Showing posts from 2012

Two parks, one day: Pleasant Ridge and Wildcat Wayside

I haven't been able to get away a while, but with a few days off I decided to visit two popular parks off of S.C. Highway 11, Pleasant Ridge County Park and Wildcat Wayside State Park. I've been to Wildcat Wayside many times over the years, but I don't recall ever going to Pleasant Ridge.

Pleasant Ridge is the nearest, so I went there first. Their colorful entrance sign makes for an eye catching advertisement.

Pleasant Ridge County Park
View Pleasant Ridge and Wildcat Wayside in a larger map

While walking back to the parking area after taking that photo, I read over a sign about the origins of the park.

I learned this park originally built for "Negroes" in the early 1950s during the segregation era. A September 1951 story in the The News and Courier concurs. Thankfully, such nonsense ended in the 1960s when the state parks were all integrated. Leroy L. Smith was the park's first superintendent and stayed until his death in 1979.

Three shelters are available fo…

Chestnut Ridge Heritage Preserve

Last week during a period of warm of weather, I visited Chestnut Ridge Heritage Preserve in northern Greenville County, SC to hike the Chestnut Ridge Heritage Preserve trail, a 2.75 mile long hiking trail passing over Squirrel Mountain and ending at the South Pacolet River.

View Larger Map

I parked among the two or three cars already in the parking area, and made for the trailhead.
The first portion of the trail is not difficult, but remainder is of moderate difficulty. I met a two people heading back in this section.
Where the trail ends at the river, I met two more hikers. Those were the last two I met during the hike. The trail's end is marked with a log pile.

... I chose to cross over the river to explore the north side. Instead of my waterproof hiking boots I normally wear, I had on a pair of sandals I recently bought.
These sandals made crossing over the river quite easy, although the water level was so low the boots would have worked just as well. The river water was chilly,…

Sky Top Orchard and more

Here in the Carolinas, apples are in season from late August until early November, and my favorite kind, the tart Granny Smith apples, are currently in season. I like to buy my Granny Smith apples locally from Sky Top Orchard near Zirconia, NC because of the ease of getting there from my house and the orchard's pretty mountain top views.

In previous years heading up NC-225, I've seen some rather large roadside crosses and I've always wondered who put them up.
I thought maybe I had my answer when fellow adventurer Tom Taylorrecommended reading The Carpetbagger blog by Flickr photographer Jacob K. One of the entries is about Harrison Mayes, a prolific religious sign maker until his death in 1989. Harrison Mayes planted many signs in North Carolina, but not those two. Here is an example of one of his signs from the same blog entry:
The font is the easiest difference to spot, but also the two signs were made of wood while Mayes's signs were made of concrete.

Another intere…