We left Greenville this morning at 8:15 am with two cars, two cats, two kayaks, and an extra sister. It felt weird leaving the house, knowing that it would be months before we see it again. I’d been excited about this trip, but the second-guessing was really starting to weigh on my mind. However, the … Continue reading Greenville to Paducah
As our departure date quickly approaches I’m reminded as to why I started this blog in the first place. It was 2004 and we were getting ready to drive from Greenville, SC to Samish Island, WA to visit Laura’s mom. We wanted a way for her to track our travels, and RandomConnections was born. Continue reading “Why and Where, Revisited”
It’s bad when your biggest stumbling block to writing is coming up with a post title. I didn’t want yet another post entitled “Update” or something like that. Yet, that’s what this post is. A bunch of stuff happened since the last post, but not much of it blog-worthy. The biggest thing was a trip back down to Florida, where we did see some cool new things. Continue reading “Florida Sojourn”
It’s been a crazy couple of weeks. Before I do another paddling post I thought I’d do a quick update. Lots of family stuff going on, new instruments, and a bit of travel have occupied my time recently. Continue reading “Quick Update from Florida”
Spring Break in Florida. Sounds like it should be a wonderful escape. However, when the trip revolves around caring for an elderly parent things can get…complicated. Such was this past week. There were some nice escapes, and we spent lots of time with Laura’s mom. Continue reading “Spring Break in Florida”
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”
On our way back from Ireland Stephen asked me what my favorite thing was about the trip. I had to say that it was the pubs and music that impressed me most. I loved the atmosphere and life that radiates from those places. While they all seem similar and familiar, each is unique. If I could do one thing over, it would be to spend more time in the pubs listening to traditional music. Granted, we did quite a bit of that anyway. Continue reading “Pubs and Music”
As promised, here’s the brief day-by-day rundown of our trip to Ireland. I’m only going to include the time that I was there. My brothers went out a couple of weeks early and saw sights up in Dublin, Belfast and further north. I came out for the last part of the trip.
Stephen has shared his photos from that part of the trip, and I guess I could snag their journals. However, I’ll leave it to them to tell that part of the tale. Continue reading “Taylor Invasion of Ireland – The Rundown”
It’s a story that’s been told to us many times by our father. Nearly 240 years ago our ancestor, William Taylor, Sr., loaded his family onto a ship called The Earl of Donegal and sailed for Charleston, SC. They left Belfast in 1767 and landed in Charleston in 1768. William was given a land grant for 350 acres in Laurens County. He donated a few of those acres for Rocky Springs Presbyterian Church.
The first home I can remember was on a farm that had once been part of that land grant. As children we scrambled over the rocks and stream that gave the the church its name. We would wander through the old cemetery and see generations of Taylor ancestors, starting with my great-grandfather and going back from there. With so many of our ancestors close at hand, it’s no wonder that our family developed a keen sense of genealogy. Continue reading “Taylor Invasion of Ireland”
August 12, 2013
Laura had never been to West Virginia. I had only crossed over the border in the mid 1980’s just to say I had been in that state. We really didn’t know much about the state, except that there were coal mines somewhere. A couple of Laura’s colleagues are from West Virginia, and before we left, had told us that there were some places we really needed to check out.
With the meteor expedition having been a bust, we decided to head on up into the mountains and cross over into West Virginia. We drove through a piece of Virgina on the Interstate, roughly repeating our trek from last summer when we headed up for Katie and Aaron’s wedding. However, instead of turning northeast toward Roanoke, we headed south…maybe. On the same road we were headed south on 81, but north on 77. It was a geographical oddity.