Thursday, February 20, 2014

On the Road with Em...Claremont and Catawba, NC

2/17/2014 President's Day:  I had a rare day off, and decided to skip the sales and take a road trip. Started out of the driveway at 10am, and heard Sue yell for me from the balcony. I had dropped a glove in the hall. glad she did call because it was dang chilly out. 38 degrees. And just the day before I was out on the same balcony reading 'Fritz Weatherbee's New Hampshire', in t-shirt and shorts.

Reading Under a Blue Sky
Ok. Reset. Let's try this again.  Have my gloves now, hat, coat, hiking boots, camera gear, food, water, and fireballs, and away I go at 10:01. Pull out of the complex, hit the first light at the corner at 10:02…Wait 5 minutes at the light,  and away I go at 10:07. Aye Aye Aye... Seems like I’ll never get out of here. Lights in Charlotte are for the birds.

But, finally I’m off. To where? Claremont NC. Why there?

To Claremont, via RT 16
Well, after I fell far short of my goal of shooting all 54 of  New Hampshire covered bridges, (short by about 46), I decided to try a less loftier goal of all of the North Carolina covered bridges. Of which there are 2. The Mt. Pisgah covered bridge which is about 2 1/2 hrs from me, and the Bunker Hill covered Bridge. That us about an hour and 15 mins away from me on the border of Claremont and Catawba. I decided to save the Pisgah for a weekend trip and pointed my Escape Northwest up Rt. 16 to Claremont.

Down the Road a'piece*
I had planned the trip the night before. Followed the route on Google maps and spotted some places that may have old barns. I figured I would stop in 3 or 4 towns. Turns out, Claremont itself had plenty to keep me interested for hours.

Welcome to Claremont
First stop was Hewitt's Store downtown at the corner or E. Main St and S. Depot St. Couldn't find any info online about it. Looked like an old antique store with Tin ceiling, and all sorts of beautiful junk inside. Sign on the door said "Open Saturday's only", but that sign looked antique. Anyway, of course, this was Monday. Saved myself some money probably. 

Hewitts Storefront

Hewitts Storeside

About 2 miles east of Claremont Center, down I-70 you come to a park on the left, home of Bunker Hill Covered Bridge

After parking, and a short hike down along the Lyle Creek, you come to the bridge, built in 1895. Felt like I was back home in NH.  Incidentally, there was major restoration to the bridge in 1994 by the Arnold Graton and Sons firm of New Hampshire. YAY NH!

Bunker Hill Covered Bridge
Throat of the Beast

Finger Pincher
BHCB - Instagram Shot

I wandered around the bridge for about an hour and a half. Studying it, admiring it, reading graffiti, etc. Time does slip away from me when I'm out in my element. I really didn't want to be gone all day, so I was going to skip the extra towns I wanted to stop at and just head home. But, the good thing about taking country roads, and just flying by the seat of your pants:  you can be pleasantly surprised. I found what I have been missing by being in Charlotte. Peeling paint and Rust! Utopia!

Red Barn - How Original

Road-side Gem

Do you feel a draft?

Catawba Farm Service
It was a great day away from the office. Fresh air, country scenes, and a memory card full of shots. Just what the doctor ordered. 
Ok, where to next? Don't know, but I'll be sure to let you know!


* Down the road a'piece is a term my grandparents (Mamie and Papa Swanson) always said when I as little and we went for a walk at camp "Lets go down the Road a'piece and stretch our legs"

Monday, February 3, 2014

On the Road with Em...Statesville, NC

Thought I'd try to do a little "On the Road with Em"-type series. So much to see, so little time.
It's been a crazy winter down here in Charlotte (ok, maybe I'm the crazy one), and I'm itching to get out of the house.
Taking advantage of a southern blizzard

Dang...No Scrapers....Knew I forgot to bring something down with me

Winter Sports
In between a couple of weeks with temps in the teens,and a 1/2 inch snowstorm that brought the city to it's knees, we had a normal January 55 degree Sunday. Sue and I decided to take a road trip with the new pup, Daizy, and get her used to it.

Daizy in the Woods

Ok, where to go? We subscribe to Our State (NC) magazine and looked to that for some nearby destinations. They had a nice write-up about Statesville. This city is only an hour North of us, up I-77, and seemed like a good short ride to test the pup's car habits. I read a lot of historical things about Statesville, and hoped to see some remnants of it. Also, I read that they have a great Bar-B-Q which is just a bit more fun than history.

On the road to Statesville

It was a beautiful day for a drive....Daizy was great, batteries were all charged in the camera, and...this pretty much summed up the town for me.

How Exciting!
Apparently on Sunday, they roll up the sidewalks and we didn't see anything of what this quaint little town had to offer.
Broad St., Statesville, NC
Can't tell you what I thought of their Bar-B-Q, but I can tell you that the new stuffed nacho at Taco Bell is great! We did find that place open on the outskirts of town, so it wasn't a total loss.

I don't want to be a downer on the town. I'm sure there was something to see, but we were just there on the wrong day. So I don't want to get a lot of hate mail from Statesvillions... Next time we'll try going on a Saturday.

Presbyterian Church

Actually, the First one...

Not sure what 'IT' is, but it comes together.
Ah! Something Historic!

Statesville Alley
(you know I love bricks)
Sorry I didn't have anything more exciting to share on my first road trip of the new year, but I'll work on doing some better planning. My mom is coming to visit and I know we'll be getting out on the road. My camera batteries are still charged, and Daizy is ready.

Where to, Master?

Have an awesome week!