Lazy Sunday CVI: Adventures

One irony of The Age of The Virus is that while every event and institution found itself shuttered, I got out and did way more than I would have in The Before Times.  The constant demands of The Before Times—the sheer tempo at which I forced myself to operate—also prevented me from getting out and doing the sorts of things that make life worth living.

Indeed, I was bitter about it for a time.  I spent most of my twenties working and hustling, sacrificing many of the social opportunities of those salad days in order to store up my acorns for the future.  Now in my mid-thirties, I’m beginning to enjoy some of the fruits of those sacrifices, though most of the acorns are locked up tightly in my HSA, 403(b) and IRAs.

That’s all to say that The Age of The Virus forced me to slow down a bit, and granted me the time to do some exploring.  I will hasten to add that the misery and death of The Virus was not a cost worth paying just to grant me some more free time; rather, I’m acknowledging the silver lining, and stating the reality of the situation.  It’s not an endorsement of The Virus to take advantage of some it’s few, more positive consequences.

All disclaimers aside, here are three posts for this Lazy Sunday, detailing some of my adventures over the past year:

  • Road Trip!” – I filed this post while heading to my second of five Universal Studio trips (which consumed a lot of acorns) since February 2020.  The primary focus of the post, however, was to detail a trip through the backroads of South Carolina, an off-the-beaten-path excursion from Columbia to Aiken that took me through Pelion and New Holland.  It was a beautiful drive; New Holland’s vast swaths of cattle pasture were particularly beautiful to see on a summer’s day.
  • Midweek SubscribeStar Exclusive: Sloshing through Lee State Park” – This post—a midweek exclusive for $5 and up SubscribeStar subscribers—detailed an adventure to Lee State Park, a 1935 Civilian Conservation Corps project that is still open to the public to this day, and just seven miles from my house.  My girl and I ended up sloshing through a flooded-out equestrian trail—on foot!—along with her two-year old German Shepherd.  It was great fun, and a memorable adventure.
  • Backroads Exploration: Una Adventure” – I own an aging, dented, dirty minivan—a vehicle I love dearly, even if I don’t always give it the TLC it deserves.  To keep its battery charged, I like to take it for short excursions, little jaunts around the backroads.  One recent Thursday evening I took a longer-than-planned trip to the tiny community of Una, South Carolina, just to see what’s there.  Turns out it’s not much, but it’s all about the journey, not the destination—right?

The weather is getting warmer and the days are longer.  It’s a great time to go out and enjoy some adventuring.  Let me know about yours in the comments!

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

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Backroads Exploration: Una Adventure

As I recently detailed in the post “Routine Maintenance,” I managed to get my old 2006 Dodge Caravan running again thanks to an $80 battery.  I finally hooked up the battery maintainer, too, so hopefully the old girl won’t drain down due to neglect.

After installing that battery, it reminded me of how fun driving a busted up minivan can be.  Readers might scoff at that notion, but that van and I share an intimate connection (well, at least I do with it—it can’t really think about who is driving it).  After fifteen years, I’ve learned that machine inside and out.  Sure, after driving my tiny Nissan it takes some adjustment (I still reach for the gear shifter in the wrong place occasionally, and briefly forget where the lights are), but it’s surprisingly nimble.

Aside from the maintainer, I’ve been taking the van for weekly drives to keep the battery up.  My girlfriend and I took it to Lee State Park a few weekends ago, loading our small bit of supplies and her faithful German Shepherd into the cavernous interior.  Since then, I’ve only done a few small jaunts with it, with the exception of last Thursday night.

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Road Trip!

Your portly is hitting the road for sunny (and humid) Florida for a few days at Universal Studios (more details on that tomorrow).  I’m convoying down in my 2017 Nissan Versa Note with my girl and my younger brother and his family, with plans to rendezvous with our older brother and his girlfriend at the airport in Orlando.

I am very much a homebody by nature, which has come in handy during The Age of The Virus.  That said, I’ve tried to get out more over the past year and see more of my great State, South Carolina, as my various festival trips from last fall indicate.  I’ve also developed quite a fondness for taking the back roads, though my desire to get where I’m going usually overrides the romance of driving down barely-maintained rural routes.

Recently, I did take an extended back path from Columbia to Aiken, South Carolina.  I was willing to add twenty minutes to my drive to see some nature.  The route took me through a forgotten triangle of countryside, bounded by I-20 to the east and north and I-26 to the west (there’s no “bottom” to the triangle, so it’s more of an right angle).  That took me through Pelion and New Holland, the latter of which was largely cattle ranches and huge, open swaths of green pastures.

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