Friday, September 12, 2014

A Visit to Healing Springs in Blackville, SC


Healing Springs north of Blackville, South Carolina, just east of Route 3, is a remarkable place. In several respects. Don’t know about you, but this is the first piece of real estate I’ve come across that has been deeded to God.
Second, Healing Springs offers its remarkably pure water to any and all free of charge. Just drive up with a few empty gallon jugs. I don’t know who maintains the site. But there wasn’t a shred of trash when I visited. And the parking lot was busy! Car after car. Good to see.
Third, whoever’s responsible for the site has avoided the temptation to tart the place up. It remains simple and functional. Visitors have the sense they’re getting water from a spring in the woods. That’s nice. Well worth the visit.
Here’s a short video introduction. Enjoy.

Should your browser fail to play the video, click here to go directly to YouTube.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Cabin "Camping" at Barnwell State Park South Carolina

Barnwell State Park, SC, Cabin No. 4
Efforts to repair a twisted ankle have kept me close to home and local medical folks for the past few weeks. No camping! (No blog posts either. Sorry about that.)

Well, how long can that go on before camping - - even easy RV camping - - is one of those activities with only a past? Something had to be done.

The solution was cabin "camping." That is, renting one of the Park System's fancy cabins rather than bringing along the Aliner. Lots easier on the ankle.
Barnwell State Park has some of the nicest cabins in the system, so I made a reservation. A new experience!

I've included a short video describing the cabin. Hope it posts properly.
All going well. The cabin has everything needed to sustain life other than food and toiletries. Even filters for the coffee maker! And it is spic and span, or was when I arrived anyway.
Great place to slog through manuscript copy editing. I'm nearly done with the second book in the South Carolina RV Travel Mystery series. This one, "Death Long Long Ago," is shorter and hopefully better than the first. Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Visit to the University of South Carolina’s Campus: The Horseshoe in May 2014

01 horseshoe gate
(Click this and any other photos for a larger view)
Back in early May I drove downtown intending to pay another visit the gardens of the Robert Mills House. On arrival I found school busses parked cheek to jowl in the street fronting the property. Fortunately, it was blocked off. Children of all sizes swarmed around the Mills House property. I continued south without stopping. Ending up in a USC parking lot near the Horseshoe.
01 brick wall
As an alternative to the Mills House gardens, the Horseshoe area of the USC Campus is hard to beat. It has to be one of the most beautiful and carefully tended pieces of real estate in Columbia.
01 kids in tree
Look at that tree! Generations of children have abused its low-hanging branches. Irresistible up to a certain age. Only one example of the care and skill of USC’s arborists over the years.
01 another tree
01 graduation
The University was preparing for graduation ceremonies when I arrived. A picturesque setting. But you can’t imagine how hot it is out there on a sunny May day, especially with a long-winded commencement speaker!
01 graduates photo taking
All worth it, though. Graduating students treasure memories of this day for the rest of their lives. That’s McKissick Hall, now McKissick Museum, you see in the background. Be sure to visit. Here’s a link to their website. Quite an impressive collection. The building alone is worth the time.
01 front of Caroliniana
The Caroliniana Library anchors the other end of the Horseshoe. I doubt that they encourage casual visitors. But there’s plenty to see outside. Including a delightful garden surrounded by a brick wall out back. Great place to read and make notes. Have a look at the Caroliniana Library’s website with a click here. Some more of architect Robert Mills’ work. In continual use since 1840, it’s said to be the oldest free-standing university library building in the country.
There’s much more to see here on USC’s beautiful and historic Horseshoe. All within easy walking distance. Even for older folks like me who don’t get around as easily as we once did. Here’s a short video that shows a bit more. But you’ll just have to visit to get a comprehensive view.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Visit to Barnwell County, South Carolina

01 In Front of Office
No visit to Barnwell County, South Carolina, is complete without a stop at Barnwell State Park. Park Manager Eddie Richburg and his crackerjack crew maintain the Park’s acreage and extensive facilities in top condition.
05 office
Last week I was able to spend a few days with the Aliner parked on one of Barnwell’s “full hook-up” sites. Level as a platter of – well, of water -- these full-hook-up sites feature both 50-amp electricity and sewer connections. In other words, they’re made to accommodate even those large motorhomes we often see. The Barton camp host family arrived during my second day. A great addition to Park Manager Richburg’s crew. Hope they can stay for a while.
04 path to swimming
More good news! In addition to Barnwell’s hiking, fishing, conference/picnic facilities, cabins, and peaceful campground, Swimming is Back! A decade or so ago, only few South Carolina State Parks maintained their swimming facilities. Now, more seem to be coming back. Barnwell is one. Good news for folks who don’t have country club memberships or live near large towns.
03 swimming beach
Did you know Barnwell is one of South Carolina’s original sixteen CCC state parks? I didn’t. Here’s a closer look at the informational sign in front of the Park Office.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Magnolia Blossoms in Spring Valley, Columbia SC

05b Full Blossom Painting
Why are magnolia trees like wind chimes?
Both are best enjoyed in a neighbor’s yard.
Magnolia trees are beautiful. But when their leaves fall they make quite a mess. Wind chimes are a delight to hear. But they’re best appreciated from a distance. Making them the ideal gift for a neighbor.
Here’s a short video featuring the blossoms of the remarkable magnolia tree.