Category Archives: #Wander


Sitting near the front of Old St. Davidโ€™s Church in Cheraw, S.C. is this headstone.

One half? You ask yourself what happened here. Was there a terrible accident involving a train? An auto accident? Maybe a farming accident? No. Sometimes the truth is just better. I received this bit today from Sarah Spruill with Visit Cheraw.

โ€œSomeone sent me your link re Laurence Prince. He grew up in Cheraw, but his mother was from Virginia. He was cremated and half of his ashes were buried in his fatherโ€™s family plot and half in Virginia with his motherโ€™s family. He would enjoy that this has gotten on the internet. Old St. Davidโ€™s is a very beautiful church and cemetery. The oldest graves date back to the Revolutionary War, and the first Confederate Monument (c. 1867) ever erected is located here.โ€

I am pleased that Mr. Prince would have gotten a kick out of my having placed a piece about him here. It’s a shame to have never met him.

Thank you, Sarah.

This is a repost of a piece from my old blog Searching The South. Which I may or may not have an itch to start up again.

Maybe itโ€™s time to wander.

A good wander heals the soul.

The Skipper

Thatโ€™s it. Thatโ€™s the post.



I am working tomorrow by choice and if I complain I want to be called out.

I need to have some work done on the wife’s car that I, shamefully, can’t do.

So I’m working tomorrow and taking the day off Monday. If the problem is resolved quickly enough, I’m then going to make a day of it and get new tires on the car.

And then, if there’s still a reasonable amount of time left in the day, I’m going on into work because that’s what we do.

I was catching memories on the iPad, and this pic popped up. It’s from this year on our anniversary weekend. We go. We eat. We hike. We spend time together without the kids. Once a year.

I like this one. I say that, and you think I’m talking about the picture. I do like the picture.


I like this one. I think I’ll keep her.

That’s it. That’s the post.


The End

Mom and Dad are getting older and have decided to sell their place in the mountains. This has been our vacation place for the past six years.

Logan takes things as they come. It hasnโ€™t bothered her much, although I know in the back of her mind sheโ€™ll miss it.

Sam is a bit upset. This is what he has known since he was four. I explained to him that now weโ€™ll widen our travel area. Weโ€™ll make it a bigger adventure. And that piqued his interest.

We will still be mountain folk though the beach isnโ€™t for us.

The wife and I arenโ€™t looking forward to the hotel bills. But weโ€™ve already found a small place in the same town that we love (see the post about Route 19 Inn), so you know there are other places out there for us.

Me? Iโ€™m wondering where Iโ€™m going to get my coffee.

I donโ€™t do coffee shops. Youโ€™ll never find me in a Starbucks. I don’t do McCafรฉs or frappรฉs.

Nope. Iโ€™ve been going to the same gas station getting my coffee for my #CoffeeByTheCreek posts for the last six years.

Iโ€™ve made friends with the old fella that runs the place. He remembers me year after year. โ€œHello, my friend. It has been two years almost since I saw you last!โ€

Iโ€™ll bet we talked thirty minutes last Friday. I’ll miss that.

So here’s to on down the road, bigger adventures, and new creeks.

That’s it. That’s the post.


The Adventurerโ€™s Club

Long gone from the streets of Downtown Disney is The Adventurers Club.

From Pinterest

The wife and I visited there on our honeymoon several times. Entertaining and fun.

A memory on FB of the creed reminded me of this today.

From Theme Park University.

The Adventurer’s Club Creed

We climb the highest mountains,
just to get a better view.

We plumb the deepest oceans,
because we’re daring through and through.

We cross the scorching desert,
martinis in our hand.

We ski the polar ice caps,
in tuxedos looking grand.

We are reckless, brave, and loyal,
and valiant to the end.

If you come in here a stranger,
you will exit as a friend.


Lots of Disneyesque fun geared more towards adults. Audience participation and interaction was a must.

I wish Disney would bring the club back in Epcot.

Part of the fun of the internet is discovery. Go look it up. ๐Ÿ˜

That’s it. That’s the post.


Thomas Divide Tunnel

We found a new lost thing this weekend. Most folk will drive over it without even realizing itโ€™s there.


The Civilian Conservation Corps was created in 1933 to provide jobs to young men who were skilled in masonry, engineering, architecture, landscaping, or simply hard work. They built hundreds of miles of roads and hiking trails, bridges, buildings, campgrounds, and more in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The CCC most commonly used stone to build the structures. Some of the most well-known structures they built are the original Oconaluftee Visitor Center, the tower at Mount Cammerer, and the four-arch Elkmont Bridge. However, some of the accomplishments of the CCC are less well known, like the secret tunnel under Clingmans Dome Road!

The Thomas Divide Tunnel is less than a mile west of the junction with Newfound Gap Road. When Clingmans Dome Road was finished in 1935, there was a trail that closely paralleled the upper section of Newfound Gap Road on the North Carolina side. It connected to the Appalachian Trail on the far side of Clingmans Dome Road. Instead of routing the trail to cross Clingmans Dome Road, the engineers chose to build the tunnel under the roadbed. This old hikerโ€™s tunnel kept the hikers from having to cross over Clingmans Dome Road

We usually visit The Road To Nowhere and a tiny cemetery on Independence Day. The. We head over to Nantahala. This year we added in Clingmans Dome because we found this online. Itโ€™s harder and harder to find something we havenโ€™t done thatโ€™s regular tourist stuff. Occasionally you have to dig a little deeper.

Trying out the DJI Mimo for the first time on the trail.

Itโ€™s not hard to find. Just after the turn onto Clingmanโ€™s Dome Road, thereโ€™s a pull-off to the right. Park there and make your way to the bridge and down along the side. Watch your step.

And there you are.

It’s a neat place to find, and you certainly won’t have to deal with many people. If I’m heading out to Clingmanโ€™s, I will visit again. Maybe take a little picnic lunch and sit at the end over the parkway.

I have many other vids and pics to download and edit from the last five or six days. At least I have material to post.

That’s it. That’s the post.


Independence Day

We’re still here in the mountains. We always come up for 4oJ weekend. Well, we couldn’t last year so that makes this year that much better.

Today is a wander around Bryson City, NC. And then over to Nantahala White Water Center. Then on to Clingmanโ€™s Dome. All of this through the mountains on roads engineered and dug through some of the toughest terrain in America. Not with modern machines. Which makes it so much more of an incredible feat.

We love it here. It’s a great reminder of what we have.

I’m still here.

You’re still here.

We’re still here.

Happy Independence Day

When I was a kid, a very long time ago, there used to be a thing called the nightly sign off for TV. And on our local channel WIS TV, John Wayne, the Duke, would do the voiceover on various scenes of our country. And he would read this poem.

I still hear his voice when I read this. It brings a tear to my eye.

America, Why I Love Her

You ask me why I love her? Give me time and I’ll explain;
Have you seen a Kansas sunset, or an Arizona rain?
Have you drifted on a bayou down Louisiana way?
Have you seen the cold fog drift over San Francisco Bay?

Have you heard a Bobwhite calling in the Carolina pines,
Or the bellow of a diesel in the Appalachian mines?
Does the call of the Niagara thrill you when you hear her waters roar,
Do you look with awe and wonder at her Massachusetts shore
where men who braved a hard new world first stepped on Plymouth’s rock?
Do you think of them when you stroll along New York city dock?

Have you seen a snowflake drifting in the Rockies, way up high?
Have you seen the sun come blazing down from a bright Nevada sky?
Do you hail to the Columbia as she rushes to the sea?
Do you bow your head at Gettysburg at our struggle to be free?

Have you seen the mighty Tetons? Have you watched an eagle soar?
Have you seen the Mississippi roll along Missouri’s shore?
Have you felt a chill at Michigan, when on a winter’s day
her waters raged along the shore in thunderous display?

Does the word ‘Aloha’ make you warm?
Do you stare in disbelief when you see the surf come roaring in at Waiamea reef?
From Alaska’s cold to the everglades, from the Rio Grande to Maine,
My heart cries out, my pulse runs fast at the might of her domain.

You ask me why I love her? I’ve a million reasons why —
My beautiful America, beneath God’s wide, wide sky.

By John Mitchum
Copyright 1971

For this morning.

That’s it. That’s the post.


Back In The Mountains: Day One (Part One)

We’ve finally broken free of lockdowns and masks and have run for the hills of North Carolina.

The kids came up yesterday morning, and we decided that if we got off work early enough that we’d come on up if we could find a room for one night.

We stayed at the Route 19 Inn which is a refurbished hotel that had been here since the 1940s.

I was speaking to the owner this morning and the place was buried under downed trees for years. They came in and completely refurbished the place, gave it an old school motor inn vibe and gone to work. They’ve really made something of the place in a year.

Y’all, abandoned is my thing. I have driven by this place for six years. It’s just off Soco Road. I can’t believe I haven’t noticed.

Just a quick review of the room.


Bed: Comfortable.

It’s basic but you have cable (we didn’t even turn on the TV), USB charging ports, and the wifi was strong.

Nice price for a one night stay and finding a one nighter is hard nowadays. Extremely friendly owners.

We will stay there again.

That’s it. That’s the post.


Token Memory

This found its way into my pocket today as part of my change. The girl at the tobacco shop thought it was a one dollar coin and I corrected her as itโ€™s obviously a token from an arcade or something.

This led me to take a Google at the place.

From this article on The American Conservative:

The building itself is at least as unconventional as its mix of tenants. The site was originally composed of a massive new-build S. Klein department store (over 200,000 square feet) and a smaller separate strip plaza housing an A&P supermarket and a few other stores. Beltway Plaza in its present form is the remnants of both original separate pieces with a newer enclosed mall bridging them. It has seen a succession of anchors and semi-anchors over the years, from discount department stores to two movie theaters to a Chinese buffet to a space offering computer workshops. It is now home to a church, several restaurants from Italian to African, one movie theater, a gym, an arcade/fun center, a supermarket, salons, and a variety of budget-oriented smaller stores.

I used to love malls. We had Eastland Mall in Charlotte, NC and Columbia Mall in Columbia, SC as our main go to malls in our area.

Now the malls that are left are a shadow of what these cathedrals of capitalism used to be. Itโ€™s tiresome just to visit them.

Eastland had an ice rink and weโ€™d go there with our youth group from church every year to skate and shop for Christmas.


One of my most favorite stores was The Intimate Bookshop.


I loved the creaking floors and the smell of the store. I donโ€™t know if itโ€™s was a piped smell or the book bindings. I miss that place.

And I canโ€™t forget The Tinder Box. The smell of tobacco and all the paraphernalia that goes along with that. If youโ€™ve never been to one itโ€™s not a head shop. It an honest to goodness tobacconist. I think thatโ€™s the right word anyway. I donโ€™t know if they still exist as a company. I enjoyed them though. (A quick bit of research and they do still exist!)


Strange how a token found in a tobacco shop can take you on a stroll down memory lane.

For my friend Yoko in case he actually reads this. Yes, I know you so well. ๐Ÿ˜

And Claudia, I hope this wasnโ€™t too wordy.

Thatโ€™s it. Thatโ€™s the post.


Three Days After

I wrote about fixing my truck Sunday. As a part of this ongoing project (and yes, thereโ€™s a lot to do) Iโ€™m going to be posting here and there about it. This blog is my daily outlet. This is why Iโ€™m here.

๐ŸŽผSome days are better than others…

Today was great!

Iโ€™ve been using OBDLink (Apple) with my OBD scanner. Itโ€™s a nifty little tool that can drop all kinds of info on ya while youโ€™re on the move. My primary concerns this week are engine coolant temp and the voltage on the battery. I replaced the thermostat several months ago. The battery was dead Sunday. So worth watching over. The MPG was a plus today.

I drove home with the A/C on this afternoon. I also fueled up at a station that may have had okay fuel. But as far as gas mileage Iโ€™m pretty happy with either number.

Before I figured out the problem with the plugs it was getting 22/23 mpg. This is a huge improvement.

For a twenty two year old truck this is pretty phenomenal I think.

I have a little bit more mechanical to work on. I have some plans for the exterior and a few more improvements to the interior look and functionality.

Thatโ€™s it. Thatโ€™s the post.


Sunday Morning (1999 Project)

This is how it starts…

Not a bad way to spend the day if thereโ€™s a favorable outcome.

8:00 AM: Iโ€™m starting off the day trying to figure the problem out with the truck and these spark plugs. And I may have found the problem. I think itโ€™s the wrong set of plugs. Youโ€™d think the guy at the counter would have some knowledge as to what heโ€™s selling you but Iโ€™ve trusted too much in that. It would seem heโ€™s wrong.

(Further on Iโ€™ll be talking about Oโ€™Reillyโ€™s. I didnโ€™t get the bad plugs from there. – Credit where credit is due.)

Iโ€™ll be taking off to the parts place with a little more knowledge this time and the manual and truck info to back me up.

But first, church.

12:19 PM

Iโ€™m at Oโ€™Reilly Auto Parts and my man Chuck here confirmed part of a problem. I was sold single platinum plugs instead of double platinum plugs at the other parts place. The plug in five split and is causing misfire. These plugs couldnโ€™t handle the workload.

We may be onto something…

1:00 PM: I got back home, stepped out of the car and directly to the truck. I went to work on replacing the plugs.

The Usual Suspects

I started at one and went to six. I didnโ€™t pull a wire until I had the previous one gap checked, greased and seated. That fifth cylinder misfire was because of these old plugs. That would be number five in the lineup pictured above. Absolutely the wrong equipment for the application.

2:14 PM: After about an hour I was back on the road but it wasnโ€™t all rainbows and roses, no. The battery had died and a cell had went bad so I was off to another Oโ€™Reillyโ€™s to see about a new battery.

The truck isnโ€™t cutting back like it was and no check engine light. No misfire. This, for me, is huge! I love my truck but it has to be usable to stick around.

At this point I was only into this little adventure for blood, sweat, and $32.00 USD. I was dreading having to shell out for a new battery. They arenโ€™t outrageous but they arenโ€™t cheap either. And this battery was only a year old.

Mr. Gene

But then I guess there was a bit of โ€œwhiskers on kittensโ€œ. Turns out the battery I bought a year ago was under a two year warranty at Oโ€™Reillyโ€™s. Those fellas helped me out big time to day.

A BIG SHOUT OUT to Oโ€™Reillyโ€™s and to their employees. Gene and Jim in Camden, SC and Chuck in Lancaster, SC. They were super helpful and knowledgeable today.

And also, Iโ€™m thanking God. Itโ€™s getting hot and thereโ€™s no air in the Escape. The Ranger has super cold air. I prayed over the truck last night hoping that this was the problem. I needed it and it was granted. So thank you Lord for the hands and mind to work the problem and the grace to let this happen.

5:50 PM: I havenโ€™t eaten all day. I was all about getting this done. And now itโ€™s almost supper time.

Time to shower, eat, and relax. Tomorrowโ€™s Monday.

And itโ€™s gonna be a great day!

Thatโ€™s it. Thatโ€™s the post.


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