Catching Up

I’ll try this post again.  Hopefully WordPress won’t disappoint me again.

Okay, so I’m not very good at this blogging thing yet.  I’ve missed lots of fun stuff, so I’ll try to catch up.

I learned that our cat Oscar likes beer…

… and so do I, especially when it’s at a Zac Brown Band concert on the Clemson University intramural fields.

The Zac Brown Band was absolutely phenomenal in concert.  These guys are incredibly talented.  It was quite easily one of the best concerts I have seen, hands down.

The next morning Kenna and I went out and purchased our long-anticipated riding lawn mower.

This baby cuts down the time to mow our seemingly football-field-sized yard full of weeds from 2.5 hours with a push mower down to about 45 minutes.  Our previous riding lawn mower blew up (the piston rod poked a dime-sized hole in the crankcase) about one month into last year’s 10-month-long grass cutting season, leaving me to push mow it the rest of the year.

Flashback: The first time I had to cut the grass with that push mower the grass was about 6″ tall and slightly moist.  Now, the push mower only mulches or bags – it does not have a side discharge – and with the grass being long and moist it clogged up very quickly in mulching mode.  So I had to bag it.  34 bags of grass later, the front yard was finally mowed.  What a nightmare!

Anyways, with our new riding mower, I still had energy left to do something fun after I cut the grass, so I went on a mountain bike ride at Issaqueena, the Clemson University experimental forest.  I’ve been riding these trails for over 10 years now and they can get somewhat boring after riding them for so long, but it’s still better than nothing.

Here’s a picture that I took of that same spot back in January 2011, just after a rare snow storm hit upstate SC, leaving about 6″ of snow on the ground.  Most of it had melted by the time I took this picture.

I rode down to the Issaqueena reservoir dam and was sad to see that there was nobody out there playing like they used to a few years ago.

This place used to be so much fun.  It would be full of people swimming in the reservoir and lake, hanging out on the dam, sliding down the dam, jumping off the dam into the lake ~35 feet below.  Geez…I wonder why they shut that place down.  It’s not like there was any sort of liability in all of that.  🙂

Still, that’s countless hours of potential outside fun taken away from countless people.  That’s just one more reason for all of those people to stay inside and get drunk rather than to go outside and get drunk enjoy the weather.

Skip forward to the next weekend (this past weekend).  Moxie and I went to Hagood Mill just outside of Pickens, SC where they were having their monthly mini-festival.  It’s basically a bunch of demonstrations of skills of many years ago that have been preserved by just a few people – skills like milling, blacksmithing, moonshining, and weaving.

But the main attraction for me is the music: bluegrass!  I love bluegrass.  It’s hard not to smile and tap your foot to the rhythm of the banjos, mandolins, fiddles, guitars, and whatever other kinds of noise making devices these folks can get their hands on.  It also doesn’t hurt that you get some real characters showing up at these things.

Moxie even got to meet a new kind of animal: a two week old baby pig.  She was having the time of her life with this new thing that looked sort of like a little dog but certainly didn’t feel like, sound like, act like, or smell like a little dog.

Moxie and her new buddy went to check out the roosters.

More sights from Hagood Mill.

That’s a working 1935 Dodge Brothers pickup truck, owned by Mr. Robert “Mountain Man” Perry.  I bet you can’t guess which one he is.  🙂

On my way home I stopped by the annual Pickens Azalea Festival for about an hour.

On Sunday I went up to Paris Mountain in Greenville to go on a mountain bike ride.  This is a nice alternative to Issaqueena for me since it’s still pretty close to my house and it has more variety.

So there’s two more pretty darn good weeks of my life in Upstate SC.  I’ll see if I can find any more fun stuff to do around here.  If I do I’ll let you know!

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