Weekend in the Country

We recently spent a weekend at a super secret hideaway we go to several times a year. I can’t tell you exactly where it is because then it wouldn’t be a secret!

During my quiet morning walks I wandered along the edge of the woods and beside a creek I felt like I was miles away from civilization. I was constantly on the lookout for bunnies, white tailed deer, wild turkeys, and other wildlife. There were a few deer and wild turkey sightings but sadly I didn’t have my camera handy when I spotted them.

One of the things we we like to do when we are there is to go four wheeling through the woods. One afternoon a friend came by on his four wheeler to take us on some new to us trails. Our adventure was all on beautiful, undeveloped private property. Our friend started off the tour by crossing a creek into land we had never seen before. For most of the ride we were surrounded by a dense pine and hardwood forest with many old trees.

We came out of the woods and passed by fields of corn before stopping for an up close look at a sunflower field.

On our return trip we parked the Ranger in the middle of the creek, turned off the engine, and enjoyed the peaceful sound of the water running over the rocks.

Another day we took a drive to Milledgeville to explore the abandoned buildings of Central State Hospital. Founded in 1842, the hospital was originally known as the Georgia State Lunatic, Idiot, and Epileptic Asylum. At one time there were over 12,000 patients in the facility making it the largest mental institution in the United States and possibly in the world. They were housed in numerous buildings spread out over about 2,000 acres. Today, most of the buildings are abandoned and neglected.

We took a self guided driving tour around the grounds. Our first stop was the Powell Building which once housed some of the patients and later was an administrative building. The buildings are all closed to the public but visitors can walk around for a closer look. A security guard was patrolling the property and advised us to stay away from dangerous areas which are in need of repairs.

Vines creep up the front of the building. I could just imagine the patients in those rooms, peering out their windows at the outside world. I noticed that some windows had curtains while some had blinds. I wondered if the patients were allowed to decorate their own rooms.

We followed behind the security guard’s car to the Cedar Grove Cemetery where there are over 25,000 graves.

Today part of the hospital is a maximum secure Forensics facility which provides care for around 300 people who are referred by Georgia State Corrections.

We explored on our own on a Sunday afternoon. On certain days trolley tours of the hospital campus are offered.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #156: Black and White

Many thanks to Anne Sandler of Slow Shutter Speed for guest hosting with the theme of Black and White. My contribution to the challenge is a selection of photos from a recent tour of Andulsia, author Flannery O’connor’s home in Milledgeville, Georgia. She was the author of two novels, thirty-one short stories, and many essays and reviews.

O’Conner lived at Andalusia from 1951 until her death in 1964. To help take us back to the time when Flannery lived here I converted these photos to black and white.

Andalusia was first settled in 1814 as a cotton plantation and farm. In 1931, Flannery’s uncle purchased the property. She moved to Andalusia in 1951 after being diagnosed with Lupus and lived there with her mother until she died in 1964. She did much of her writing while living there.

Our tour began at Flannery’s home which is shown in the header image at the top of the page. As we walked through the rooms I felt like I had gone back in time to my childhood.

There are several out buildings around the property. Hill House was built in the 1820’s and was the original home at Andalusia.

The cow barn.

Flannery raised Peacocks and these two are descendants of her birds.

Andalusia was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. Today it is owned by Georgia College and open to the public. To learn more please visit Georgia College – Andalusia.

All of these photos were shot in color and edited using Photoshop Elements.

Many thanks to Anne Sandler for this challenge. Please be sure to visit her original post at Lens-Artists Challenge #156: Black and White

Lens-Artists #86: Change your Perspective

This week’s photo challenge is Change your Perspective. Patti asks us to show our photographs taken from a variety of perspectives–by getting down low, by looking up at the subject or looking down, or walking around the subject.

A few years ago my daughter and I spent a weekend in New York City. One of the highlights of the weekend was seeing the Statue of Liberty.

The photo above shows the Statue of Liberty as we were approaching Liberty Island on the ferry. We took our time walking around the island admiring Lady Liberty from different angles.





Many thanks to Patti at Pilotfishblog for this weeks Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Change your Perspective

Throwback Thursday #8 – October 3, 2007

We’re not traveling as much in our fifth wheel anymore so I thought it would be fun to relive some of our most memorable days from previous RV trips.

Flash back to twelve years ago, October 3, 2007. We were camping in Cherokee, North Carolina, our home base for visiting the Great Smokey Mountain National Park and the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was foggy and drizzling for most of our stay but we managed to get in some sightseeing and scenic drives while we were there.

We started the day with a three mile hike along the Oconaluftee River inside Great Smokey Mountains National Park.

Oconaluftee River in Great Smokey Mountain National, Park

Beaver evidence next to the river

Next up was a scenic drive starting at the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The farther north we got, the thicker the fog. After a while it drizzling. I was able to get a few photos before before the weather got too bad.

Old homestead on Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

Old homestead on Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

Blue Ridge Mountains, NC

It was a wonderful fall getaway with camping in Cherokee, visiting the national park, and taking drives on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Lens-Artists #63: Magical

This week, Ann-Christine has challenged us to show what is magical to us.

What is more magical than an ancient castle? As we traveled through Ireland and Scotland earlier this year one of my favorite things was seeing the many castles.

For me, the most magical of all was Dunnottar Castle in Stovehaven, Scotland. Sitting on top of a cliff that juts out into the North Sea, it seemed to magically appear out of a thick fog.

Dunnottar Castle on a Foggy Day, Stonehaven, Scotland

The North Sea was barely visible below Dunnottar Castle, Stonehaven, Scotland

A path led down to the sea at Dunnottar Castle, Stonehaven, Scotland

Occasionally the fog would clear just long enough for a clear view. Even without the fog, it was a magical site to see.

Foggy day at Dunnottar Castle, Stonehaven, Scotland

Many thanks to Ann-Christine for this weeks Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Magical