Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Watsadler COE Campground and Anderson County. Part V

Click here for the first post in this series.

No luck with the Anderson County Museum. I stopped by yesterday afternoon. To make arrangements for a recorded interview some time later in the week. But they were too busy. Too bad. It appears to be an interesting place. Well, plenty more to see here in Anderson County.

Visitors Center Front Speaking of interesting places, here’s another in Anderson County. Or, to be accurate, right across the border from Anderson County. In Georgia.

The Campground Hosts here delight in reminding me that I’m now in Georgia. Even if this is the CarolinaConsidered Project! They’re fond of Georgia’s Hart County, and the nearby town of Hartwell. And encourage me to visit each time we meet.

But back to the Dam today. Don’t pass up the Lake Hartwell Dam and Visitors Center during your next visit. It’s just off Route 29. Can’t miss it. Yes, in Georgia! But barely.

Lobby This is by no means the largest or most elaborate of the Corps of Engineers’ Visitors Centers. But it has several interesting features that make it worth a stop.

Raccoon Most interesting to me was a corner of their display area devoted to wildlife around Lake Hartwell. Now, we’ve all seen taxidermy displays that we wish we hadn’t. Often the lovingly prepared project of a long-since retired employee. With no one willing to maintain it since she or he retired.

Such displays are the devil’s own to keep even presentable. Let alone appealing. They require the regular care of a devoted “owner” to stay in good condition.

Bear Head Well, this wildlife display isn’t of that sort. All of the animals displayed here are in perfect condition. Glossy coats. Feathers all in order. Surrounding ground cover realistically arranged. And dust free. Think about it! How would you go about dusting a display like this! Somebody here has to care.

Rattler We don’t often get to see most of the animals displayed here. Though they surely live in the surrounding woods. Sometimes that can be a good thing! A misinterpretation of intentions when meeting a timber rattler of this size could ruin a whole camping trip.

Red Fox Gray Fox beaverbobcat Red and gray fox, beaver. Even the illusive bobcat. Don’t know about you. But I’ve never seen a bobcat in the wild. Anywhere! Let alone one this size.

water safety Water safety is another prominent focus of the displays at this Visitors Center. Arranged to appeal to both children and adults. More on that later.

dam model Before leaving the Visitors Center display area, take time to look carefully at the small model of the Dam just inside the door. We’ll visit the dam itself in a moment. But this model gives details of the project that are hard to see from the ground. Another display that required a lot of time and patience to prepare.

dam at night Oh, before leaving this part of the Visitors Center, here’s a remarkable photo. Well, a photo of a remarkable photo displayed here. It explains something that’s been puzzling me since Sunday night.

As I mentioned in the first post in this series, site # 18 has a beautiful view of Lake Hartwell. Morning, noon, and night. But each night I’ve seen what looks like an unusual red neon sign on the opposite shore. Bringing to mind one of those enthusiastic auto dealerships. Or maybe a nightclub! It’s too far away to make out even with binoculars. But there it is. Each night. Glowing out its message.

Well, this must be it! A bright red sign on the lake side of the Dam. Warning boaters to stay at least 800 feet away. Some photo! And glad to know what it is.

We’re not done yet with the Hartwell Project Office. An interview with Kenneth Bedenbaugh is coming up. So stay tuned.

Click here for the next post in this series.

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