Saturday, April 30, 2016

Congaree National Park, Hopkins, South Carolina

I think that Congaree is the least known National Park.  It became a National Park in 2003.  It is the largest (26,000 acres) remaining tract of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest.  The park consist mainly of hiking and canoeing/kayaking trails.  Automobiles are allowed only as far as the visitor's center.

When we left home, it was a cool 66 degrees

and foggy

There's our hero, Treky - he got us to the park safely and now he's resting in the visitor's center parking area.  Tippy is in there resting too.

Path leading from the parking lot to the visitor's center

Harry Hampton fought for years to have the Congaree "swamp" named a national park.  The visitor's center is named after him.

One of the displays in the visitor's center

We have these little guys (Raccoon) in my neighborhood.  They will steal your stuff and hide it.  This is a display.

They say that there are many different breeds of birds here and I notice tourists with their long range cameras and their bird books going down the trails.  I generally don't do hiking trails.

There is a town, river, swamp and lots of other things in this area named Congaree.  The word Congaree comes from the Congaree indian tribe that lived near here.

My GGGG Grandfather, Azariah Doty fought with General Marion - best known as the "Swamp Fox".

 This is an old Bald Cypress.

More about the Baldcypress

This is the "people" entrance to one of the trails.

This is a "dog" access to the trail.  Note the "poop bag"

This is pretty but it could be anywhere in the Southeast.

Remember our National Park passport book?  We now have two National Park stamps and cancellations.  The cancellation stamps prove that we were there.  

Today is Saturday - Next Wednesday, we plan on camping in the Great Smokey Mountain National Park.

We hope to see you there.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center and Headquarters

We will be spending the next six months continuously on the road visiting United States National Parks.

 Treky thought that it would be a good idea for us to run up to North Carolina (about 135 miles) to get a map and information about the Blue Ridge Parkway to help him prepare for our long journey.

The drive though South Carolina to the North Carolina border is nice.

Of course, Tippy wanted to stop at the North Carolina Welcome Center.

The NC state welcome center, itself, is pretty.

It even has one lonely rose blooming.  

We have arrived.  The Blue Ridge Parkway will be the second site under the auspices of the National Park System that we will visit.  The first will be the Great Smoky Mountain National Park - the third will be the Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. 

The parkway is 469 miles long and has a 45 miles per hour maximum speed limit.  Treky estimates that he will take four days for us to travel from the southern end to the northern end - considering that we will stop to see all the sights and photograph them for inclusion in our blog.  The parkway is a two-lane highway and is paved.

Park rangers are stationed in the visitor center - there is also a gift shop.

I bought a passport book for 2016.

When you visit a national park, you get to affix that park's stamp in the passport to prove that you were there. Here you see that we now have our first two stamps - a Blue Ridge stamp and a regional stamp.

The Blue Ridge map, due to its length, is 8 inches wide and four feet long.  

Tippy says, "We will start down here".

And we want to be sure to see this waterfall.  I expect that we will "boondock" camp for the four nights we will be in the park.

There's lots of excitement and happiness coming up in the next six months or so.  This will be the longest continuous trip that we have taken.

You are invited to ride along with us.

Ron, Tippy and Treky

Monday, April 25, 2016

My New Camera

My new camera is a Samsung Camera 2.  Why do I want a new camera?  It's true that my phone takes perfectly good pictures but taking a picture with it requires two hands. When a photo opportunity arises, my left hand is usually occupied - either holding Treky's steering wheel or holding Tippy's leash.  The new camera allows me to take a picture using only my right hand.

This is the camera home screen - What's that:  the temperature, the time of day, a Google search box, the date and weather conditions????  On a camera????

It looks and acts like a tablet.  When WiFi is available, the camera automatically syncs all photos stored on the device to Google Photos.  Google Photos is the app that I use to organize, store and edit all my photos.  No need to worry about an SD card or transferring pictures to Google Drive.
The camera also has a 21x optical zoom lens.

Look what Tippy spotted on the deck railing this morning.  Spring is here.

Maybe a few more automobile pictures tomorrow if I can post them while Tippy is sleeping.  He's tired of automobiles and threatens to leave home if I post any more.

Yesterday, Treky took us to the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor's Center and Headquarters.  We picked up a map and other information to help us on our next trip which will be along the Blue Ridge Parkway (459 miles at 45 miles per hour) then on to Shenandoah National Park and then on to Niagara Falls, Ontario. 

Hope to see you tomorrow,

Ron, Tippy and Treky

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Tallahassee Auto Museum # 3

40 Horsepower  &  $525.00 

1930 Model A Sport Coupe - Even today, Automobile companies produce "Sport" models.

1893 Duryea

It looks like they took a horse and buggy, took away the horse and replaced him with an engine.  Otherwise it looks just like a buggy.

1932 Ford Model B

The Model B had a V-8 engine and a back seat.

1932 Ford Model 18 - Another V-8

1932 Model Ford - Cabriolet - 8 Cylinders

We've lots more cars - Maybe a week's worth - - Tippy is sick of cars and wants to go - He will just have to wait until Treky and I get our fill of cars.

Ron, Tippy and Treky

Friday, April 22, 2016

Tallahassee Auto Museum # 2

1923 Packard

1923 Packard - A rich person's car - Three headlights, a steel bumper and a single windshield wiper. - Don't forget the white-wall tires.

Note the price:  $480.00

1928 Ford Model A - This car had a gear shift.  Not all old cars are painted black.  Check out the side body mounted spare tire.

1931 Ford Model A Roadster - Treky says, "That's what I am - A Roadster".  This car did well on just 40 horsepower.

1931 Ford Model A Roadster - This little car had "4 on the floor".  If I had one of these, I would drive it every day.  I like the yellow wheels with white-side wall tires.

1931 Ford Standard Roadster

This Standard model did not have as many "bells and whistles" as the Deluxe model.  I like the blue paint job and the single windshield wiper.  Notice the white-wall tires.

More cars tomorrow and then more for a while.

Ron, Tippy and Treky