It sounds like a collegiate soccer game. We had about enough people with us to field a team. However, in truth it was Lowcountry Unfiltered’s Second Saturday outing. This being January, it was time for our annual Swamp Stomp, and we were off to tackle a section of the Wateree Passage of the Palmetto Trail through Manchester State Park.
Our outing would take us through ghost towns, cemeteries, and the site of Civil War destruction at the hands of Colonel Edward Potter. This was truly and epic outing, and the only way to do it justice is to break it into sections, so consider this Part 1.
Keith met me at the house far too early for a Saturday. Along the way down we picked up Alan and Dwight, so I had a car full. The Upstate would be well-represented on this trip.
We had a fairly loose agenda, but our plan was to meet for breakfast then explore the area. Here’s a quick rundown of the trip…
Breakfast at Battens
When we go on these trips, John Nelson usually finds a good place for breakfast. On one of the Sparkleberry trips he stopped at Battens in the tiny town of Wedgefield. Even though John wasn’t with us on this trip, we decided we needed to check it out, so that was our rendezvous point.
As usually, we got there first. However, it wasn’t long before the Lowcountry contingent arrived. The state was well-represented, with 11 of us out for adventure. And adventure started with breakfast.
Battens is a fascinating place. It’s part general store, part curio museum, and part restaurant. Just about every patron that came in was wearing forest green camo. Our crew pretty much took over the little restaurant. While waiting for breakfast, we checked out the sights. Here’s a time-lapse of our browsing:
There were various bits of taxidermy, and one corner was dedicated to NASCAR memorabilia. There was a row of old outboard motors along one wall.
Glisle Earnhardt, one of the owners, gave us a bit of history about the place. The Battens opened the store nearly 70 years ago. Originally they operated the store in the front and lived in the back, in the space now occupied by the restaurant. They moved into larger digs and converted their former living space into the diner shortly before they retired. The Earnhardts purchased the place about 30 years ago, and have had a blast running the place.
Breakfast was basic but tasty – scrambled eggs, bacon, and grits. We chowed down, then spent some more time exploring the store which had some, uhm, unusual items.
Suitable sated with good grub and new knowledge of the area, it was time to continue out trek. Part 2 of this adventure involves a deranged governor and an act of breaking and entering. Many more photos and much more to come…