Friday, November 22, 2019

South Carolina and a Stop at an Historic Church Ruin

After leaving North Carolina, we ambled South another two hundred, fifty miles ending up in Yemassee, South Carolina. When I'm looking to see what interesting sights are in a given area, I use Pinterest. 

When I looked for interesting things to see in this area of South Carolina, I discovered there were three church ruins fairly nearby. The closest was about 15 miles away, so I decided to go and take a look. 

This ruin is called Sheldon's Church. 

The church was burned by British troops during the Revolutionary War in 1779, Rebuilt and burned again years later. 
The ruin and the grounds are absolutely beautiful.
Ferns are growing here and there beneath the tall oaks and between the bricks on the ruin itself. 

You can walk among the tombs of the Bull family who owned the bordering plantation. 
I was able to take Murphy along. He enjoyed it as well. 

Sunday, November 17, 2019

West Virginia to North Carolina and OOPS!

Because I wedged a visit to the lunatic asylum into my travels, I felt the need to make a beeline for my November destination in The Florida Keys.
I had eight days to make the 1200 mile trip, but part living this lifestyle is accepting the fact that things happen and can derail your journey in the blink of an eye. It's always a good idea to give yourself extra time. 

Well, I did have an oops but not a trip altering oops. West Virginia is extremely hilly, and once you leave the primary interstate system, the roads are winding and very narrow. 

After a harrowing drive with some less than helpful guidance from my usual navigation system, I decided to download a navigation system for large vehicles such as trucks and RVs. 

I was traveling on a major interstate, minding my own business, but needed to fill the gas tank. I got off the interstate and filled the tank, but when I tried to get back on the interstate, I realized there was no interstate reentry going the direction I had been traveling, so we had a little detour. 

Suddenly I was in a "lesser of the two evils" situation. I could choose a street that looked unpassable to me or a steep incline into a gas station where I could turn around. I choose the gas station. 

I know I made the right choice, but the incline was steep enough to drag the back end of Bridget on the pavement. Ugh! 
Under Bridget's rear bumper, there are two very heavy-duty, sacrificial metal fins designed to protect the Airstream from this very situation. The picture above shows how they are supposed to look. 
They have now been sacrificed. 😥 Nothing else was damaged at all, so I guess they did their job. 


I don't think I even unhitched the truck and Airstream in North Carolina. We just spent the night and hit the road again the next morning. 
I have my own personal rule about adding a state to my visited state map. I have to spend at least one night in the state in Bridget to get the sticker. 
It's a good rule because it keeps me from traveling long distances in a day. 

Next stop, South Carolina!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

My Visit to the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

Please note; this was a voluntary visit. 😂
I was perusing my route mapping app one day and saw this place. It was way outside my route, but I really wanted to see it, so I worked it in. 
The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is located in Weston, West Virginia. It dates back to 1858 when construction began. The original design was supposed to accommodate 250 patients, but in the 1950s, it housed over 2600.  
The layout of the main building. 

The asylum closed in 1994 and sat deteriorating for many years. 
In 2007 the asylum was purchased by a private party and is being restored. The proceeds from the many tours they offer are being used for the restoration. 
The tour I choose was the first-floor history tour. They offer tours of all four floors and ghost tours which are held at night.  
Some of the first floor has been restored. It's bright, sunny and feels more like an old hotel than an asylum. Apparently only the most well-behaved patients were housed in these areas. 
The restored areas are at the front of the building and are what you see in the photos above. Some are used as museum rooms.

The museum rooms display all sorts of medical equipment and therapies used over the years. 
The main staircase near the asylum entry.

We also toured areas of the asylum that have not yet been restored. 

The patient rooms are painted in many colors. 
I love this fire door. When the rope catches fire the angle of the track allows for the door to slide shut. 
This area was built after the civil war to house additional returning soldiers. 

There are bars on the windows overlooking the courtyard behind the building. 

The building is still beautiful from the outside. 

Behind the main building is the Medical Center building. 
Inside the medical center, they had a beauty shop. 

I took a lot of photos. There are far too many to post here but I'll add a few more here. 
I loved this tour!

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Virginia and Shenandoah National Park

After leaving New England, I began my trip to The Keys for the month of November. Everything was so beautiful with the fall colors and blue skies. 

After driving through the most densely populated parts of the North East, I was ready for some rest. 
Every other time we made this trip, we stayed near the Atlantic coast. This time I wanted to check out some other areas, so I decided to visit Virginia and West Virginia. Our first night in Virginia was near Fredericksburg. We had a pretty little spot in front of a pond. 
We moved to Luray, Virginia, the next day so I could visit Shenandoah National Park. The park I chose was Jellystone Park. It was Saturday, and I didn't realize was it was their annual Holloween celebration weekend. 😳 The place was booked to capacity. The photo above is what I saw when I arrived. 

Not my kind of place at all, but we survived the next 24 hours of screaming, trick or treating, racing golf carts, and a lot of traffic. Sunday around noon, everyone cleared out, and I had the whole row to myself. 

I wanted to experience Skyline Drive so early Monday morning I set off on my big adventure. The photo below was literally the first photo I shot after arriving in the park. 

What an incredible drive on a sunny, fall day. The clouds were laying low in the valleys, and it was a sight to behold. 

The elevations were in the 3 to 4,000-foot range, and the weather was perfectly warm. 
If you're in the area I'm sure you will enjoy the park. It was a wonderful visit. 

West Virginia, here we come. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Rhode Island and Connecticut for Family Time

I'm finding it harder and harder to keep up with my blog posts. My last post was from Maine and now I'm in The Florida Keys. I'll work on getting caught up over the next week or two. In between having all sorts of fun, of course. 
After leaving Maine I moved to Rhode Island to visit family. The weather was incredibly miserable. 
The wind and rain were serious and the only reason I left the Airstream was to walk Murphy. 
However, all was not lost as I was able to spend time with my dear cousin.

After leaving Rhode Island I moved to Connecticut to visit more family. 
The weather was much improved by then and I was able to park in their driveway. 
I also got to meet this little one for the first time. 
Our visit was brief because of my November reservation in Florida but we made the most of it and I got to spend some quality time with them. 

I even made a couple of hats for my granddaughters while I was there. 💗💗

Sunday, October 20, 2019

We Made it to Maine

I love Maine! What's not to love? From the great Maine accent to the lob-stah, to the incredible scenery. 

I've been looking forward to this part of the trip for months. My plans included exploring Acadia National Park and lots of lobster. 

It's the end of the season in Maine. Everyone is leaving for the winter. The campgrounds and seasonal businesses are closing. That makes it the perfect time for us to visit. 

In dire need of a lobster fix, I went to the nearest lobster pound. 
Once I got a parking space, I went inside and choose my lobsters. They place the lobsters in a bag and take them directly to the pots outside for cooking. 
You can enjoy your lobster right there or take it away. I took mine home. 😋
I even have some lobster in my freezer to enjoy later. Don't judge me. 

Next up, Acadia National Park.

Acadia National Park consists of three separate sections. You can ferry across to Schoodic Peninsula, but I choose to drive around. It's about 45 miles, but the drive was beautiful. I didn't go to Isle au Haut.

Acadia is surrounded by saltwater. It's wild, rocky, and incredibly beautiful. 

I drove through the easternmost section early one morning. 
Two days later, I drove through the larger part of the park. 

We had every kind of weather while I was there, from sun to rain to high winds and ice. 

We spent five nights in a campground in Ellsworth, which is near Bar Harbor and Acadia. What a beautiful time of year at this campground. The leaves were turning, and when the sun was out, it was absolutely beautiful. 
Murphy really enjoyed lying outside on the rug soaking up the warmth.