2012 Scotland County Highland Games

We decided to make a run up to Laurinburg, NC to visit the 2012 Scotland Highland Games at The Blue House, Laurinburg. You'll never get tired of listening to bagpipe music, and the ones playing were good players for sure.

The Highland Games are events held throughout the year in Scotland and other countries as a way of celebrating Scottish and Celtic culture and heritage, especially that of the Scottish Highlands. Certain aspects of the games are so well known as to have become emblematic of Scotland, such as the bagpipes, the kilt, and the heavy events, especially the caber toss. While centred on competitions in piping and drumming, dancing, and Scottish heavy athletics, the games also include entertainment and exhibits related to other aspects of Scottish and Gaelic culture. A nice show of sheep herding done by Aussie Shepherds were also done.

Very nice set up show. We really liked it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Natchez Trace 2012

We had planned to ride the Trace a while back, but didn't get to it until now.

 

Day 1 – 9/22/12

 

Home to Oxford, AL. Around 400 miles for the day. No pictures. Just riding interstate. Plan on getting to Natchez,MS tomorrow, Sunday. Bikes running good as always. Topped off the clutch reservoir in Oxford. Somehow I overlooked this when I prepped the bikes before leaving. Ended up at 84 degrees and clear skies. Looks like the forecast is good for the days to come, with a cold front dipping into the south, cooling the air down to camping-level.

 

Day 2 – 9/23/12

 

Oxford, AL to Natchez, MS. 411 miles for the day. Interstate riding 2.nd day. Nice weather, but the temperature is too high. Ended up at Natchez State Park, where we camped. Sleeping in a tent in 85 degrees is not my cup of tea. Anyway, we ate supper at the camp site, and crashed after that.

 

Day 3 – 9/24/12

 

Broke camp, and rode across Mississippi river to Louisiana. Ate breakfast and returned to Natchez, where we stopped at St. Mary Basilica. This is a gorgeous place. Was able to take some shots inside, including a few HDR shots.

 

What a beautiful and peaceful place.

 

St. Mary Basilica, Natchez, MS

 

 

St. Mary Basilica, Natchez, MS

 

 

St. Mary Basilica, Natchez, MS

 

We then proceeded to Natchez Historical Park. Nothing much to see there, so we decided to start up The Trace. Went across to Vicksburg to visit the Military Park. However, it just got too hot, and we opted for a hotel room for the night. Going to the Military park tomorrow.

 

Day 4 – 9/25/12

 

Up bright eyed and bushy-tailed, packed up, and headed to the military park. The park is MUCH bigger than expected, and took us around 3 hours to go though, including stops.

 

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USS Cairo

 

USS Cairo

 

Steam chambers (I guess) driving the huge wheel that propels the boat forward.

 

USS Cairo

 

Part of the bow

 

USS Cairo

 

 

Vicksburg National Military Park

 

17000 + civil war soldiers buried here, many unnamed.

 

Vicksburg, MS National Military Park

 

 

Vicksburg, MS National Military Park

 

Early morning light

 

Vicksburg, MS National Military Park

 

 

 

After getting done there, we headed up I20 into Jackson in order to save some time. The goal was to get to Tupelo, MS. Followed The Trace for the rest the way to Tupelo. The Trace matches the BRP (Blue Ridge Parkway) in pure beauty, but lacks the twisties of the BRP.

Overall a very good day, although it was on the hot side in the afternoon.

 

Day 5 – 9/26/12

 

Up early to visit Elvis Presley's birth place in Tupelo, MS after eating bfast at Waffle House. Spent a good deal of time at the birth place. Actually a very nice place, and I'm not an Elvis fan (Lois is).

 

The King's Plymouth

 

Elvis's car

 

 

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He was born and grew up in this little shotgun house

 

 

Elvis at 13 years old with a Ladybug in his hair

 

Elvis at 13 years old

 

Fountain outside the Elvis museum (10 sec exposure)

 

 

 

Continued up The Trace. Weather was beautiful, but still hot in the afternoon. Made stops here and there.

 

Natchez Trace bridge just south of Nashville, TN

 

Natchez Trace

 

We finally ended up in Nashville, where we had supper at Loveless cafe.

 

Loveless Cafe, Nashville

 

 

Loveless cafe, Nashville

 

This cafe is a very famous place to eat, according to all the pictures. Nice people, and the food was very good too.

 

Loveless Cafe, Nashville

 

Super 8 was next stop for the night.

 

Day 6 – 9/27/12

 

After a good breakfast, we headed along I40, and headed through Pigeon Forge / Gatlinburg, then Blueridge Parkway. Had time to drop by Clingmans Dome (highest point in the Smokies).

 

Clingmans Dome

 

 

Clingmans Dome

 

 

Fall is here

 

 

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Stop at Blue Ridge Parkway

 

Blue Ridge Parkway

 

Supper was had at Clyde's in Waynesville, and pitched the tent at Moonshine Campground for the night.

 

Moonshine

 

 

Day 7 – 9/28/2012

 

Departed the campground, and couldn't resist going back to Clyde's for breakfast. Fuel up the bikes, and headed towards home via he Blue Ridge Parkway, through Rosman, and down US 128 to SC scenic hwy 11, and Hwy 9 home.

 

About 2000 miles for the trip. A little warmer than we would like for riding temperature. The weather was very nice otherwise.

Olympus working on a new Pro Level DSLR

is what the rumor says at the moment. The E-5 (I love my E-5) came out in late 2010, and Olympus is getting ready for the 3-year cycle for new DSLR camera addition.

I haven't had the Olympus E-5 too long, and haven't really used it that much yet due to the oppressive heat in the south, but I don't think I'll outgrow the E-5 any time soon. It's a terrific camera, and when mounted behind the Zuiko 12-60 or Zuiko 50-200 High Grade zooms, it really shines. it would probably shine even more mounted to any of the Super High Grade Zuiko lenses.

Read more about the new Olympus Pro body story here.