Sunday, May 17, 2015

Lower Sage Flats Campground, CA Hwy. 395

 We went out on the maiden voyage this spring to see if we have everything thing we will need for the trip to Alaska. We stayed at Lower Sage Flats Campground 9 miles up the mountain from Lone Pine.
 It snowed on us and we sat outside with the dogs and a fire.

 The snow was really pretty,
 but it didn't last too long at all.

 It was opening day at Crowley Lake off of 395, just south of Mammoth.

 All we caught were some nice pictures. Jay got his feet wet when they didn't do what his brain told them to do.  lol  Didn't get a picture of his wayward feet, but we do have a picture of the campsite.
 Brady was content to sit inside where it was warm and gaze out the window.
 When we did make them go outside, we found out who the alpha dog really is, poor Stella girl.
It was fun and we realized that we need to probably go out one more time before we hit the road for the North Pole.  Didn't have some things and too much of others.  They do have stores along the way though, so I'm not too worried.  Retirement is only 13 workdays away!

Charleston, South Carolina

Our daughter  moved to Charleston and we flew out there to visit during my spring break.  I hadn't been there before and wow . . .   what a beautiful place, full of history, clean, and green, green, green.  We are such desert rats. 
 It rained quite a bit while we were there so we just had to go into a local Irish Pub and have a beer and wait it out.
 Being here also means you need to enjoy the local cuisine.  We went to Pearlz and had oysters, she-crab soup and mimosas.  Jay had his own plate.  Jill and I shared.  They were really good.
 One of the local sights is called Rainbow Row.  In the 60's you could have bought one of these townhouses for $30,000, but they have been renovated and now the average cost is $3 million!
 There is a ton of beautiful ironwork in Charleston and quaint hidden gardens.  It reminds me a lot of New Orleans.
 A lot of the balconies have this round extension on them.  I found out that they are there so that in the 1800's the women with their large hooped skirts could go outside and catch a breath of fresh air.
 Another view of Rainbow Row.
 At one point in time Charleston was a walled city to keep out invaders.  Most of the wall has been destroyed or has been covered up.  Here is a small section of the original wall.
 There are a lot of old homes here.  The white one was a gift to a daughter from her father for her wedding.  The new husband and wife couldn't agree on the style of the new home, so half of it is her style and the other half is the husband's style.  I think someone was truly spoiled and daddy had too much money.
 This is one of the statues in Battery Park.  Lots of statues and beautiful old oak trees everywhere.
 And of course we were amazed at all of the vegetation growing everywhere, even on the brick walls.
 More wrought iron gates, handmade and amazing.
 This is a statue of George Washington.  He visited Charleston and they mention him everywhere.
 There are a few cobblestone streets left in Charleston.  They used the ballasts from the English ships that dumped them once they arrived in the U.S.  Once the English realized what was going on, the taxed the rocks and Charleston quit using them.  They tore up the street for some major work and the students from the local university marked and catalogued each one and replaced them where they belonged.  I am sure it was a labor of love for some.
 This is a view of the local downtown shopping area.
 We went to the local beach on John's Island. So different from the west coast. Dunes everywhere and notices about staying off the dunes or you will get fined big time.  The fences remind me of the snowdrift fences we have in Montana.
 This is Angel Oak. The oldest and I am sure the largest live oak in the U.S.
 This house is on Sullivan Island and is supposed to be able to weather any hurricane.  It reminded me of a house I saw in a Woody Allen movie.
 We did go to the Tea Plantation.  Very interesting tour through the processing of tea.
 These are the tea bushes.  Look like nicely trimmed hedges. I had a picture of the machine they designed to harvest from them, but can't seem to find it.
 On the beach at Wild Dunes Resort where we stayed, the sand is really just a ton of tiny shells.
 With a few jellyfish that washed up.
 And then of course, we had to tour the old graveyards, beautiful, old tombstones.
 I was in search for some of the oldest ones.  Most of them had the date worn off.  This one you can still read.
 I can't even imagine the time and skill it took to create this.
We had a great time.  I can't wait to go back and explore some more, but I want to take our RV.  There is something about having your "stuff" with you that makes you more comfortable.