Thursday, May 30, 2013

Brevard, NC April 2013

One weekend in April Donna and I headed to Greenville to attend a concert by Sarah Jarosz, an incredibly talented bluegrass singer and instrumentalist. Following the concert we stayed overnight, and then the next day we embarked on a journey up into the South Carolina Upstate and into Brevard, NC. US Highway 276 is a nice stretch of road that leads from Greenville through Travelers Rest and a couple of other neat little towns. Along that stretch is a really nice waterfall right on the side of the road, Wildcat Branch Falls. There's a nice parking area, and a gentleman is usually out there selling boiled peanuts. A waterfall and boiled peanuts - what could be finer (than to be in Carolina in the morning)? If you're feeling adventurous, a trail leads past the ruins of a boy scout picnic shelter and on up to a second waterfall, but the one near the road (shown in this photo) is the nicer one to see.

We continued up US276 to the beautiful overlook at Caesar's Head Park. There is a nice parking area, visitor center/gift store, and restroom facility, and a short, easy path leads to these incredible views.

Grumpy old man in the rock.

A couple of miles further up US276 is a turnoff that leads to an outdoor chapel known as "Pretty Place." Turn at the sign for the YMCA and drive for about 8 miles.

I couldn't get a really great shot because of a large number of fellow visitors (I usually try to avoid having people in my photos), but here's one that gives an idea of looking from the seating area down to the front of the chapel and out into the beautiful surroundings. This view is looking eastward; can you imagine how awesome a place this must be from which to view a sunrise?

About halfway between the SC/NC state line and Brevard are Connestee Falls and Batson Creek Falls. There's a nice parking area at Connestee Realty and a short path leads to the overlook. You basically stand atop Connestee Falls (and thus don't get much of a view of it), but you look across the distance toward and have a good view of Batson Creek Falls, shown here.

We then drove through Brevard and a few miles up to the intersection of US64 and US276 right at the edge of Pisgah National Forest, where we enjoyed a very tasty meal at Hawg Wild Barbecue. Yum! With full bellies, we drove back down to Brevard, where we parked and walked around downtown for a couple of hours (needed to walk off some of that barbecue.) There are several really neat shops that we enjoyed browsing, and we picked up a couple of items at O.P. Taylor's (get it?) incredibly fun toy store. We always enjoy visiting the one in Greenville, SC right next to the Mast General Store; this store in Brevard is the original location, and they have a third location in Asheville, NC.

Closeup of an outdoor sculpture.

We finished off the day in Brevard with a milkshake for Donna and a cup of coffee for me at Bullwinkel's General Store, Grill, and Ice Cream Shop. Then it was eastward on US64, stopping to visit Wolfe's Angel in Hendersonville, before getting back on I-26 and heading homeward.


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