Spending several days with cousins in Conway, we’ve spent some time exploring downtown. This is a bustling place, just inland from Myrtle Beach and its touristing economy. The town has clearly put some effort into encouraging the arts – there are murals scattered around town, of which the following are a representative sample. The very helpful people at the tourist info center downtown were happy to talk history, and share maps of the murals and the Conway Critters.
Conway Critters are scattered through the downtown, with a few along the River Walk.
Apparently last year the town workers wanted to do something for the youth who were struggling with pandemic lockdowns. They decorated for Halloween, and continued the tradition this year. No, those are not orange trees with oranges – they are pumpkin trees, with pumpkins. Plastic, though –
Amber came along for the ride, and a walk by the river. Between activities, she gathered her strength!
October 24 – 26: The autumn Roadtrek Roadtrip begins! From Connecticut to South Carolina, I spent two nights on the road. The autumn color was spectacular through New York, Pennsylvania, and on through North Carolina. I wasn’t able to get photos as often as I would have liked; there was not always a safe way to pull over. And a lot of the time it was raining! For one hour or so in Virginia, there was a thunderstorm with heavy rain (at least two cars off the highway, probably from hydroplaning) and strong winds. With all the big trucks, I slowed to about 40 mph, flashers flashing, wipers on high speed. The second night I spent in a campground in Jefferson National Forest, in a small and quiet camping area. By morning, the weather had cleared, and I had a gorgeous drive over the Blue Ridge Mountains, and south through North Carolina, arriving to visit some cousins at about 7:30.
This is going to be a quick and easy post – if somewhat delayed by the rest of my life!
Total days away: 11
Total miles driven: 1193 (1920 kilometers, for you metric folks) Not all days were driving days; not all driving was done by me in my vehicle. Those aren’t counted. Nor did I count miles sailed, or miles kayaked! Or yarn knitted, but I did complete one project.
Total spent on fuel: $279.13 I also spent modest amounts on food, did not pay for campsites as I was visiting friends and relations, and didn’t take toll roads. Average 22.8 MPG – much better than usual! And I triple checked that I hadn’t missed any, as I had trouble believing it.
States visited: Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland.
September 9 – 11: I’m on the road again. Departing Thursday, I spent one night in Bennington, Vermont, then on Friday drove down to Sandy Spring, Maryland, where I had a meeting on Saturday. While I was waiting for others to arrive, I sat with the doors of the Roadtrek camper open, knitting – and watched a Mom and two fawns walk across the yard. If I’d had camera in pocket, where it belongs, I could have gotten a photo of them walking in front of the solar panels – I thought that would be a great juxtaposition. But I had to move (slowly and quietly) to get the camera, and by the time I had it in hand and was back in my seat with the view, one had wandered back behind the building, and these two were munching under the trees. Then Mom wandered off, while Junior took on the job of pruning the shrubbery.
I’m pet sitting in Connecticut for a few days. I started out the front door to get something from the camper, and there were five turkeys strolling across the yard! Retreating back behind the screen, I pulled out the camera and got a few shots as they walked out into the road, and then up the driveway to check out my Roadtrek,
and then off toward the woods. They sped up considerably when a couple of young men on bicycles came whizzing past, making gobbling noises!
Saturday, May 8: The New York State Welcome Center on I-81 has been upgraded since I was last here. There are lots of eye candy/photo ops for the tourists! The piece I liked best was suspended from the ceiling:
Then it was on to Long Pond, where I spent the night in the State Forest.
Sunday, May 9: This is the first time I’ve camped here and actually been able to get the kayak on the water! Usually it’s been raining, once it was still frozen. I was out for a couple of hours, cruising along, enjoying the wildlife and wildflowers. Starting with the view from my campsite:
I had to thread my way through a lot of beaver-built obstruction to get to the southeast end of the pond. There were three lodges, plus what seemed to be an attempt at a dam.
The pitcher plant and the miniature violet (maybe 3/8″ across) were both in the beaver construction area.
I made myself a hot breakfast and drove to another area, where there’s an abandoned orchard. The apple trees there were just beginning to flower.
Even with a couple of hours on the water, and a good meal, I was on the road by about 10:30, taking back roads up to Route 20, and on through Troy, into Vermont, and home well before dark. The daffodils are blooming happily.
We watched the mountain laurel go from tight buds to starting to open. These photos were taken as I pulled out, headed for Baltimore. On the way, I wandered some in Snow Hill, the next real town. I didn’t test it, but the Pokomoke is supposed to be navigable as far as Snow Hill. They have one of the best canoe/kayak launches I’ve seen – it is a pair of wooden ramps, with small docks along the sides, in a sheltered niche along the Pokomoke.
Tuesday, May 4: I didn’t go out until late afternoon, and from Shad Landing went generally northeast to Red Day Mark #8. There wasn’t a lot that caught my eye, this trip.
It was getting dim by the time I was able to get the heron photo, so it’s not as crisp as I would like. But as the first heron I’ve seen to get a photo of this year, it makes it in.
Wednesday, May 5: Before I get to the kayaking, there’s a story to tell:
This is one unhappy bird! Julie had had the tailgate of her truck down, and I was sitting outside knitting. I noticed that there was a bird going in to the bed of the truck. Then it came out and started picking up nesting materials, and carrying them in. Then out again, then a second bird came out – and I called to Julie that maybe she wanted to close the tailgate before she had nesting birds as residents! So this bird is very annoyed that their nice sheltered nest site had been closed off!
It was a glorious afternoon as I headed out, with possible thunderstorms forecast for late afternoon. But I had plenty of time. (You can see where that’s going, can’t you?)
I’m not sure I’d seen a Summer Tanager before; this one was brightly noticeable.
Still a glorious day… I turned around at that next bend. (That’s about where the map ends on the left above.)
But the clouds were moving in. And after I took the above photo, I heard distant thunder, put the camera away, and started putting some effort into the paddling. I made it to the island we’d paddled around a few days before before the weather was getting too threatening; I pulled in along shore, under the largest, most sturdy cypress around and sat there while the heavens opened, and the wind blew the rain horizontally. I could hear trees falling, but that cypress was well anchored, and I was glad to be under it. I did get wet – I got soaked! But it wasn’t all that cold, and the water was quite warm. I did text Julie to let her know I was safe, and would be coming in the back (more sheltered) way when things let up, and that is what I did.