Swamp Rabbit Revisited

Swamp Rabbit Trail

It had been quite awhile since I had ridden my bike on the Swamp Rabbit Trail.  In that time there have been quite a few changes and improvements.  The trail has been paved from Watkins Bridge Road almost all the way up to the Renfrew community above Travelers Rest.  The town of Travelers Rest has done massive improvements along its main street, adding parking, lighting, sidewalks, and benches all along the street and the trail.  I figured it was time I rode the trail once more and experienced some of these changes for myself.

I parked at the southern edge of the Furman University campus, where the trail crosses Duncan Chapel Road.  For ages there has been an old Pullman car here that has served as home for various Boy Scout Troops.  More parking has been added to accommodate the trail visitors.

From the parking area I first headed south just to see how far the county had gotten with paving the trail.  I was able to make it about a mile more, down to Watkins Bridge Road.  The trail on the other side of the road was dirt, but didn’t look as rough and bumpy as the last time I had ridden it.  I rode on down a bit, but decided that I had plenty of paved trail to explore, so I turned around. Continue reading “Swamp Rabbit Revisited”

Paschal Moon

Last night was the first night of Passover. According to Wikipedia… Passover begins on the 15th day of the month of Nisan, which corresponds to the full moon of Nisan, the first month of the Hebrew calendar, in accordance with the Hebrew Bible. This is also the first full moon after the vernal equinox, and … Continue reading Paschal Moon

Paddling Lake Oolenoy

Alan and I both are on spring break this week, so we decided we needed to get some kayaking done. Monday morning we loaded up the boats and headed toward Lake Oolenoy in Table Rock State Park. Lake Oolenoy is a small lake, only 36 acres or so.  Scenic Highway 11 runs across it’s upper … Continue reading Paddling Lake Oolenoy

Three Collaborative Google Earth Projects

Google Earth

I had wanted to entitle this post “Cool Google Earth Lesson Plans That Don’t Really Use Google Earth”, but I figure that would be a bit wordy. The idea was taken from my “Creating Media Rich Lessons with Google Earth” presentations that I’ve been doing lately. One of the strategies in that presentation is to embed content from other sources into Google Earth. As I was giving some examples to the workshop participants, it occurred to me that you could do a collaborative project in Google Earth where kids do most of their work in some other application, bringing these together at the last minute in Google Earth. Here are a few of those ideas, and the applications needed. Continue reading “Three Collaborative Google Earth Projects”


The other day I walked into our office and heard “Roxanne” by The Police playing on the stereo in our lobby. It was turned down low, but Andy Summer’s dry guitar pattern and Sting’s distinct voice are hard to miss. This wasn’t an arrangement of “Roxanne” scored for the 101 Strings or some such nonsense. … Continue reading Roxanne

US 1

When I was about 12 years old my brother-in-law gave me a Rand McNally Road Atlas. I had already been collecting maps for some time, so having an atlas with a map of every state in the US was a dream come true. I pored over every state, plotting out extended road trips.

One road that especially caught my attention was US 1. First, there was its primacy in the numerical highway system. It must be important if it’s number 1. Then, there was the route. It runs all the way from Key West, Florida, to the northernmost point in Fort Kent, Maine. And finally, there were all of the interesting cities that it connected – places I’d never been, such as Washington, D. C., Philadelphia, New York, and Boston. It seemed like the perfect highway to me.

Recently I’ve had the occasion to drive different segments of US 1 – in Columbia last week, in Florida two weeks ago, and in Maine over this past summer. The recent jaunts on this highway rekindled my interest, so I started exploring the route in Google Earth, and trying to find out what I could about its history. Continue reading “US 1”

SCETV Workshops Spring 2010

The time-lapse video above gives some indication of the frenetic pace I’ve been hitting this week. Several months ago I agree to once again do my Google Earth workshops for the SCETV Technology Conference. Had I known how hectic these past two weeks were going to be even without the conference, I might have reconsidered. However, despite PASS testing, 135th day counts, and other pressing needs in Spartanburg Five, I headed on down for the Wednesday – Friday sessions.

As I had done last year, I’m presenting two different sessions. The first is a basic introduction to Google Earth. The teachers get some time just to become familiar with the program’s controls and navigation, and I give them some suggestions for using it in their classrooms. The second session is more in-depth. I cover ways that Google Earth can be used to create highly interactive lessons buy using embedded media. I tend to get lots of oohs and ahs with that session because there is some really cool stuff you can do.

Wednesday we had a luncheon and were joined by several representatives from Discovery Education. Phillipe Cousteau, grandson of Jaques Cousteau, was our keynote speaker. In the evening the Discovery Educators Network (DEN) STAR members had a dinner at the SCETV studios, and we were again joined by Phillipe Cousteau. He spoke about some of his current environmental education endeavors.

DEN Star Educators DinnerPhillipe Cousteau addresses the DEN groupDEN Star Educators at SCETV Continue reading “SCETV Workshops Spring 2010”