Monday, September 30, 2013

Lake Greenwood, South Carolina

Lake Greenwood was created between 1935 and 1940 by the construction of the Buzzard's Roost Dam near Chappells, SC. Buzzard's Roost Dam is a hydroelectric facility providing electricity for the Greenwood area. The Dam was built across the Saluda River. The lake has 212 miles of shoreline. The Reedy River joins the Saluda River at Lake Greenwood.The lake is used primarily for fishing, boating and recreational purposes.

We spent some time with the resort owner cruising the lake on his houseboat. No hard sale of the lots, just some great company, great weather, beautiful scenery and cold sodas.....

An outstanding example of old world houses kept in fantastic shape. Amazing what a nice coat of paint and a little gardening will do for appearances. I would have loved to see the inside of this beautiful home.

Not every home has to be huge to be impressive. This "cottage" style home was every bit as homey as the one depicted above. Much easier to clean too....

As I had said earlier, we went out on the houseboat with the owner. This view of the railroad bridge in the distance is just off the docks at the resort.

There was hardly any wind on the lake. Perfect for skiing, swimming, tubing or floating.

So, this is how the other half lives. Vacation homes on a beautiful lake. And, not just tiny cabins, I'm talking some pretty large homes.

I think I would spend most of my time on the screened porch overlooking the water. Very peaceful setting.

I loved the style of this home, so I had to include another picture. One of my favorites.

Here is an example of awesome architecture allowed to deteriorate. This home has some exciting features like the upstairs porches, the downstairs sitting areas, angled doors etc., yet the owners have neglected it to where it appears unsafe. Even the stone walls around the property were overgrown.
Every adventure has to come to an end. This one is no different as we return to our home.
If you look closely, you can see our coach in the middle.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Lake Greenwood Motor Coach Resort - formerly Cane Creek

Normally I wouldn't dedicate an entire post to a particular RV Resort. However, this resort was truly spectacular in so many ways that I felt compelled to provide a more in depth visual of the amenities.The ownership group purchased this property several years ago when it was a trailer park. They reconstructed it as a motor coach resort with spacious concrete pads, oriented towards the views of the lake. Each pad is staggered in such a manner so that each picks up a view of the lake even if the adjoining site is occupied. There are docks available to moor your boat  while staying at the resort. Our stay included a couple tours of Lake Greenwood via the owner's houseboat. We enjoyed the pool, clubhouse, spa and amenities. An ice cream social upon our arrival was a nice touch. Enjoy the pictures.

The Carolinas - Hickory to Cross Hills

Hickory is a beautiful city. Quaint in it's own way, keeping it's identity with a small city feel yet big city convenience. After spending some time there, we said goodbye and towards South Carolina. We were pretty excited as our next destination was Lake Greenwood and what was billed as a Motor Coach Resort. Our journey would take us south on US Hwy 321 to Gastonia, NC, then west on I-85, crossing into South Carolina and finally picking up  US Hwy 221 near Clinton. What a beautiful drive. We arrived late afternoon, picked out our site and were set up in time to enjoy the evening sunset. Life is good.

Downtown Hickory consists of many boutiques, shops and restaurants, many with "al fresco" dining.

Looking for a World War I German Howitzer? They have one on display. This 210mm weapon was surrendered to the United States in 1918. It is on display in remembrance of the men from North Carolina who fought and died in that war.

The detail, firing mechanism and construction was interesting considering it was built almost 100 years ago.

Another picture of the downtown area. Only delivery vehicles were allowed. Being a weekend everything was quiet. We were there on a Sunday afternoon about 4pm. Most shops were closed already and the restaurants were getting ready for the evening crowd.

We enjoy visiting many of the local churches during our travels.

North Carolina countryside as we head south on US Hwy 381.

Welcome to South Carolina....

Smiling Faces, Beautiful Places.

When you're on Interstate 85 near Gaffney, SC, be sure to look for the giant peach....actually a unique use of a water tower...

Leaving the Interstate behind, we head south on US Hwy 212.

Another road with no markings. Four miles down this road lies Lake Greenwood, our destination for a week stay.

We settled in at the Cane Creek Motor Coach Resort on Lake Greenwood.

A Motor Coach Only resort with only 65 spaces and right on the Lake. It also features private docks if you wish to bring your water toys with you.
Once we were settled, we walked over to the docks to watch the sunset over Lake Greenwood.

Hickory, North Carolina

Moving south, we had picked out a recommended campground right outside Hickory, North Carolina, Indian Springs. I plugged it into the Garmin and away we went. Those of you who use GPS units know we sometimes rely on them too much and today I began to have my doubts as to their accuracy. Remember our rig is 45' and with the towed, we are right at 65' long, so simply making a U-Turn is not an option. Being directed onto a one lane road with no pavement markings creates a Oh! Shucks! kind of moment. We made it though and enjoyed our stay at this small but wonderful park. We also got to see a beautiful waterfall....

Exiting off Interstate 40, we encountered this one lane road. Not too bad, it had no markings but was wide enough and paved. The "Slow" sign should have been a warning sign...

After about a mile and a half, the road ended at this gate. The sign reads, "PRIVATE" No Trespassing. Trespassers will be considered thieves and treated as such".  (Note: anxiety level increases) We push a button, announce ourselves, and the gate opens automatically.

We proceeded through the gate, the road is now dirt, somewhat rutted and appears to go nowhere. Adventure time. We considered unhooking the car but decided we could do that whenever we needed to as the traffic on this road was light....

What we initially thought were turkey buzzards turned out to be nothing more than harmless wild turkeys. They watched as we came upon them then scurried off to some safe haven on the other side of the gate.

Rounding a curve we were treated to a small and intimate campground on a beautiful river with wide spacious sites and outstanding owners. We were warmly welcomed and settled into our end site. We would certainly stay here again if in the area and highly recommend it to anyone.

Just outside Hickory is the South Mountains State Park. We had read about it on Trip Advisor and decided we would take a day trip and picnic to see what the area looked like. One of the "must see" items listed was the Shoal Falls.

The brochure stated it was just a short hike back to the falls on an improved trail. Jasmine loved the new smells but was unhappy I wouldn't let her go swimming.

The "improved" trail became an "improvised" trail meandering over rocks, across the river and around trees. They did have several wooden stairways to get up and over some of the rougher areas. It was very scenic, quiet and serene.

As we proceeded deeper into the forest we came upon a sign saying the "Falls" were only a mile further...past the point of no return we pushed on.

This was one of the many river crossings. Glad our phones had GPS although the service was spotty. What we did see, was this area was used by many locals as a place to cool down on a warm and muggy afternoon. Wherever the river changed direction there was a small wide spot filled with laughing children and adults. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, including us and Jasmine.

Jazz headed off in front of us to do her own exploring. She wasn't too happy I kept her on her leash, at least most of the time.

We could hear the sound of the falls as we got closer. The water was cool but not cold. Most of the rivers we had visited east of the Mississippi were muck brown and not too inviting. This one was running cool and clean. Very inviting, as the humidity was very high.
 The waterfall is on the Jacobs Fork River. After the falls, it continues over a series of cascades for approximately 1/4 mile past here, where the stream loses approximately 300 ft  in elevation.