Throwback Thursday #3 – August 15, 2007

Welcome to #3 in my series of flashbacks to memorable days from our RV trips.

Flashback to twelve years ago, on August 15, 2007. After a three month RV trip from Georgia to the west coast, we weren’t ready to sit still yet. With 100 degree heat at home, we decided to escape to Mountain Rest, South Carolina to beat the heat. Our campsite was at Oconee State Park in the South Carolina Upcountry about 30 minutes from the Georgia state line in one direction and the North Carolina state line in another direction.

August 15 was our first full day camping at the park. We started the day by wandering around the state park.

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Lake in Oconee State Park, SC
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Oconee State Park, SC
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Water Wheel at Oconee State Park, SC

We took a scenic drive to nearby Issaqueena Falls and the Stumphouse Tunnel.

The falls are named after Issaqueena, an Indian Maiden who fell in love with David Francis, a silversmith who lived in what is now the town of Ninety Six, South Carolina. After she learned that her tribe planned a surprise attack on the settlement, Issaqueena warned the settlers there. Angry at her for warning the settlers, her tribe tracked her down. To escape, she jumped over the falls and hid on a ledge behind the water. The warriors thought she was dead and gave up the search.

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Issaqueena Falls
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Issaqueena Falls

The Stumphouse Tunnel also has an interesting story.  The railroad wanted to connect Charleston, SC with the midwest so they began building the tunnel in 1852. The tunnel goes about 1600 feet into the mountain but was never finished.

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The Stumphouse Tunnell was never finished

At the Walhalla Fish Hatchery we saw thousands of trout of all different sizes.

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Walhalla Fish Hatchery, SC
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Walhalla Fish Hatchery, SC

We camped at Oconee State Park a few more days and continued to explore the area not only in South Carolina but also in North Carolina and Georgia. We discovered scenic drives, more waterfalls, good restaurants, and mountain trails.

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Wandering Dawgs at Issaqueena Falls, SC, August 15, 2007

 

 

Throwback Thursday #2 – August 8, 2006

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.

Flashback to our first RV trip in the summer of 2006. On this day 13 years ago, August 8, 2006, the Wandering Dawgs were enjoying the wonders of Yellowstone National Park, America’s first national park.

That day we watched Old Faithful erupt and drove the Lower Loop Road where we saw Bison herds (American Buffalo), waterfalls, and spectacular scenery. It was one of our most memorable days from all of our RV travels.

Old Faithful
Old Faithful (Wyoming)
Bison in Yellowstone National Park
Bison in Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming)
Lower Yellowstone Falls in Yellowstone National Park
Lower Yellowstone Falls in Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming)
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Waterfall along Yellowstone Lower Loop Road
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View on Lower Loop Road, Yellowstone National Park
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Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
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Bison at Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
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Wandering Dawgs at Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone National Park in 2006

We spent about a week camping outside of Yellowstone National Park and spent most of those days exploring the park.

 

Photo Challenge: Lens-Artists #57 – Taking a Break

As a retired senior, I’m lucky that I don’t have to go through the daily grind of a 40 hour work week any more. Even so, there are still times when even retired people need to take a break . Sometimes, reading a book, calling a friend, or watching an old movie is just what I need.

Other times, I need to get out in nature in order to soothe my soul. Whether it’s walking out into my back yard, taking a walk through the neighborhood, or getting in the car to do something new , there are plenty of things I can do outside to take a break.

When I’m busy at home, if I need a short break I can go outside to see what’s happening in my own back yard.

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Bee in the Butterfly Garden

In the evening, I love to stop whatever I’m doing to watch a beautiful sunset.

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Sunset over the Georgia Salt Marsh

The beach is my happy place, and any time I can get my toes in the sand makes me happy.

Ready for Beach Chair Sitting on the Gulf of Mexico
Ready for Beach Chair Sitting on the Gulf of Mexico

Getting out and exploring somewhere close to home is a great way to take a break.

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McQueens – Tybee Island Rails To Trails, Savannah, GA

When we’re traveling in the RV, there’s no better way to take a break from driving, sightseeing, or hiking than relaxing right in our own campsite.

Our campsite was a great place to watch the herons, egrets
Just Chillin’ in our campsite

For longer breaks, taking a trip and experiencing new places is the answer.

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Dingle Peninsula, Ireland

Thanks to Tina at Travels and Trifles for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Taking a Break this week

Killarney, Blarney, Cobh and Irish Whiskey

One afternoon during our stay at a delightful Bed and Breakfast in Killarney, we took a jaunting car tour through parts of Killarney National Park. Our guide Mark and his horse Susie took us through the forest, beside the lakes, and we had our first view of Ross Castle.

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Killarney National Park, Ireland
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Red Deer in Killarney National Park, Ireland
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Ross Castle on Killarney’s lower lake

On our way to our next destination near Cork, we drove to Ross Castle for a close up view. I was fascinated by all the fishermen unloading their fishing gear in the parking lot so I looked around to see where they were going. Boats were lined up on the banks of a stream which led to the lake on the other side of the stone bridge.

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Fishing Boats in Killarney National Park, County Kerry, Ireland

Ross Castle is in a beautiful setting on the banks of Killarney’s lower lake inside Killarney National Park. We wandered around the castle before driving to County Cork,

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Ross Castle, Killarney National Park, Ireland

At the end of the day we arrived at our next bed and breakfast near Blarney. The gardens and views from the B&B were stunning.

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View from our B&B in Tower, Ireland

On Herny’s birthday we visited Blarney Castle to join the millions of others who have climbed the steps to the top of the tower to kiss the Blarney Stone and gain the gift of eloquence.

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Blarney Castle

Kissing the stone sounds easy. However, actually doing it isn’t so easy. First you must get in line and then go up a series of steps before arriving at the parapet walk at the top of the tower. Once it’s your turn to kiss the stone, you must lie on your back, hold onto an iron railing, lean backwards over a crevice, and hope you can reach the stone to kiss it! I needed help, but I did it!

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At the top of the Blarney Tower
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Me kissing the Blarney Stone
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After kissing the stone it’s time to go back down the stairs
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Do you see the person who is leaned back to kiss the Blarney Stone at the top of the tower?

Our next stop on Henry’s birthday was the pretty seaside town of Cobh which was the last place the Titanic picked up passengers before beginning it’s maiden (and only) voyage in April, 1912. We enjoyed a tour of The Titanic Experience Cobh before wandering around the waterfront and watching the activity in the harbor from a waterfront park.

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Annie Moore and her brothers sailed from Cobh to the United States in December, 1892. She was the first Immigrant to enter the United States at Ellis Island
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Titanic Experience Cobh at the original ticket office and dock where passengers were picked up
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Waterside Park in Cobh, Ireland

Next up was a tour of the Jameson Irish Whiskey Distillery in Midleton.

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Jameson Irish Whiskey Distillery, Midleton, Ireland
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Jameson Irish Whiskey Distillery, Midleton, Ireland
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Sláinte! Toasting to Henry’s birthday after the Jameson Distillery Tour.

To top off a fun filled day we enjoyed a wonderful dinner at a nearby pub.

Next up, two train rides and Northern Ireland.

 

 

Wandering on the Wild Atlantic Way

The Wild Atlantic Way is a scenic coastal road along Ireland’s Atlantic Coast from the Northern Headlands all the way down to the southern coast. We spent three days exploring along the southern part of the route.

On our day trip from Galway to the Cliffs of Moher we were on the Wild Atlantic Way most of the day. We stopped at Dunguaire Castle on our way to the cliffs.

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Dunguaire Castle

Most of the way we were on a steep, narrow road.

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Driving on the Wild Atlantic Way

The Cliffs of Moher are Ireland’s most visited natural attraction and probably the most popular stop on the Wild Atlantic Way.  These majestic cliffs tower high above the ocean with several trails offering spectacular views. The day was  perfect with sunny skies and calm seas.

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Cliffs of Moher
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A different view of Cliffs of Moher
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Cliffs of Moher

After wandering around the cliffs we returned to Galway for another night before driving through the middle of the Dingle Peninsula on our way to the town of Dingle, our next destination. We stopped at an overlook to take in the spectacular scenery.

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Dingle Peninsula, Ireland

We loved our night in Dingle Town with it’s colorful buildings, fun pubs, great seafood, and beautiful Dingle Boat Harbour.

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Dingle Town, Ireland
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Dingle Boat Harbour, Dingle, Ireland

The next day we drove the Slea Head Drive on the Dingle Peninsula. Much of the drive is high above the ocean where there were more spectacular cliffs, ancient Fairy Forts, Beehive Huts, beaches, and some Star Wars filming locations.

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Cliffs on the Slea Head Drive
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Fairy Fort
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Ancient Bee Hive Huts from about 2000 BC
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Beach on the Slea Head Drive
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“The Last Jedi” of the Star Wars series was filmed in the area of Ballyferriter on the Dingle Peninsula
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Inch Beach on the Wild Atlantic Way

We opted to let someone else do the driving and took a bus tour of the Ring of Kerry from Killarney. Most of the tour was along the Wild Atlantic Way. We passed by an ancient castle, watched a sheep dog demonstration, walked on the beach in Waterville where Charlie Chaplin liked to go on holiday, saw the Eightercua Stone Row, enjoyed lunch with a view, and were near another Star Wars filming location.

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Wynn’s Castle, Kerry, Ireland
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Sheep Dog Demonstration, Ring of Kerry, Ireland
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Charlie Chaplin was a visitor to Waterville, Ireland, Ring of Kerry
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Eightercua Stone Row, Ring of Kerry, Wild Atlantic Way
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Wild Atlantic Way, Ring of Kerry, Ireland
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Sign  points to the ferry to Skellig Michael, filming location from “The Last Jedi”, Wild Atlantic Way, Ring of Kerry, Ireland

The tour left the Wild Atlantic Way and went through Killarney National Park on our return to Killarney. Our last stop was at Lady’s View.

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Ladie’s View, Killarney National Park

It was nice to let someone else do the driving. Our driver and guide Dennis was great and we learned a few things we wouldn’t have known if we had driven ourselves.

Next up, more adventures in Ireland.