Archives for category: Traveling

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On our return trip from Florida we decided to take the “scenic route” & avoid some construction on I-95.  We stayed overnight at the charming town of Aiken, South Carolina, & the next day went to visit the small National Park of Ninety-Six Fort in western SC.

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Western SC is not a place that readiy comes to mind when thinking about the Revolutionary War, however, one of the original star forts of that era can be found about an hour north of Aiken.  Ninety-Six Fort is now part of the National Park system and is a small gem.  

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Well-kept, well-marked, with a paved 1-mile walk, we enjoyed spending almost two hours there as we learned about our country’s  war for independence.    Like many other people, we discovered Ninety-Six Fort through the book, “Blue Highways,” by William Least-Heat Moon.  Least-Heat Moon’s visit to Ninety-Six sounded intriguing so we followed suite.

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By going out of our way to see the Fort, we took an extra day on-the-road and making our return a bit more relaxing than usual.  We’ve done I-95 to I-75 so often that a change of pace was just what was needed.

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Of course, if you don’t behave in the car on the ride home, this is what happens to you!  Our trip to Ninety-Six Fort was a nice “detour” & is now on our list of places we’d like to return to with our Sunline.  (There is no camping at the National Park, however, nearby Greenwood State Park has a campground with good reviews on TripAdvisor.)

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Usually any beach-sunset photo is from my Mom while she winters in Florida & we freeze in Pennsylvania.  This one, however, is one of our own as we cruised down to the Gulf Coast to bring Mom back north for the summer & fall.

After our rainy & cold spring here in central PA, it was nice to enjoy some sunshine & WARM weather as well as seeing flowers blooming & verdant green.  All of which was not taking place when we left PA at the end of April.

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When we make our annual trek to Florida, we go without our Sunline.  Mom has a double-wide trailer with plenty of room so taking the trailer isn’t necessary, altho’ if we could take more time travelling we think it’d be fun to camp along the way.  We did talk a lot about last year’s sojourn to the Four Corners area with the Jayco popup – a wonderful trip!  Generally tho’, this year we just wanted to get to Mom’s & go “splat” for two weeks, hanging out, going to the beach, reading, enjoying the things that make Florida, Florida.

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So, the next couple of entries will “summarize” our vacation; certainly not as travel intensive as last year but still including a little extra sidetrip on our way home.

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Not the type to make reservations unless it’s absolutely necessary, for the past nine months Matthew & I were sitting on reservations to Parker Dam State Park.  Our friends Annette & Robin made the reservations for us because, as they told us, Elk County in September & October is one of those places that you absolutely need reservations.  Especially if you want to see the elk during the yearly rut.

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As unusual as it is for us to have reservations, it’s also unusual for us to be camping on a weekend.  But, ya’ gotta do what you gotta do, especially if you want to see large antlered mammals.  So we hitched up the Sunline to Big Gray & headed north on a pretty Thursday afternoon to stake out our campsite at Parker Dam… & hopefully see some elk.  (Our friends got in later that evening, having reserved a site only one spot away.)

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Never having camped at Parker Dam SP, the weekend gave us time to get a good look at what the Park had to offer, which is quite a lot.  There’s a lake with swimming area & concession stand, quite a few pavilions & picnic tables, hiking trails & nature walks, an environmental learning center, & a small but thoroughly well-done museum on the Civilian Conservation Corps, complete with an old road grader sitting out front.

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Unfortunately, every time we took a walk & stopped in at the museum, it was closed.  Turns out there are only two volunteers to run it who couldn’t be there that weekend but, after stopping in at the park office, one of the park rangers opened it for us.  Several other people also came in after it was open.

We were amazed at the amount of information packed into a log building which was one of the former CCC offices for the Corps that built Parker Dam SP in the 1930s.  A local couple were responsible for the creation of the museum a few years back, & their efforts saved a lot of valuable history about this Depression-era government program & the men who participated in it.

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On its own, Parker Dam SP had much to offer, but we were there to see the elk.  Later that evening Annette & Robin told us that we would be getting up “early but not too early” on Friday morning to go to the town of Benezette & see what we could see!