Smokies - Day 01
Saturday, August 13, 2005

Narrative

Today we traveled from Aiken, SC to Franklin, NC.

First order of business today was to help a friend move to college. So we showed up at their house at 7:00am (yawn...... need coffee :) and loaded a bunch of stuff into the van.

We left Aiken about 7:45 and drove to Anderson, SC, home of Anderson College, and unloaded the van. Then we all drove a few miles north to Liberty, SC and had lunch at a sandwich shop. Great food.

This trip to Anderson was perfect as it gave me a chance to help a friend and Anderson was on the way to this trip. Neat, huh?

The Navigator and I left Liberty about 2pm and drove north on US Route 178 to Perkins, SC.

And now I get to gloat. It's not often that The Navigator, bless his little Schnauzer heart, makes a mistake. But this one was a beaut. Route 178 makes a dog leg in downtown, such that it is :), Perkins. He got the first part of the dog leg, a turn to the left, correct. But he missed the turn to the right a block later and so I, always trusting The Navigator, just went straight.

My first clue that something was wrong occurred when we got outside of town and the road narrowed a little too much for a US Route. The road was barely two lanes wide. I mentioned this to The Navigator but he responded, as he usually does, "You drive, I will navigate." So I kept going. For about eight miles. Then I saw a sign that said, "Dead End." But I kept going. And the road did dead end. Into a dam at a lake. So I said to The Navigator, "Hey, I'm just driving, but I refuse to drive into the lake." He started muttering and looking at the map and consulting the GPS unit.

Long story short, we had to turn around, retrace the eight miles back to Perkins and, finally, make the second turn of the dog leg.

This error had a very bad effect on The Navigator. He walked to the back of the van and curled up in his bed. I have had to navigate since then and I can tell you, it's not an easy job. Trying to drive while looking at a map isn't too bad. But having to consult the GPS unit, which I don't understand very well as The Navigator is the expert, is a bit much. So I did some "dead reckoning" navigation. Hopefully The Navigator will be over his snit in time to do his job tomorrow. He really does make my job easy.

We drove through some beautiful country today. Reminds me of the Blue Ridge Parkway/Skyline Drive trip. Very twisty roads, etc.

We are currently camped in a Lowes parking lot. (No Wally Worlds around here that I know of.) But this will do I guess.

Good night!

Pictures

Click on a pix for a larger view

I don't know who decided to put up this sign at the corner of US Route 178 and Hwy 11, but they aren't kidding. This road had turns so tight you could see your own taillights :) June! This is Bridal Veil Falls on US Route 178 between Sapphire and Cashiers, NC. Continued... It's really convenient as it's right beside the road. Continued...
In fact, there's a road that runs behind the falls. That's where I was standing when I took this award-winning pix of the van through the waterfall. Continued... Here's the road behind the waterfall. Looks like it went back out to the main road at one time but a bunch of rocks from above fell on it. Hope no one was in the way!

Stats

Mileage:
Beginning time: 6:30am
Ending time: 6:45pm
Net driving time (includes stops, etc.): 12.25 hours
Begining odometer: 137,478
Ending odometer: 137,774
Net miles today: 296
Average MPH: 24.16
Total trip mileage: 296

Expenses:
Gasoline: $50.00 - $2.559
/gallon in Franklin, NC
Food, ice, etc.: $15.00
Lodging: $0.00
Other: $0.00

Thought For The Day

From Biker Chick in NJ:

People too weak to follow their own dreams will always find a way to discourage yours.

Joke Of The Day

From SwordMaker:

THE COMPUTER SWALLOWED GRANDMA

[This poem is dedicated to Denise who knows how to cut, copy and paste :]

The computer swallowed grandma.
Yes, honestly its true.
She pressed 'control' and 'enter'
And disappeared from view.

It devoured her completely,
The thought just makes me squirm.
She must have caught a virus
Or been eaten by a worm.

I've searched through the recycle bin
And files of every kind;
I've even used the Internet,
But nothing did I find.

In desperation, I asked Jeeves
My searches to refine.
The reply from him was negative,
Not a thing was found 'online.'

So, if inside your 'Inbox,'
My Grandma you should see,
Please 'Copy', 'Scan' and 'Paste' her
And send her back to me!

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