Florida Spring Break 2016 – Beach Escapes

Avalon Beach-006

So far I’ve documented my paddling trips over spring break – all both of them. We did some other things, too, like take a few midday escapes out to the local beaches on Hutchinson Island. Dealing with an Alzheimer’s patient can be a challenge. We took an occasional escape in the middle of the day while the home help was there. Usually this was to run errands for groceries or other items needed for the house, but a couple of times we were able to get out for some time for ourselves. Continue reading “Florida Spring Break 2016 – Beach Escapes”

First Light Paddle 2016

First Light Paddle-58

We have built up several New Years traditions over the years. If we’re at home, we have a fondue dinner on the Eve while watching the year roll in. The morning rings in with a breakfast casserole and mimosas. We watch the Rose Parade (per instructions from the Californian in the household) while taking down the Christmas tree, and have nachos while watching the Rose Bowl Game.

That’s a normal year. However, the past couple of years have been anything but normal. Last year I started the year by myself as Laura had to be with her mom. I took the opportunity to watch the sun rise from the highest point in South Carolina, Sassafras Mountain. This year I was in Florida for New Year for the first time ever. Since I had missed my usual Winter Solstice Sunrise paddle, I decided to do a First Light paddle. Continue reading “First Light Paddle 2016”

Thanksgiving Wrap-up

Avalon Beach-001

Wow. November is gone, and now we’re on our way into December. The depth of my writer’s block increases. I’ve only made two posts all this month, and one of those was a copy-and-paste job. Maybe I’ll get out of this slump, but we’ll have to see.

I think I’ve realized that I don’t have to write a documentary-styled, viral-ready article for every post. This blog used to be just that – a blog of the random stuff I encountered. I decided to get back to that, just so that I’m writing again on a regular basis. So, expect more of the mundane, with an occasional gem sprinkled in. In that vein, I’m starting with Thanksgiving, even though it was exactly a week ago as of this writing. Continue reading “Thanksgiving Wrap-up”

Blue Ridge Getaway

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

Laura has a birthday coming up, but finding a time to celebrate has been problematic. We had decided to go a getaway the weekend before her birthday, but nature dealt us a blow. Our original plans were to head to Charleston and visit the ACE Basin, then head up to Beidler Forest. Obviously, with all of the flooding in the lower part of the state, that wasn’t going to happen. Instead, we decided to head north. I got us tickets for the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. Turned out to be a peak fall color weekend, and a great getaway, even though it wasn’t Charleston. Continue reading “Blue Ridge Getaway”

The Tobacco Trail – An Introduction

Highway 301 Banner

On our last Lowcountry Unfiltered kayaking trip on the Savannah River Larry Easler and I drove back along Highway 301.  We were amazed at the number of old motels and abandoned tourist spots along the way.  I knew it had to have once been a major thoroughfare, now bypassed by I-95, but I wanted to know more about it.  What was its history?  How did this highway through one of the most desolate parts of South Carolina become such a major route?  The answer turned out to be much more interesting than I could have possibly imagined.

In a previous post I wrote about the old auto trails that predated the US Highway System, and the business associations that promoted these routes and the tourist amenities along them. Here’s the story about how Highway 301 became known as The Tobacco Trail, one of the most important north-south routes along the Eastern Seaboard. Continue reading “The Tobacco Trail – An Introduction”

Key Largo Getaway – Part 2

Key Largo to Key West-58

So far our Key Largo getaway was going just like we wanted – lots of pool time, some kayaking, good food, and several delicious rum-based drinks. On Wednesday we decided that we’d had enough direct sunshine, so we decided to ride a bit. It seemed a shame to get this close and not make it all the way down to Key West, so we set off in that direction. Continue reading “Key Largo Getaway – Part 2”

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