Week Two - venerable olds
Jun 15, 2009
|Our adventure continued on June 7th as we travelled North on venerable old U.S.1...Miami to Maine. Hard to imagine that before the interstate system (Eisenhower's gift to the nation) Route 1 was THE road to Florida from anywhere on the East coast..just a few old relics (skeletons) are left to remind us. Anyhow, it took us thru Augusta Ga. of venerable old Masters Golf fame...I used every name I could think of, but couldn't get a sniff of the place, and you can't see a thing from the road.
We wound up at Cheraw State Park in northeast South Carolina and camped along large Lake Juniper, baptized our Sea Eagle inflatable kayaks,
played golf on a "Golf Digest" award winning course (never mind the score...never mind!), road our bicycles
and hiked a bit in the lovely piney woods. Florida allergies BEGONE! As an aside, Cheraw is the home of Dizzy Gillespie, who pronounced it "Cheeraw!", but the locals call it "Shraw".Who knew?
Decided to treat ourselves to a meal out and had "supper" at El Sharif's, highly recommended by the locals. Charming, inexpensive, tasty....but Paulette provides that in the "love nest on wheels" most every night. Oh, well.
Wednesday found us making a short jaunt to venerable old Pinehurst, N.C. to see Paulette's cousins Walt and Vinnie
one of her Mother's sister's sons. Walt is passionate (to say the least) about golf, about the Pinehurst and Pinewild communities, about the Mets, and about life itself. Vinnie ( Hey! our own "My Cousin Vinnie")is a fastidious and generous hostess and adds her New Jersey accent to her southern charm.
After a most thorough driving tour of the surrounds (Moore County has 43 golf courses!!!) we stopped for a drink at the venerable old Holly Inn and walked in the steps of the greats at the venerable old Pinehurst Club.
(Lawn Bowling? Wear your whites! Croquet? Wear your whites! Tennis? etc., etc., etc.) Played golf next morning at Little River CC (one of the 43 mentioned above) which was gorgeous, hilly, full of character (I told you, never mind!).
It was fun for Paulette to catch up on the family stuff, and I was lucky enough to make two new friends. Vinnie wouldn't let us leave without MAKING me eat bacon and eggs, sweet potato pancakes, and more....we didn't need to eat again for two days.
Moving ever northward, we entered the Allegheny range of the Appalachian Mountains near Hot Springs, Va. camping at Lake Moomaw (you heard me!) Bolar Mountain, Washington National Forest 8 miles south of Rte 39 and 6 miles East of West Virginia (got it?)
Paulette speculates that John Denver, singing "country road" did not sing "...West Virginia, mountain mama" but rather "...mountain MOOMAW". Shall we vote?
(you know that "Moomaw" is Mohican for "what did the West VA calf say to it's Mother?", don't you?) (I just happened to think that today the gypsy Simons are on the move: us to Virginia, Nick and Miriam and Luke to Cleveland, and Jamie to New Delhi, India. Let's vote on who has the most exciting day, OK?)
PAULETTE WRITES:Venerable old Greenbrier Resort and Spa, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, visited by royalty, stars, presidents and other notables, is by far, the most beautiful, sprawling place that I have ever seen. Decorated by renowned designer Dorothy Draper, and then refurbished by her protege, Carl Varney, the colors, patterns and classic art combined with NY chic style brought tears to my eyes. A clever combination of stripes, flowers and brilliant colors, it sits nestled in the lush greenery in all its splendor; a true feast for mind and body.
It's a "must see", and stay if you can. Our attached pics only hint at it's panache.
JIM WRITES: Sam Snead was the pro here, and the golf courses are world class. There's an 8 lane bowling alley on the lower level! There was a nuke bomb shelter built here for Presidents and high muckety-ups, but was abandoned in 1992 when the Washington Post told all. We were so taken that we swiped cocktail napkins.
PAULETTE WRITES: Later, back in Warm Springs, VA., we found the venerable old Jefferson Pools
and soaked in the 98 degree springs discovered by venerable old Thomas J in 1791, and visited by FDR (and a few others, I'm sure)
who all attested to its curative powers. A spooky chair still exists that was used by Mrs. Robert E Lee to treat her MS, and who was cranked up and down into the warmth, Oh, my! The circular wooden building is the authentic structure, a 50' diameter pool, 5 feet deep, rocky bottom, with effervescent bubbles that played on my body. Heaven! Silence was observed while we floated and meditated. A silky coating clung to my body after "taking the waters". This was a 'primo' springs experience.
"For over 9,000 years these springs have refreshed and rejuvenated the fortunate few who knew of their powers."
(anon. and probably exaggerated)
JIM WRITES: what more is there to life than baseball, apple pie and a good soak?
PAULETTE WRITES: Finally, closing the week, we visited the venerable old The Homestead in its stately elegance, Washington, D.C.- like with beautiful grounds and amenities.
Three championship golf courses surround. The first tee on the old course is the oldest continuously used tee in the U.S. VERY venerable old!
JIM WRITES: if you can paint a mind picture of "old Dominion", that's The Homestead. What's hard to believe is the fact that Greenbrier and Homestead are only 40 miles apart, cater to the same folks, and both continue to survive....truly venerable olds....Til next week, then.