In 1991-92 we moved to Tucson, AZ for a year. Laura was on sabbatical from Furman, doing research at the University of Arizona, and I spent the year wandering in the desert – quite literally. I would drop Laura off at the lab, then go find a canyon to climb or arroyo to explore. On the weekends we would pick some other location, trying to take advantage of all that the area had to offer.
We made many friends among the locals while we were there. Occasionally we’d talk about some of the places we had visited, and the response was often, “I’ve never been there” or “I didn’t know that was here.” In some cases it was ignorance, and in some cases they just hadn’t gotten around to it. We always said in reply that we knew we had a finite amount of time to see things – one year. Living in an area you tend to think you’ve got plenty of time to visit all of these places, which means that often you just don’t get around to it.
For that reason I’ve found that it’s not a bad idea to pretend you’re a tourist in your own home town. Check out what the local tourism board or other resources have to say about spots in your area, then actually VISIT those spots.
Laura and I had Monday off, so we decided to take that advice. We got the Michelin Guide to Greenville and looked at several of the places they described. We decided to take the “Lake Tour”. Starting from Greenville we headed west on Highway 81 and 88 to Pendleton, then took Highway 187 toward Lake Hartwell. Our route took us past farmland and developed areas.
West of Anderson we turned onto Highway 29, passing the old Shiloh School and crossing the Savannah River into Georgia. In the town of Hartwell we turned north and hit I-85 headed back east for a bit. Our route took us through Fair Play and then into Seneca, then finally east through Clemson and back home.
It was a fairly quick tour. We didn’t stop for many pictures even though we passed through some nice scenery. I had been on most of these roads before, but some of them were new to Laura. Still, it was fun to get out and pretend that we were not from the area.