2014 Blairsville Motorcycle trip

Day 8

May 22

Today we plan to venture into South Carolina and visit the Ashtabula and Woodburn mansions. They are both located in Pendleton. It's sunny and in the 80's today. No jacket for Donna. In fact, all the girls are wearing tank tops to get some sun.

When John fired up his bike this morning he noticed some issues. His speedometer was in kilometers and all zeros. Some of his buttons wouldn't work. After messing with it for awhile he disconnected the battery to 'reboot' the bike electronics. It worked. He also mounted the GoPro to get some more camera footage.

Clayton, GA. 10:58, mileage 71,559 - We took GA-180 to US76 to Clayton. We will be on US76 for most of the trip. When we hit the South Carolina line we were back on the annoying choppy roads again.

As we approached Pendleton we also approached lunch time. I checked a couple times on the GPS to see what restaurants were ahead. We pretty much had three choices...Subway, Ruby Tuesdays, and Sizzler. I figured Ruby Tuesdays would be a good, air conditioned, sitdown place and everyone could order what they wanted as opposed to being limited to subs or steaks. Donna said Ruby Tuesdays sounded good to her.

The food was okay. The sweet tea wasn't very sweet. There were a bunch of women at the next table who were jabbering loud enough for the whole restaurant to hear.

Ashtabula was only 8 miles from Ruby Tuesdays. It was a nice looking house with a long driveway. We parked in the shade. Have I mentioned it has gotten hot?

The tour enters through the gift shop. No pins. No pictures inside. It was an interesting tour. Each mansion we visit seems to offer something a little different...history, architecture, nostalgia. Old mansions are often built in stages and I like to see the additions from different periods in time. I enjoy the 'back stairs' and the porches and the out buildings.

During this tour we were disappointed to find out the Woodburn Mansion we planned to go to next was only open until 1pm and was now closed. Bummer. She did mention another mansion, the Calhoun House, was open for tours. We'll go there instead.

When we got ready to leave John found the Calhoun House on his GPS so he led. Sometimes it is nice to follow.

The Calhoun House is on the Clemson University campus.

We parked in front of the house.

It is paid parking and we had to figure out how to use the pay machine.

The Calhoun House.

Unlike most mansions we visit this one allows pictures inside. It also had normal (by our standards) ceiling heights. It had many rooms full of history. George Washington. Marquis de Lafayette. The tour guide was also informative and fun to listen to.

We toured the house and the outbuildings. It was around 4:30 when we finished and time to make our way back to the cabin. I set a course in the GPS.

Pendleton, SC. 16:48, mileage 71,623 - We needed three things leaving the Calhoun House. Gas, drinks, and restrooms. We found all three on the west side of Pendleton. We were standing outside when I heard a sudden rumbling. When the train horn blew I about had a heart attack. A freight train was passing right behind the convenience store.

We needed a few items for supper tonight and I wanted some sunscreen. The sun has been burning up my arms the past few days. The GPS said a Food Lion was at the next intersection so it was our next destination. Donna and I ran inside while the others waited. Ahhhhhhh...the sunscreen felt good.

We went back the same way we came. We all smiled when we were back on smooth Georgia roads. As we passed through Clayton some lady was pushing a baby stroller down the highway in traffic. One last ride up the mountain and we were done. All bikes landed safely. The hill climb and steep parking will make good stories for years to come.

That evening we had grilled chicken salad with chicken cooked on the grille. We cleaned, did laundry, and packed what we could. The plan for tomorrow is for John to shuttle our trailers to the bottom of the hill. Much safer that way. The rest of the evening was spent lounging. Donna waited for a bear again...in vain.

188 miles.

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