The last day in Greenville and I'm still working on my "to do" list. I was a bit lackadaisical in early April with a whole month ahead in one place, and now the last week has felt busy, busy. Last weekend was packed with Saturday designated as "museum day," which included lunch out and at least 8 miles of walking around the city.
My first stop, the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum, is housed in the small 1940's home where Joe and his wife spent their final years. Joe was born near Greenville, started working in the mills here at the age of 6, and couldn't read or write, but began his baseball career on the Brandon Mill's team. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the infamous 1919 World Series that tarnished his name, and word is that Billy Bob Thornton is producing a film to help restore it.
I also returned to the Greenville Museum of Art, which I so enjoyed two years ago. While I did have to revisit their collection of watercolors by Andrew Wyeth, I was once again taken by the range of the visiting collections, from potter David Drake (c 1800) to Annie Leibovitz. That said, I've featured one piece in my photos that provoked head shaking.
On Sunday, I was finally able to bike with the Greenville Spinners on a fun, recreational ride with a coffee stop and much chat. I'm now sorry that weather and holidays kept me from meeting these folks sooner, but one never knows when I may return!
Finale day was spent at Fluor Field for an afternoon game, even with 86 degrees in the forecast! The Greenville Drivers are a minor league team that's a Class A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, so I just had to go! It was great fun to sit behind home plate for a very affordable price, watch a homer go over the green monster (yes, there's one), and even subject myself to singing "Sweet Caroline" at the bottom of the 8th.
During my last hours in Greenville, I was drawn to the Hughes Library for an evening of "Rhythm and Rhymes." The program timing was a strange coincidence that I could not ignore, titled "Carl Sandburg & the Spanish Guitar." It was terrific and I'm excited for my first stop of the day tomorrow, the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site in Flat Rock, NC. More to come.
It's been nearly three weeks of life at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Greenville, South Carolina. I'm doing an Airbnb with two busy 20-something roommates in a really charming neighborhood, just south of downtown. I've committed to a month here, as I experiment with what life-in-one-place feels like, in a location I'm considering as a "holding spot."
My current neighborhood is Pleasant Valley (honestly), which means cycling from home to the Swamp Rabbit Trail has re-trained my legs in the past few weeks. I will now be able to use my calves to hammer in my tent stakes next month. That said, I've ridden the Trail nearly a dozen times, and while it's grand to be off-road for 30 miles, on the weekends it's filled with dogs, baby carriages and tourists, so it's a slow, cautious ride. I'm now avoiding Saturdays altogether!
This is my third visit in two years, but there's no telling what the city will become by 2021. Greenville still feels like a small town with a population of 70,000, but it's the fourth fastest growing city in the country, with a metro area of nearly a million people. The name still fits though, as there is plenty of green space! Greenville actually reminds me of a small Portland, Oregon, including the weather that keeps it green! The weather here is definitely on my radar.
Besides working, devouring books, and binge-watching Netflix, I've had a few intellectual pursuits from a poetry reading to a presentation on Jackie Kennedy Onassis that has changed my perspective on this soft-spoken, fashion icon. And, while I haven't ventured the 60 miles to the Appalachian Trail, I have enjoyed some local walks. Otherwise, I'm catching up on life duties, and penciling in 2019 visits and travel plans.
People are courteous here and still say "hello," yet I haven't met one single person to hang out with in three weeks. My bike "Meet-up" has been rained out for two weeks, but my fingers are crossed for this Sunday. It's interesting to me that I can meet more people in the woods than in a city of thousands. Of course, I'm not really living here, and I'm not ready to be sitting in one place scheduling the day.
There's a half-dozen more items on my Greenville list, so more to come before I roll back into my tent on May 1st!
Cyclist, writer, teacher, avid reader, bike/ped advocate, nomad, pie lover