Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Finally On The Road Again

We are happy to say that we are back on the road again seeing America.  It feels good to be putting miles under us once again.

We left West Virginia and headed to South Carolina to say a few nights so we could mark it off of the map.  When we first started this adventure we said we had to stay in a state thirty days to mark it off the map, but have amended that requirement.  If we stay the night and get out and see something in the state, then we can check it off.

We ended up staying at Cherokee RV Campground in Blacksburg, South Carolina which was a very nice RV park.  There is no playground or anything other than open space for kids, but it was nice, quiet, and the lot we parked in was flat enough.  We would surly stay there again if passing through.

While there we went to Kings Mountain State Park for a visit.  This park sits next to Kings Mountain National Military Park which is a Revolutionary War site.  Both parks offer hiking trails and plenty of history.

The Kings Mountain State Park also has the Piedmont farm which is a replica of an 1800 era farm.

Piedmont farm in Kings Mountain State Park

Another view of the Piedmont farm in Kings Mountain State Park
One of the crops this farm grew was sorghum cane which was used to make molasses or sorghum syrup.  Not to be confused with sugar cane which is a different plant and best know for making sugar and molasses.  To read more on the difference you can go to OChef and read Cane syrup vs. sorghum syrup.
Pan used to boil sorghum to make sorghum molasses
Since sorghum cane handle drought better than sugar cane, it was what was grown in this region and used to make molasses or sorghum syrup.  Its juice would be squeezed out using the below press and then put in a big iron pan, like one above, and boiled off until it became thick.

Press used to crush sorghum cane to extract the juice

Close up view of the press used to squeeze the juice out of sorghum cane
Another crop that was grown in this region, which is no surprise, was cotton.  Cotton was king in the south and was needed to make clothes and linen.

Cotton bale
 Most communities would have a large cotton mill, such as the one on this farm, where cotton farmers would bring their harvest for processing.  This cotton gin would have been power by animals such as mules or oxen.
Gears to a very large cotton gin.

Part of the cotton gin that removed the seeds from the cotton
Another very important type of merchant or skill that most towns needed to survive would have been a blacksmith.   Iron had to be manipulated to put it to use and make tools and the blacksmith was just the person to do that.

Blacksmith shop on Piedmont farm
Once more we are very happy to get back on the road and start seeing America once again.

God had a reason for us to stay put for so long, but now we are back on the move and following His lead. 

God bless you all and may He keep you safe!

Don, Misty, and Kids...