Fall Trip to Charleston, SC

We decided to run down to Charleston, SC, camp for a couple of days to try out our new Aspen Classic motorcycle camper. Left early Friday Nov. 17, and after a couple hours drive (we used the truck this time) we arrived.

Friday:

Decided to run over to Angel Oak park on John’s Island, and try taking a few pictures of The Angel Oak, a huge live oak that is about 400 years old.

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From there, we decided to take a look at Harris Island Lighthouse.The 161-foot lighthouse tower was completed in 1876 for $149, 993. A Fresnel lens powered by lard oil shone light out over the water to guide ships safely to shore. Although the sole function of the lighthouse was to provide safer navigation for ships and vessels, the lighthouse itself was frequently at risk.
During its run as a working lighthouse, it was partially destroyed by a cyclone in 1885. In 1886, an earthquake shook the lens of the main light out of position and cracked the tower. Though these incidents provided blows to the lighthouse, nothing threatened the structure as much as the rapidly encroaching water.

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Saturday;

Spent the entire day in Charleston. Sights and sounds, beautiful architecture, nice places to eat.

Waterfront Park

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Downtown Historical District

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Popular Carriage Ride

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We had to go on one. Up front was “Mr. Trump” an 18 hand huge Belgian draft horse hauling us all over Charleston. Very nice and peaceful ride.

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ST. Phillip’s Church on Church Street

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Historical District. Filled flower boxes, even in late November.

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Some people are selling their art right on the street corner. This lady was making some beautiful baskets.

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Architectural beauty.

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City Market. A lot of different stuff for sale. The market stretches for several blocks on Market Street 

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All in all a very nice trip, long overdue.

The camper worked perfect during the trial run.

 

Annual Blue Ridge Gathering 2017

Started up Thursday Oct. 10 at first light. Foggy and humid through SC Why 9 to Gaffney, and SC 11 along the foothills. SC11 is also called Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway.

Started to clear up around mid morning. By the time we started on US Rt. 178 (outstanding moto road by the way) towards Rosman, it was sunny and clear.

Blueridge Parkway

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Blueridge Parkway

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Ate lunch at Country Skillet in Rosman as usual. Typical good country food. Always packed with locals.

Continued up on the Parkway toward Waynesville and Moonshine Campground in Balsam, NC. Arrived around 2:00PM. This gathering is a yearly occasion where a bunch of riders from way back get together for some much needed social activities and tall tales around the camp fire, not to forget the countless roads that are just perfect for motorcycle riding. To go along with that is  70 degree day- and 50 degree night temperatures for camping. You just never get tired of it.

Tent city

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Headed out Friday morning, and dropped by Clyde’s in Waynesville for breakfast. Nothing like country cooking. They’ve got superb suppers too. Hopped back on the bikes, and headed up through NC209, a prime motorcycle road that stretches from Lake Junaluska to Hot Springs, NC. As usual, there were just a few corners with some gravel / sand in them close to Hot Springs. Have been up this road a few times before, and the gravel and sand is always present.

Had apple pie and ice cream at Smoky Mountain Diner in Hot Springs before continuing through Hot Springs and back down through Hwy 25. Turned off at Marshall, and managed to get lost, or thinking we were lost. However, we just continued, and ended up on NC 63, also a fabulous road we’d never been on before. Ended up back on NC209, and headed back to camp.

NC 209 country store

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Saturday we stopped at Clyde’s again for breakfast. Well filled up, we hit NC276 towards the Parkway, passing Cruso Motorcycle Campground on the left on the way up. Very nice campground with lots of tent space and cabins. Worthwhile checking out.

Once on the Parkway we headed north toward Mt. Pisgam Camp. I wanted to show Lois this area, as it is one of my favorite camp spots along the Parkway. After a short break we headed back on 276 headed to Maggie Valley, where there was a Can-Am Spyder rally with vendors. Not much stuff for my GSA, but plenty of accessories for Lois’s 2015 Can-Am Spyder RT Limited.

Early morning on the Parkway.

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Maggie Valley Spyder Rally

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We finished up with a huge BBQ meal at Butts on the Creek BBQ. Highly recommend. My only complaint was that parking (especially for motorcycles) were somewhat crampy, with limited space.

We headed back to camp for the rest of the night. Started breaking camp Sunday morning and was on our way (to Clyde’s, again for breakfast) before hitting I40- I26 – NC74 – I85 – I485, then back on NC74 to get home.

Since we have been up in the Smoky Mountains several times, we know where the nicest motorcycle roads are located, and we have ridden most of them more than once. Still, we continue to explore new places we haven’t been trough up there, and immensely enjoy it every time.