Shortly after we stopped to take the photo of the sailboat in the previous post, we stopped at a roadside park to take a photo of a covered bridge. The covered bridge paled in comparison to what was across the road!
I don’t even know what to call this. It was definitely a facade of some kind, but I’m not sure what it was hiding – the Google satellite view is inconclusive, and we didn’t cross the road to investigate. It was a little creepy, actually. But made for some interesting photographs! 😉
Someone appears to have a lot of time on their hands and a very active imagination!
You never know what you will come across while exploring some random back road. No idea what the story behind this boat is, but it was sitting alongside a gravel driveway a quarter mile or so from a really nice lake.
Our first overnight stop on the return home from Wisconsin took us to the town of Jasper, Indiana. We chose Jasper primarily because it was just about the right distance for the day, but also because it looked like it had an interesting downtown area for us to check out.
I was initially attracted by the fact that Jasper has a train station, but we noted that the train station was an anchor for a new mixed-use development called River Centre. A brand new Fairfield Inn sits along the Patoka River and is connected to the Jasper Riverwalk, a 4.5 mile multi-purpose trail that connects several businesses and restaurants, and winds through a scenic section along the river.
Across the river from River Centre and connected by a very nice steel bridge is the historic Jasper City Mill. The current mill building is a replica of a mill that was established on the site in 1817 and was in operation until 1933. Among the customers of the mill is said to have been Thomas Lincoln and his son Abraham Lincoln, who bartered goods for corn meal in 1828.
We got into town late and left early, and it was a Sunday so not too many businesses were open. But we got a good look at the town – enough to determine that it would be worth a re-visit. It is “on the way” to a lot of places we hope to visit, so we will be sure to add Jasper to the itinerary on a future road trip!
“Big Things In A Small Town” That is Casey’ Illinois’ claim to fame, and the reason we stopped off on our way home from Wisconsin. Scattered around the downtown area of this town of about 3,000 located just off I-70 between St. Louis and Indianapolis. Casey only has one traffic light, and most everything is walking distance from the center of town.
Casey holds eight Guinness records, including giants such as largest wind chime, golf driver, knitting needles, giant chair, giant mailbox, wooden clogs, rulers and giant bird cage, constructed by businessman Jim Bolin.
We didn’t visit all of the attractions, and unfortunately didn’t try the ice cream 🙁 but we did do a pretty reasonable job of visiting the sights.
For our drive from Wisconsin back to Charlotte, we decided to stick completely to back roads. Taking 2 1/2 days to make a drive that many would make in 1 is just the way we roll. We encountered a number of interesting places along the way, some planned, many unexpected.
Case in point is our stop in Dwight, Illinois. We were attracted to Dwight because of the old Texaco gas station that is associated with Route 66. While at the gas station, I spoke with the docent there who encouraged me to visit some of the other landmarks in town, including the historic railroad depot. Never one to pass up a railroad depot unknowingly, we headed into town.
In addition to the depot, there is a bank building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and a building that once housed an at-that-time famous treatment center for alcoholism. We couldn’t find the windmill or the church immediately and decided to not take more time looking.
The daughter and son-in-law of friends of ours in Columbiana, Ohio – in addition to being a occupational therapist and family physician, respectively – like to play around with farmer stuff. They are currently growing hops in their front yard and have a bee hive in their back yard. That’s way more ambition than I had, even when I was working! I think they are hoping to brew beer from the hops, but I don’t know their plan for honey. Maybe mead? We’ll have to see. We visited their place while they were off at work in order to check out the progress and to take a few photos.
I mentioned this find in the previous post, and here are a few photos. The rotunda design reminds me a bit of the station in Hamlet, NC but that station is much larger. This station now houses the public library. I like to see these old stations repurposed and maintained as they should be, respecting their history.
There are rail lines all over rural South Carolina, and on our backroads travels we often find them paralleling the highway. Every time we go through a small town, we look for a likely spot for a train station. Many of them are long disappeared, but occasionally we come across one. As we passed through the town of Kline, SC we came across this old depot. Still in pretty good condition but could use a little TLC.
Kathy & I like to joke that “no one turns a 5 hour drive into a 7- or 8-hour adventure like we do! Even going to the beach we like to take back roads and explore what we find along the way. For this recent trip to Hilton Head we decided to take a picnic lunch and stop at Barnwell State Park, located a few miles off our usual route through rural South Carolina. The route to Barnwell took us down a road we hadn’t been on before, and we passed this mill along the way. I didn’t stop, and kicked myself several times before we were too far away to turn around. I promised myself that I would stop on the way back, and I did.
I haven’t looked too hard yet, but have not come up with any kind of history on this mill. I did find some indication that the name “Murray” appears on a number of cotton mills in the area, but nothing so far that tells me more. I’m guessing that the mill is no longer operational, but I’ve seen places that look worse than this still churning out product once a year.
And yes, there is actually a town called North in South Carolina! 🙂