Wednesday, May 11, 2011

a typical routine

Most days at Melrose include a walk after breakfast, and there are a number of options for that walk. The road leading to the cottage also leads to a neighbor's property, and though we are permitted to be on his grounds, our own property line ends down that road about 1/3 of a mile past our driveway. The preferred walk takes us back down our road to another dirt road, known as the Plantation Road. Don't read grandeur into that name. It is so-called because it leads several miles through the property of more than 1000 acres until it ends at the Savannah River.

Other options include a walk through a portion of the "West Dam Park" at the J. Strom Thurmond Dam and Lake--a handful of miles from Melrose--or at a park on the area known as the lower dam. While growing up we spent all our spring school vacations at Melrose, and a staple of that visit was a trip to the dam to see the diagrams and inter workings of its generators and sluices. Since 9/11 the interior isn't open to the general public, but the grounds outside are available for picnicking, fishing, and general recreation. Perhaps it's the sentimental attachment I have to the dam from those visits in my youth, but it is a special place to me. The playground and fishing deck are relatively new, as are dual swings and designated picnic areas, and we found them to be very appealing. Fiscal drought was also apparent in the lack of upkeep on the grounds: the grass was past needing to be cut, and downed limbs from recent storms littered the picnic areas. We found this to be prevalent at highway rest stops in Georgia, as well.

The lake created by the dam is beautiful, with easy access to the water for swimming and boating, and campgrounds at various locations around its extensive perimeter with sites by the water shaded by tall pines. I regret that these sites are so close to Melrose, because we would be making reservations at them in a heartbeat otherwise.

The days that we walked at the dam parks (upper and lower) were beautiful, clear and dry, with perfect spring temperatures. Juliet enjoyed the time sniffing new territory, and even took a drink at the river's edge when we visited the Georgia boat ramp site. If you followed the river downstream about three miles you'd reach our place, but there is nothing to identify it as such.

Access to the lake is one of the perks of Melrose, of which we don't take enough advantage. But as Mom always says, "we never want to leave Melrose!"

And so we walk.


The Bug said...

That sounds like a nice relaxing time. Mike loves water so we'd be down at the lake just looking at it every day :)

Cindy Marchant said...

Anne that SU square punch is a must!!!! Thanks for the kind comments.

Wow love the pics you posted. It's nice to see a dam in another part of the country. WE live by several here on the Columbia River!


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