Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Meandering Drive

Yesterday's weather was as close to perfect as it could have been. It was sunny with blue skies and huge puffy clouds. Temperatures hovered around 74, and the air was clear, without a sign of humidity. Following the 90 degree days we've suffered since June, and the two days of downpouring, much-needed, rain, yesterday was greeted with huge welcomes!

We've talked since moving here of visiting Table Rock state park, which is about three-quarters of an hour north of us, in the mountains. Yesterday was the day. We invited Mom to go along, and off we went. As we drove, we wound our way through the business districts of a few towns, keeping eyes open for place we might want to return to in the future. Then it was the open road through the forests, with little to see in the way of businesses or buildings. Rt 11, a well-paved road, with very few cars and trucks, climbed gently. As it did, we saw the bare rock walls of Table Rock.

We found the park with no trouble. It is acres of tent and RV sites, cabins for rental, picnic pavillions, and the necessaries such as a camp store and lavatories. There is even a small lake and sandy beach area, complete with boat house with canoe and kayac rentals. We put it on our list of camping spots to visit in the future.

My husband, the tree-mender, prides himself in his knowledge of trees, but he's used to northern ones. These that grow in the south are often quite different and new to him. At one point we parked beneath a fruit tree. We think it was a plum tree, but it isn't one we're familiar with. We collected a piece of the fallen fruit, as well as a handful of seeds. Perhaps we'll try to grow a few trees, out near the apple ones we planted. But, we'll show the fruit to one of our southern friends, who no doubt will tease us Yankees for not being knowledgeable about something they've known since childhood.

The foliage was still green in most places, but here and there we could see where the evening cooling had kissed the leaves of some trees. It's going to be a brilliant sight in a few weeks, and we mentally planned to return then to see the color. Meanwhile, we look forward to going back to the park in two weeks for our church picnic there.

It's something exciting about being in a place you don't know. There's a whole new place to explore and learn about, and I, for one, love the investigation!