Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord NC and Columbia SC

Once again Tom surprised Adele with his choice of RV Park…at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. Adele could not believe it we were right in the middle of things; Drag Car Track in front of us, Dirt Track off to the side of the same complex and the absolutely huge NASCAR stadium just across the road. On arrival we learned from neighbors that the only reason we could get a reservation was that there was no racing that week, in fact the couple were real NASCAR fans and regular visitors from Illinois yet could not remain on for the following weeks racing as they were too late reserving; they did find a nearby RV Park. Most definitely the largest RV Park we’ve stayed at; they are set up to cater for big numbers and the facilities were excellent. Concord has lots of shops and restaurants so we went shopping and got the best deal ever in the Olive Garden; we ate two dinners and brought two dinners home all for $12.99 each.

We spent Halloween at the Speedway RV Park where Adele displayed her witch on the dashboard together with a few other new Halloween purchases; our neighbors got the prize as they had far more decorations. While talking to them we discovered that there was nothing in the area 15 years ago; amazing the growth that the NASCAR Stadium has spurred. As we had spent the better part of a day visiting and exploring the historic Reed Gold mine – believe it or not the first gold rush in North America was in North Carolina, we did not see Charlotte other than as we passed by on our way to Columbia.
Lexington, South Carolina was where we had reserved an RV site for a few nights this turned out another surprise when after breakfast as we were doing our chores we discovered a Flea Market in full swing on the neighboring property; we walked through some trees and had an enjoyable morning walking through massive warehouses while browsing hundreds of stalls. On almost every corner it seemed that those stalls were selling the new steam-inhaler cigarettes and of course we stopped and watched a demo. One can have all sorts of flavors, lilac, peppermint, citrus more like a perfume counter than a smoker’s paradise. Now you may wonder who puffs on these things as it is certainly not smoking as we know it; yet we did see a fisherman puffing on one as he cast his line into the river, but then he also had pink and purple hair.

We visited Columbia the Capitol City of South Carolina. Not a big city but it certainly is striving to gentrify the downtown area; it’s a very safe place to walk around. The Capitol building is in the center of town with all roads radiating from it; the Capitol is also the center of a very nice historical district which includes one of its old railway stations (in the time of segregation this was the whites only railway station) the platform is about a half a mile long and is now populated with pubs and eateries. We had a very good lunch in the refurbished station house, in its heyday Columbia had three different railway lines passing through it. One of its major industries is the historical Adluh Flour – Allen Brothers Milling Company which has been in continuous operation since 1900.

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