After a week of recovery time it was off to Croft State Park on the outskirts of Spartanburg. It had been 17 years since Chari had worked in the area and oh boy had it grown. Using the GPS we had no trouble finding the park. Croft SP was an army training base in World War II. When it was closed in 1948 the area was littered with unexploded armaments. The area needed extensive clearing and was allowed to return to a natural state eventually becoming a state park.
Croft SP is a small park with two campgrounds, a small lake, horse barns and trails, hiking trails and a lovely creek with small falls and refreshing splash holes. Once a month the park sponsors a local saddle club show in their show rings. Unfortunately the two weeks we were there was not one of them. Not knowing the layout of the park we’d chosen a site in the Lake campground. When we arrived we realized this area was quite unlevel as compared to the other camping area. Our site was not too bad but the back area seemed muddy and there was a significant hill sloping toward the trailer along one side. Our site offered us privacy as it was at the end of a circle.
Steve was making a four- day trip up to New York with some cabinets and tools for his nephew while Chari stayed here continuing to tie up loose ends, have dinner with friends and get a long overdue haircut. Coming back one night after dark she realized there had been a heavy rain and found that mud had come down the hill and covered the patio carpet. Using her best Scarlett O’Hara approach to life she scooted across to the door and thought “I’ll worry about that tomorrow. ”It looked even worse in the daylight. So all 16’ of rug was dragged out in the sun and once dry the mud came off fairly easily. That’s if you call lifting, shaking and sweeping easy.
When Steve returned we did have time to do some sightseeing. I had to show Steve the famous Gaffney Peach Water Tower. For those of you not familiar with this, it is a peach from the northbound side of I85 but from the southbound side it looks for all the world like a sunburned buttock with a hemorrhoid We bought some local peaches which needed to ripen a few days but then the juice flowed down your arm as you bit them. We tried some local peach ice cream too. Then we went over to Hatcher Gardens. I’d picked up a brochure when we stopped at a Visitors Center last year coming home from Florida. It was the private home of the Hatcher family who took ten acres of barren and trash filled land and converted it into a garden oasis. Upon their death the land was donated to the county to be used as a park. There is no admission charge. Groups can arrange to have a tour guide with prior arrangement. www.hatchergarden.org .
We also made a trip to Cowpens National Battlefield. Both Steve and Chari went to school in New york State and other than Yorktown neither of them remembered learning about the very significant role the southern revolutionaries made. We watched a film about the battle. Although the battle was only ten minutes long it was a turning point in stopping Cornwallis. The untrained Militia men being victorious against a larger force of trained British regulars hung on an unexpected about face when it looked as if the Americans were retreating. Then we got on our bikes and rode the three mile circuit around the battle site stopping to read signs and go into a log home.
Another day we drove over to Musgrove Mill, which is a SC State Historical site. There no longer is a mill, just a Visitors Center with some educational displays. The one I liked the best was talking about the role of some local women in serving as spies and couriers during the Revolution.
Other days were spent at Camping World buying equipment for setting up our satellite TV, kayak the lake at Croft and getting Steve his own Interagency Senior Pass. For the latter we had to drive to Flat Rock as only sites that charge admission will carry the passes.
Several evenings we walked the half a mile to the creek where Opal could run and play in the water. Other times we just sat in the creek to cool off while she supervised from the bank. For the first time in many weeks we began to feel relaxed.