruising, I'd say. There are not many places to pass slower traffic, either. This is the route we took.
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On the way back we passed through Anderson -- it was way too busy to enjoy the ride -- but enjoyed a stop at a little park just north of town on Lake Hartwell called Darwin Wright. It offers swimming, a boat ramp, fishing, and picnicking. We just used the little rider's room, and chewed the fat for a few minutes.
The day was only about 80 miles, but it was nice to get out on a warm winter day.