Saturday, April 20, 2013

Gaffney, SC and Asheville, NC

Odometer 30344- Gaffney, SC- trip 166 miles
                30422- Asheville, NC trip 78 miles

I have gotten a little behind and need to catch-up my blog posts- so this is a two-fer.  While we were in Kinards, SC which is just north and west of Columbia, we did some exploring on the backroads towards Clinton and Joanna.  The area is beautiful and we had a great time checking out, not only the scenery, but some of the beautiful homes and this-
It's not a real gas station, but a very nice replica of an early station built on private property next to the highway.  Awesome!
We also were so impressed by this stately home we had to stop and take a photo
We saw many very nice homes on large lots or acreages, in quiet rural towns.

From Kinards (Columbia, SC) we drove north and east on State Route 72 hoping to get to Gaffney, SC via US 176.  We got de-railed right at the start when we passed a sign announcing a weight limited bridge on the road ahead, and our big-boy was too heavy for it.  We back-tracked to Interstate 26 and traveled north and west before jumping off again on Walnut Grove SR-90 and heading northeast catching SR-150 Glenn Springs Road which would take us into Gaffney the back way.  The road was very narrow with no shoulder, but the traffic was so light that it was not a bother.  About the time we got hungry for lunch we arrived at the tiny town of Pacolet, and there was a large parking lot adjacent to an old mill were we could park and make lunch.  As we were eating we pulled up the history of the town to learn that this was once a very prosperous textile manufacturing area.  The mills started up in the late 1800s and this particular mill expanded to three locations to handle the demand.  In June of 1903, disaster struck in the form of a raging flood killing 70 people and wiping out 600 homes-and all three textile mills.  All that is left is the administration office and a warehouse.

The City moved into the administration building with city hall and a museum,  and the warehouse here looked empty.  As we walked down to the river we saw this:
There is a large white horse statue on a pier that used to hold up the old bridge over the Pacolet River.  We later found out that Pacolet meant "fast running horse" in the Cherokee language, and a white horse was the logo of the Pacolet Textile Mill.  When the old bridge across the Pacolet River was replaced in the 50's  A fiberglass stallion was purchased and installed by two enterprising folks- cool!

We eventually made it the whole 70 miles from Kinards to the Spartanville KOA, in Gaffney, where we got a very nice space under the trees

Soon we were surrounded by other coaches all arriving here for the same reason we were here- Camp Freightliner.  We were home- or should I say our chassis was home.  Freightliner built our chassis #K83084 right here at the Gaffney, SC plant on July 2nd 2002, and shipped it to Winnebago in Forest City, Iowa, for a new Itasca Horizon motorhome.  Camp Freighliner is a two day class presented by Freightliner especially for RV owners whose motorhomes are built on a Freightliner chassis.  The classes are designed to ensure that we know everything we want to know about how these chassis are constructed and what we need to do to maintain them.  Mike Cody is the instructor and he is world-class good at what he does.  For two days we threw questions and scenerios at him and he either knew the answer or he would call up someone that did.  I won't bore you further, suffice to say It was nirvanah for me.

Gaffney to Asheville, NC

On Saturday morning, April 20th, we finally finish talking with our fellow classmates, and readied the MH for travel.  Our destination today is the city of Asheville, North Carolina 78 miles up Interstate 26.  The trip takes us up the Saluda grade- a 6% grade that ascends to 2,130 feet to the top of the Eastern Continental Divide.  Not high by comparison to many grades in the western US, but fun for us after all the time we have been on the coast.  I get a chance to practice the techniques we learned in the Freighliner class for climbing and descending steep grades.

We descend into Asheville, a smallish town of 84,000 which is going to be our jumping off point for the next few days (thanks Elizabeth!)  Asheville is situated at the confluence of the French Broad and the Swannanoa Rivers, in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  It is also at the junction of I-26 and I-40.

The French Broad River where our RV park is located is in flood stage- but for now still within it's banks.

The spaces at Wilson's Riverfront RV Park  have concrete slabs, and good thing too, the grass is very soggy with lots of standing water from the recent rains.
We chose a great spot right next to the river, flanked by mature trees.  No rain in the forcast for the next week.  A very nice paved walking/ bike path follows the river and passes right through the RV Park.

We get set-up and decide to drive downtown to see the city
The city is very busy on this Saturday afternoon and we decide to just do a driving tour to get the lay of the land.
We heard live music and saw tents set up for a street festival.  The music was so loud from where we took this photo that I wanted ear plugs..  Hmm, I am getting old!

I'll end this posting with a photo we took from Montford Street.  This stone house looks cool and medieval, there was a wedding going on, so we couldn't get any closer.

Tomorrow we have tickets to go to the Biltmore Estate and take a tour.  It's the largest house in the US, and it sits on 8,000 acres of land.  Should be interesting!

Your Traveling Friends,

Jeff and Joan

1 comment:

  1. Don't know if you're still using this blog--found this while searching for images of the old county courthouse in Gaffney where my parents were married in 1951.

    Anyway--that house on Montfort belonged to my great-grandfather, Robert S. Carroll. He called it "Homewood House," and I was actually in it once in 1964--no real memories, though. Stopped by in 2010 and took a picture with my family.

    Always interesting to find stuff on the internet!