Bucket List – Babcock State Park

Every October I get the urge to travel to where there is leaf color change, and every October the weekends seem to fill up quickly. In 2010 my sister and I, along with 2 friends who were with us part of the time, spent 2 weeks in the New England states. If you are free to travel and can make this trip, do it!

This late spring, when my nephew and his girlfriend announced their engagement for an Oct. Virginia wedding, I decided to work in a trip to Babcock State Park. BSP has an iconic grist mill that is in a stunning setting. The park itself is kind of remote and not on the way to anywhere. We stayed in a cabin just up the lane from the mill. There are about 8 cabins back this lane.




We got lucky and got cabin 12 which only has 12 steps down to it. Even with that, the lane was about even with the roofline. Some of the others were were way down the hill. The good part was, there were closer to the rushing stream.


Our cabin was their “intermediate” level cabin. It was warmed only by a big open fireplace. We needed it because the night temperatures dipped into the 30s and the bright sunshine warming to daytime temps in the 60s hardly warmed the cabin because of all the trees. It had a full kitchen, though a bit rustic and small. There are not many restaurants or grocery stores close by so were glad we had planned ahead and picked up some things at a Kroger a few hours before we got there. They provide plenty of good fire wood, which burned nicely and cozily.

Some pre-seasoned and prepared foods from Kroger were the ticket for delicious meals.
I had to laugh when I saw this picture. I totally look like Mr. Lunt. 🙂

The best time to shoot the mill only sunny days is in the hours just after it gets light. When we were there, bright light didn’t hit it until after 9 AM. By 5:30 or 6, the sun was no longer hitting it. If you want to use a slow shutter speed to make the water look silky, you have to shoot when the sun is not hitting it.


There were quite a number of other photographers around morning and evening. We had to work around each other.


In the morning there was mist coming of the water. Can you spot the other photographer below? One of the ladies dressed in camouflage and she blended in well.







There’s a pretty lake in the park where you can rent boats in the summer. It was closed down for the season when we were there. In the morning there was mist dancing over the water.







We hiked one of the many trails in the park. This was along a narrow-gauge 2.5 mile trail. I’m not sure what this rail was used for, possibly mining purposes? There was a swinging bridge that we wanted to see and we got to within a short distance of it, but gave up because the trail hit a ravine, and I didn’t have shoes with enough support on plus the knee I had hurt a month and half ago was starting to ache a little.



The trail was muddy in some spots from recent rains. While not considered a treacherous trail, for a portion of it, one misstep close to the edge could’ve sent you rolling down a steep embankment.

We didn’t see all of the park but were impressed with its quiet beauty. I’m sure there was quite a bit more activity during the weekend because the cabins were all booked.

Leaving this area, we crossed the New River and stopped to snap a picture.



Hurricane Matthew

I can’t tell you how Hurricane Matthew was in Southeast Georgia first hand. I was out of state for a wedding. A nephew’s wedding, no less! We watched from afar when we were able to. My friend Krista sent video updates via FB until the electricity went out.

Our place fared well. We had 2.5 pine trees come down. One, across our driveway, one into a neighbors yard, and a half tree, one that snapped half way up. Our Leyland Cyprus trees apparently are wimps. Quite a few went over during TS Hermine. Matthew finished off twice as many. And we have 15 or so still standing tall. In case you’re wondering just how many we have (!) .. we planted 74-ish around 3 sides of our property.

[photo by Jeremy Y]
My mom’s house had several trees down that I know of, one doing a little damage on the roof of her garage. Some kinds persons cleaned up our yards before we got back. I’ve yet to figure out exactly who all was involved!

[photo by Jeremy Y]

Our church family spent Sunday in teams helping cut up trees. As far as I know, no flooding occurred in our area. But many trees have come down! Many completely missing buildings but there is a lot of damage to houses as well.





The local park lost a number of big pines.




Here is a “video” with a collection of photos someone posted on YouTube.


This is mild to the devastation in other parts. The losses in Haiti are just heartbreaking. And the flooding in NC. So much more hasn’t even hit the news that I’ve noticed. Florida coast … SC coast ….

[edited to add]

Our church cancelled services Sunday, split up into 3 teams and went to help cut up and move trees who were not able to do that for themselves. Although I didn’t miss being here for the wind (that most everyone said was pretty terrific and noisy), I did miss this part of it! Monday other volunteers from other parts of Georgia came with Christian Aid Ministries Rapid Response. They were served lunch, along with other volunteers across the county, at the Farmer’s Market buildings, provided by locals. We were told that they had a spread of food like they’ve never seen before in this situation.

My sister made it home before we did and checked on our freezers Sunday morning. They put a generator on things until power came back on early afternoon. We were pretty amazed that after approx. 32 hours of being without power, everything was still mostly frozen in both freezers. The ice in the icemaker bin had melted enough to freeze the cubes together but were still individual cubes. The frosted up sides of the deep freezer are still frosted up. I guess it’s time to clean it out again! We basically threw out meat in the fridge and our milk products in fridge. That’s the power of not opening them up during the time of power outage.

As I drove through town yesterday, many yards are cleaned up and you’d never know anything had happened. But there are still a lot of trees to be cleaned up in other places.