A Week’s Busy Activity

Supermoon (6 of 7)

I’ve gotten behind on my blogging. It seems that living life is taking more time that the documentation thereof. It’s an ironic consequence of having available time. When I do sit down to write, I tend to fall asleep. So, here goes a bit of catch-up…

Saturday Evening – Super Moon

Saturday’s full moon was a “super moon”. That’s a relatively recent term, meant to generate more interest in astronomy. A super moon occurs when the moon reaches perigee at full moon. Since it’s at its closest point to Earth, it is supposed to appear larger. Of course, this only works if the moon can be placed in context, near the horizon. The lensing effect of the atmosphere automatically makes the moon appear larger.

The trick is to find a good place to take a photo with a clear view of the horizon. I decided to try Bald Rock. I’d had success up there with sunrise shots, why not a moon rise?

I got to the location well before sunset. There were a few other around, but it wasn’t crowded. As I set up my camera and gear a woman nearby asked if I was there for the super moon. I said that I was. Another photographer set up nearby. Soon, others were joining us on the rock.

Supermoon (8 of 8)

The sun was setting behind us, so there wasn’t a good shot of the actual sunset. I did take a few photos of the Piedmont through the evening light. Continue reading “A Week’s Busy Activity”

Lake Connestee Nature Trail

Reedy River Bridge

It seems I wasn’t the only one itching to get out and shoot some photos when our planned outing went belly up due to weather yesterday. Sunday’s weather was perfect, and Alan wanted to take his new Nikon DSLR for a spin. So, we planned to meet somewhere local. There had been an article in the Greenville News about additions to the Lake Connestee Nature Park, so we decided to check them out.

Our plan was to meet at the parking area at the dam, or so I thought. At the appointed time I got a call from Alan saying he was at the entrance to the park. Turns out he was behind the old Braves Stadium, so I headed in that direction. Then, it turned out that there were TWO entrances to the park with large signs that look like this…

Lake Connestee Sign

Alan was at one, and I was at the other. Through the magic of cell phone technology we got it sorted out, and rendezvoused at the correct trail head. Continue reading “Lake Connestee Nature Trail”

Disc Golf at Furman

Fourth Basket

Back last spring Furman University put up an official disc golf course. Sunday was a beautiful (albeit, hot) day, so I decided to spend the afternoon playing a round.

Background

As a student here a quarter of a century ago we played quite a lot of Frisbee golf. We used standard-sized Frisbees (there was no other brand) and picked a target for our next hole, be it a tree, bench, or hapless passer-by. Then we would estimate how many throws it would take to get there, and that would be our par. It was informal, but it worked.

Furman took its first steps toward an official course about fifteen years ago. This first venture was wasn’t much more than what we had done when I was a student. A map was drawn up indicating which objects (again, mostly trees) would be used as targets. The course wound around the mall and PAC building, for the most part.

A few years ago there was an attempt to create a true course on campus, but for whatever reason, that didn’t go through. Finally, in February of this year it was announced that the course would be built. Continue reading “Disc Golf at Furman”

Chasing the Swamp Rabbit – Illegally

20100702-DSCN5935

It’s pretty bad with 85 degrees feels like a cooling trend. However, the humidity was down, and it didn’t feel as sweltering as the past several weeks have been. Laura and I had taken advantage of the nice weather to do some yard work in the morning, and in the afternoon we decided to take the bikes up to Furman and ride part of the Swamp Rabbit Trail.

We parked at the south end of the Furman section of the trail and headed north. This was the first time Laura had ridden the trail since it had been paved. However, the combination of earlier yard work and lack of recent cycling got to her. We made it about 2.5 miles before she decided it was time to head back.

I wasn’t done, though. I wanted to continue on down the trail toward Greenville. I particularly wanted to see parts of the trail I hadn’t traveled yet. I knew that the trail had been closed at the CSX railroad crossing, so I couldn’t make it all the way into town. My intent was to ride down to the barricades, turn around, and head back. Turns out I did two things I hadn’t intended – I made it all the way to Greenville, and I did it illegally. Continue reading “Chasing the Swamp Rabbit – Illegally”

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”

Chasing the Swamp Rabbit

Railroad Car B&W

I had tons of work I needed to do around the house – cut grass, vacuum the floors, and blow the pollen off the decks and driveway. Instead, I loaded up my bike and drove up to the northern end of the Swamp Rabbit Trail in Travelers Rest.

The Swamp Rabbit Trail is part of the rails to trails movement, and is named for the former Greenville and Northern Railway that used to run from downtown Greenville to River Falls in the Jones Gap area. The railway got its nickname from the various wetlands it passed through. The plan is to pave the railway from Greenville to Travelers Rest, and to eventually run trams on the path on a regular schedule.

I parked at the Travelers Rest trailhead and headed south. At this point the trail is grassy and a bit bumpy. It passes through the middle of Travelers Rest, past TR Methodist, where Laura and I got married, and through the middle of a parking lot for several businesses. From there, the trail took a route more separate from the populated areas.

Continue reading “Chasing the Swamp Rabbit”