Isn’t this live oak lovely covered in lights? We made our winter pilgrimage to Old Santee Canal Park in Moncks Corner, SC, and were greeted by this beautiful tree.
Blog for Victoria Bennett Beyer Photography
The photography blog of Victoria Bennett Beyer, featuring travel photographs from road trips across America and botanical photography of plants, flowers and leaves.
We just returned from our post-Christmas trip to South Carolina. My daughter got a wonderful gift from my mother - one that she has been waiting patiently for years to receive. The bunny quilt, handmade by my mom, is one of the most special things my daughter could ever hope to get, and will be a daily reminder of how much Grammy loves her :)
We waited and we waited this year for the leaves to change. And when they finally did, it seemed so sudden. Within just a couple of days they were all on the ground, and now we wait another whole year for them to light up our hills here in western Pennsylvania.
Back in South Carolina
Mom and I have decided on a new tradition. Each time I come back to SC for a visit, we select a mini-adventure from a stack of index cards we filled out and take off! This August, we headed to Bishopville to see the beautiful gardens of Mr. Pearl Fryar. He has been working on this creation for the last 30 years, primarily using plants that local nurseries were going to throw away. With his dedication and skill, he has coaxed these castoffs into whimsical shapes that swirl and bow throughout his property.
The gardens are dotted with fantastic sculptures made by Mr. Fryar, too. They are frequently uplifting and positive in nature.
If this place doesn’t make you feel like a kid again, I don’t know what will. It’s free to visit the gardens, which are open Tuesday-Saturday, from 10-4 p.m. You can park on the lot across the street, but please be mindful of Mr. Fryar’s neighbors and do not block the street. It’s free to visit, but donations are welcomed. And, if you are lucky like me, you might meet Mr. Fryar while he’s out working in the garden. He’s quite friendly and has a lot of knowledge to share.
Back in South Carolina
Mom and I have instituted a new tradition - going somewhere new on a mini-adventure every time I am in town. On this day, we were on our way to Bishopville, S.C., when we passed this sign. Don’t you just love classic backcountry roads?
Back in South Carolina
After my 7-week trip across the country, I still wasn’t done! No summer is complete without a trip to South Carolina to visit my parents. The elephant ears growing beside their back door were huge in August when I was there. They were practically glowing in the late summer sun when I took this.
SEVEN WEEKS ACROSS AMERICA
Well, here we finally are. The last post about our epic, seven-week road trip across the country. The last place I photographed was the campground we stayed in, right outside the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. In the 1930s it had been home to two companies of the Civilian Conservation Corps, who built two of the picnic shelters in the North Unit. You can see one in my previous post. Their structures are usually pretty easy to identify - they are frequently stone and have that sort of iconic look you associate with national parks.
And it was here that I finally got a good shot of our camper in action. I had taken so many photos of it in the beautiful places we had visited, but this is the one I liked the most. The last one of our little home away from home. There are many like it (we saw many twins on the road) but this one is ours :)
I don’t know when we will get back on the road. There are so many factors that steer our lives, but we were lucky to see an opening and just go for it. We had four weeks to plan our trip, and it went off without a hitch. We changed the plan only once (Death Valley, see you some other time when it’s not 107 degrees) and had only one unfortunate incident when the fridge decided to cut off and we had to throw a bunch of food out. And that one time we missed the ferry… we learned that you need to plan on getting there not one hour early, but two, because you might spend every second in traffic behind an accident. We learned that our country is so big that it can be deceiving. The southwest is so rich with places to visit that we rarely had to drive more than 3 hours between destinations. But the northwest is so big that we were driving twice that between destinations, and it would have been nice to drive a little less and explore a little more in that region. We learned that the Pacific coast is really no place for a camper (I’m looking at you, Oregon) because there is scant parking for large vehicles. But truly, the frustrations were minimal, and of course what we experienced in seeing our grand country was worth every minute. I think this will rank up there as one of the great adventures of my life, and I am truly grateful for the opportunity and for my family who came along for the ride.