Turn around and go back

The grey, wet skies lowered a chill to the earth on this day.  The raw Carolina countryside lured me down this road. Looking for a safe and inconspicuous place to turn around, this old homestead appeared around a curve. Its architecture and obvious age fascinated me, and so the jacket, hat and camera left their cozy spot in the passenger seat and joined me in braving the rain for a few snapshots.

Information on the old place seems nonexistent as I have found nothing thus far. It is well maintained property so it apparently has meaning for someone. Not to mention someone who wanders the random roads with camera and k9 companions.

It was a good place to stop, taste the raindrops, feel the damp chill, ponder a few moments, and turn around.

~B.L. Stroud
musings from the leery traveler


Raindrops on a tin roof.


There were no visible signs of steps having ever been at the side porch.


You can clearly see the old road bed, the house sits just below the line of the old road. Behind the little out buildings to the left is a small pond.


The old road cut.


Out building and old road cut.


Please, Get Lost!

“Even after 400 generations in villages and cities,
we haven’t forgotten. The open road still softly calls,
like a nearly forgotten song of childhood.”
~ Carl Sagan

                  photo courtesy https://bossfight.co


Many years ago, I journeyed to the mountains of Northwest Georgia. After a short visit to Amicalola Falls, the road began to wander through miles of apple orchards. Noticing the fuel gauge dropping, I stopped at the next decent gas station and refueled. Perhaps a bit of near empty tank anxiety clung to my psyche for shortly after I took a wrong turn. At first it made me nervous and I was downright frightened of becoming lost. Soon however, the rolling hills and gentle curves began to soothe my spirit and so the road beckoned me onward.
It was early morning and the mountain mists were still flirting with the dew kissed meadows. The road wound itself around the base of a mountain, straightening for a brief moment beside a pasture. As the sun peeked through the mists a white horse lifted its head amidst the sweet grasses and wildflowers. It may have been curious about the car, its creeping slow speed, the human at the wheel with mouth gaping open in amazement.
The serene moment was quickly stolen by the restless road, curving around yet another mountain base. It doubled back on itself and eventually ran back into the main road that funneled me onto the valley road. I hadn’t gotten lost. The road had gently teased me into going forward and gifted me with scenes peppered with little delights so perfect and so fleeting it would be easy to pass them off as a dream.
It was not a dream. Cruising down that mountain valley road had been very real, leaving me with images burned indelibly into my mind. I was grateful, for it had refreshed my weary soul at a time when it was thirsty for such respite.
Metaphors come to mind, so cliché and yet so relevant. Roads and paths sometimes present themselves to us and we are not sure which direction to go. Barring recklessness or apparent danger, last-minute decisions can sometimes be wonderful. The road may be difficult and it may only get you from point A to point B, it may be shorter and easier, it might have delights waiting just around the bend.
Trust your angels. Trust your instincts. Take the random road. Expect the unexpected. Enjoy the surprises and treasures waiting for you. Be curious but not reckless. Navigate carefully the obstacles and pot holes that can be lessons. Don’t let fear make all your decisions for you.
And always have a back up plan. Like an auto club membership, GPS or a good old-fashioned map.
Go ahead, get lost in your surroundings once in a while.
You may just find you’re not so lost after all.

~ B.L. Stroud
Musings from the leery traveler

Down the road and around the bend

There’s a place at the top of a ridge where you can see for miles.

Not far from Clarks Hill, SC and the Clarks Hill Dam and lake
(Thurmond lake on the South Carolina side of the border)

Some people liken these gentle hills of South Carolina to Ireland.

I’ve never been to Ireland, so I cannot speak to that.

But these hills are lovely, and I can attest to that.

Two minutes after these photos were taken, the colors slipped from the sky and
fell into dusk.

~B.L. Stroud
scenes from a Sunday drive






Where the pavement ends

Today’s little jaunt into the Carolina Countryside took the boys (K9s) and me through peach country near Trenton SC. Being the history buff, I had to turn around, pull off the road and snap a shot of a historical marker. This put me back near Edgefield SC.
Fully intending to keep the ride short and sweet and head back home, I instead found myself tempted by that which I was saving for another ride on another day.
Old Stage Road.
One of the oldest roads in the area and a very historical place. During the Revolutionary War a skirmish or small battle was fought at or near Horne Creek. Nearby stands the historic Horne Creek Baptist Church, incorporated 1790 and rumored to be haunted.
Just outside of Edgefield SC, the road begins as a paved and unpainted country road. It winds through open pastures, past homes, what looks like an old large house advertised as a Christmas Tree farm and an unexpected breathtaking vista that would make you think you’re in the foothills of the mountains. Not much farther and the pavement ends. The road narrows to one lane and heads down a long incline.
Standing at the top of the hill, that old history buff gene teased my brain and thinking “why not?” I decided to go a little way down the road. After all, one can always find somewhere to turn around if the going gets too rough, right? Mmm hmmm.
The road itself was scary enough to deter any haints wanting to hang around: rough, having had something like crush and run rocks laid down. The rocks were larger and frighteningly sharp looking in places. Ruts, pot holes and erosion demanded slow going. Heaven help someone meeting oncoming traffic though by the looks of it, the lane isn’t heavily traveled.
The dirt lane parts the hostile vegetation in its campaign to conceal the old wagon road under a carpet of green. It is perhaps, not unlike a creek that briefly parted two armies in their skirmish over it two centuries ago.

An old sunken road bed runs parallel to the road for a short distance, barely visible in the late afternoon light. Despite the growth and the tough drive, the area has a cheery air about it.

The road meandered and took its time showing me its secrets. There was an old bridge over Tobler’s creek. The road lifted from the creek bottom, and there was the church on the left. It’s fenced and locked at the gate. It seemed different, bigger, than I expected from the photos I’ve seen. It’s right beside the road, the cemetery on the opposite side. Just beyond, the road slips down to Horns creek.
Somewhere nearby at this spot way back in the Carolina forests a hot battle took place.
I was unable to stop for photos of the church due to the lateness of the hour, but I did pass and wave at the caretaker, who I would love to chat with. Oh well, that leaves something to do on another Sunday Drive.

Darby, Edgefield SC


Darby, Edgefield SC


Where the pavement ends and terror begins


Christmas Tree Farm


Tobler Creek Bridge. The bridge over Horn Creek is much the same. Near this spot the British and Americans fought some 200+ years ago. It was a loss for the British.