Just call me “Back Road Bonnie”

Published 10:35 pm Thursday, March 23, 2017

“April’s air stirs in
Willow-leaves…a butterfly
Floats and balances” 

~ Matsuo Bashō, Japanese Haiku
Ah, spring, you’re here again. There’s nothing like the official “Spring Begins” lettering on the calendar. Last Friday, I packed the old truck with a large painting to haul to Lake City, S.C. toward the coast for the Art Fields exhibit. River Dog rode along, with treats, water, and THE phone. AAA card tucked in the billfold, I turned on the trusty phone to navigate us there, on back roads. Traveling in an old truck with a very large painting tied down in the truck bed is scary enough, but the thought of truck and painting on interstates between here and there is more-than-scary. The truck does not do warp speed. This was a wanna-be Blue Highway adventure to say the least!

We pulled out of Saluda in the morning, River sitting close helping drive, his one eye intent on the road ahead. Google Lady was acting a little better, although she questioned a time or two if I really wanted to go the back route. We rolled down toward Landrum, past Jackson Chapel, a peaceful Butter Moon Farm, on past Highway 11, sleepy hamlets, peach farms and fields.

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After Jonesville, we crept through old mill towns and long stretches of two-lane. The landscape became flatter as we rolled toward Great Falls, Camden, Rembert, and on into Sumter, camellias, dogwoods, azaleas blooming. Swamps with dark water loomed mysterious, but no gators were spotted, although a large gray heron perched.

Some quiet pine woods with an old logging road made a nice respite. We stretched our legs; me hoping deer season wasn’t on at the moment, or gators lurking. River watered a few pines.

Google Lady had not spoken up in some time, so I checked what she was up to—a nap? Well, dear reader, you know what’s coming: the phone had died, and I had no car charger. Remember the expression about following your nose? So, River hopped back in and we followed his snout to Sumter. A polite young man in line at Advance Auto pointed me toward Turbeville and Lake City. Yes, Ma’am, he said when I asked if he was from those parts. Yes, Ma’am.

River and I finally rolled into downtown Lake City by late afternoon. I will tell you this: of the two phone chargers I bought that afternoon at Lake City Wally Mart, neither worked. It was a very long trip back, through a lavender/taupe evening, Columbia Friday night gridlock, then stars. Miracle of miracles, the old truck made it and earned its new name “The Turtle.” (May be slow, but dang if it didn’t get there and back in one piece!)

I cannot tell you how good it was to see home sweet home. Feeding two ravenous fur kids, I then poured myself a glass of wine and deep-sixed to the trashcan the bra I’d been tortured by for hours. Then it was time to hunt a U.S. road atlas to store in The Turtle.

~ ~ ~

Learn more about Saluda Community Land Trust (SCLT) by visiting saludaclt.org or calling 828-749-1560. The popular “Walks in the Woods” return on April 2. Mark your calendar for SCLT’s annual meeting on April 26, 6 p.m. at Saluda Center.

This Saturday, March 25 is a Swing Into Spring fundraiser for McCreery Park from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the park. There’ll be live music, food, square dancing from 1-3 p.m., raffle, petting zoo, and more. The 2017 fundraising goal is $15,000 for a new swing set and ADA accessible landscaping. Tax-deductible donations can be made to City of Saluda-McCreery Park, P.O. Box 248, Saluda, NC 28773.

Ward’s Grill hosts a free breakfast for veterans every third Thursday of the month.

Community potluck/bingo at Saluda Center is March 27, 6 p.m. Bring a dish to share!

An art reception for Saluda School students will be at Saluda Center, March 30, 4-6 p.m.

Historic Saluda committee will have a tour of homes on Shand Hill, plus other historical buildings. Save the date for June 3! Visit historicsaluda.org for more information.

Happy March Birthday to Faye Chandler, Genell Jespersen, Charlene Pace, Valerie Mintz, Sheldon Mintz, Curtis Pace, Anita Odgen Moore, Charles Weinhagen,  Kevin Kerr, Dorrie McKinley, Catherine Ross, Jane Fox, Beverly Pickard, Monica Pace, Ken Justus,  Elizabeth Justus,  Arlene Klippel, Rachel Bradley, Chris Bradley,  Martha Stoney Anderson, Dawn Ward, Peggy Wolf, Dori Ray, Martin Anderson, Lucy Holman, Craig Bass, Laura Bass, and Patty Martin.

Thank you dear readers, for reading this column. I love hearing from you! Contact me at bbardos@gmail.com or 749-1153, visit my website at bonniebardosart.com for more writing and art, or find me on Facebook.