Ridgeway, South Carolina
It's funny how the nicest things are just around the corner. In this case around the corner from Camden SC. Last weekend I went to see the changing of seasons in North and South Carolina. What I really wanted to do was go up to the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina, but it just didn't work out. A cold front was moving through and it was shaking the trees and we could see lots of leaves twirling in misty showers as they fell. In fact I did get to the foothills at Hickory NC but we realized we were not going to see much the further up we went. There was only rain ahead of us. Already at the foothills you could see many of the leaves had actually turned brown on the trees themselves and many others were only half full. So the best place for viewing leaves was right there in South Carolina, not far from my friend's house in Camden SC.
We took Rt 34, just off of Luggoff, a road off of I-20, which runs parallel to the main high way. It is such a lovely scenic drive and if you have a good eye you will see quiet waters and squawking ducks, slipping across a lake. We also saw mysterious roads leading to misty pastures, sprinkled with autumn leaves. So you don't have to go far, but if you continue down the road there's more.
Rt. 34 leads into a small quiet town called Ridgeway SC. Right in the center of down town, across from the city hall, stands, Ruff's, an old hardware store, where you can buy nails by weight, tools of all sorts, cold boiled peanuts, and Coca Cola, in old fashioned bottles. You can also see the relics they have of days gone by, since this store was built in 1901, this one being the newer of two stores; the other one being built years earlier, in 1840! So it is almost like shopping inside a museum since the store is lined with early 19th Century American curios. Some of those curios are on display outside, including that huge book. I thought it was a Bible at first but it's a dictionary. Quite large, isn't it? So if you have a chance, go visit, since the people are friendly and the peanuts, well they will reheat! Check out Ruff's website
Just a caveat: Ridgeway is known to be a speed trap since you are coming into town from either the Interstate or RT 34 where the speed is 55 miles. Slowing down to 35 and then to 25, has to be done, to avoid a traffic ticket since they are somewhat particular about that there.