Thursday, May 20, 2010

Spring Vacation 2010 Part 4

Saturday, 8 May 2010 -- Here we are at the end of our somewhat convoluted picture show of our trip to Pickens, South Carolina. As you may remember, our first post in this series covered Sunday, 9 May 2010. We spent Saturday out touring the area looking for a restaurant that we never found and wound up enjoying the day communing with nature and listening to some down-home picking.

Better known as Biker Bob's Bar, Bob's Place sits on the side of a mountain just below the top, in the middle of know-where, between two roads, Cleo Chapman Road and Hwy 178.

Bob's Place, in business for over 50 years.

Inside the bar is filled with mementos going back some 50 years to when Bob bought the place.

Hundreds of signed greenbacks hang from the bar's ceiling from front to back, like bats in a belfry.

Hillbilly poetry.

Bob also has bands on the weekends and the stage is just outside, across the street from the bar.

Almost every crossroads out in this part of South Carolina has a gas station on it. But what makes the stations different is that most have a small sit-down kitchen where you can get a good home-cooked breakfast or any meal, for that matter. And all have a personality of their own. It's not like going to Sheetz around here. The one shown in these two photographs, not only had a delicious breakfast but also had a great gift shop and an art gallery!

Tucked into the back corner of the gas station was this cool art gallery. You can see the convenience store reflecting in the convex mirror.

The stations are a good outlet for local hand-crafted items that are far above most of the junk that you find in gift shops along the road.

The rest of our Saturday afternoon was spent in Table Rock State Park itself.

About as close and clear a view of Table Rock as you'll see. They say it's only a three hour hike up to the top of the rock, but I'm thinking more like three days, at best.

Table Rock and the Stool -- According to Cherokee Indian legend, the Great Spirit used the stool when he sat down to eat at the table.

The Table Rock Lodge, located just down the road from the overlook above, was our destination for the day. Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1938, the building underwent some extensive renovation in 2003. Saturday it was the host of a Bluegrass jam session.

Gas to Pickens $90. Admittance to Table Rock State Park, $2 per head.
Sitting in these chairs, listening to roots music, playing checkers with the wife, and looking out the window at Table Rock - Priceless.

Different Strokes.
They call themselves a "high energy bluegrass band". Take it from me, they don't lie. This group played on the lower level of the lodge while the jam session was going on on the main level. If more performers show up, there are also sessions held outside.

Mandolin player.

About once a month they hold a bluegrass jam session at the Table Rock Lodge. As you can see in this photograph of the happenings on the main floor, the events are well attended. For a small donation, you can even get lunch!

Fiddle Player.

Let the Nightingale Sing!

This close-up view of Table Rock was taken from the back porch of Table Rock Lodge as I went between the two levels.

While folks were getting lunch , this gentleman took time to mentor a budding banjo picker.

Practicing chords.

One parting shot of my good buddy, Willie.

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