On Thanksgiving Day, we drove down to Sesquicentennial State Park near the South Carolina state capital of Columbia. On the drive down and around lunch time, we passed by a Cracker Barrel. Since it was Thanksgiving Day we figured they'd serve up a pretty good Thanksgiving meal and decided to pull over for lunch. Well everybody else must have had the same thoughts. There were about 50 people standing around outside waiting to get in. The wait for a table HAD to be well over an hour, but we didn't even want to ask. So we found a nearby empty parking lot and made our own lunch inside the RV.
After getting to the campground and setting up, we decided to quickly looking around before heading back to Cracker Barrel for dinner. The campground was pretty nice. There were a lot of hiking and biking trails along with a large playground and lake. We finally made it back to Cracker Barrel around 4:30 pm. The crowd outside wasn't as big and we only had a 30 minute wait. By the time we got to ordering food, I was the only one thinking of a Thanksgiving meal. Cricket ordered her usual catfish and the boys had pancakes. As for myself, I went for the turkey, ham, stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberries, and pumpkin pie. It was really good!
Friday came and Cricket had read about these "healing springs" about an hour north of our campground. The story goes something like this: the native indians to the area had said the springs had some sort of magical healing powers. Then there was some guy way back in the late 1700's who managed to purchase the land. It stayed in his family through the early 1900's until one of his decedents had deeded the land over to God for the healing use and medicinal purposes of all people. Now as a Christian, I know that in reality God owns everything. But in legal terms, I'm not sure how it can be deeded to God. My guess is that the springs are maintained by the county. Anyhow, upon our arrival we were somewhat disappointed. We were expecting to see a well preserved area where the springs began the flow of a small creek, river, or lake. What we found were 6 short water spouts that allowed for the continuous free flowing springs water to be poured into plastic bottles. There was even a "garbage can" used to hold only recyclable plastic bottles that people used just in case they forgot to bring their own container. The water that fell to the ground formed this swampy marsh off to the side. Now we weren't exactly expecting magical healing waters, but we were expecting perhaps something scenic like the springs in Florida. Oh well, the whole thing wasn't even worth a photo or the 2 hour round trip.
On the way home from the so called "healing springs", we decided there was enough time to visit the capital city of Columbia. Because we still had Jake with us, once we drove around we realized we should go back on Saturday without Jake.
When we returned to the campground, I decided to try out the bike trail. It was a six mile trail through the woods and started out fairly easy. The first mile was wide enough for an atv and on hard dirt. Then the was a right turn into the trees and it became narrow for the most part. Some quick downhills, jumps, strenuous uphills, tight corners and more. It was a blast. With the exception of the spill into the pile of dead branches on the outside of a tight corner. I couldn't hit the brakes quick enough and down I went. By the time I finished that trail I got a great workout. If only I had time to do it again before we left.
On Saturday we drove back to Columbia. Columbia was founded in 1786 replacing Charleston as the state capital. We parked a few blocks from the capital building. The capital was closed due to the holiday weekend so we couldn't take a tour. There were also some other interesting buildings I photographed, which you can see below. One which Lucas especially liked was an old brick building with murals painted to look like a train depot.
The last stop in Columbia was down at the riverfront park. They had a huge rocky water fountain and falls built that the public was able to climb on. If you ever find yourself in Columbia, SC, I recommend two places to eat. One is the Carolina Wings and Rib House. They have about 20 different ways you can order wings and the three I choose were tasty, especially the teriyaki. For dessert I'd recommend the Marble Slab Creamery. They had some of the best fresh made ice cream that I've tasted in a long time.
Today we leave Columbia and drive down to Charleston. See you there.