Monday, December 20, 2010
Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get, or where you will end up . . . When you are in the midst of sadness, comes happiness, maybe not in a life altering event but in a small everyday smile.
Our visit to Estell was no exception, with an invitation to visit the Bostick Plantation, off we went, a little detour led us down dirt roads with cotton growing as far as we could see, the south's first snow fall.
We arrived at the Plantation greeted by Clyde, a border collie, carrying his favorite frisbee, and his best smile, after a short break and a little frisbee throwing we were ready for our adventure.
We climbed into the front seat of a very small truck with a well loved bumper, as our wonderful guide Rodger pointed out, and headed into the 5000 acres of the Bostick Plantation. The plantation starts up on a sandy ridge and winds down to the inland back waters of the Savannah River, and is now used mainly for hunting. This beautiful place is dotted with pine and sandy bluffs, the roads are rutty and deep with dry mud, the drought has been hard on this land over summer, and the anticipation of the rainy season by our guide was evident as he continued to apologize for the rough ride.
Our tour was scheduled for noon, so as not to disturb the rhythmic schedules of the hunters that come from all over this time of year to hunt Whitetail deer and wild hog. As we rounded the first bend, a doe leaped through the woods and across the dirt road in front of us and although I have seen thousands through the years, their startled leaps still make my heart race. We continue to make our way to a lake and the half way point of our tour deep in the pine and oak of these beautiful woods, just as we arrive, a family of otters going about their daily business of snacking on fish and playing roll into the green swamp water, flocks of wood ducks flew through the cypress, and the sound of woodpeckers sounded in the background, the sight and sounds of the woods are wonderful. We folded back into our transportation and continued along the lake to an opening in the cypress where a small skiff is waiting a fisherman's next outing, and there standing at the shore was a great cypress, the width of which I have never seen, I am sure the swamps of Florida hold some of the same, but a very rare sight on my list. Our guide told us the records show this area had been clear cut for the last time in 1929, and that the cypress wad grown back from the stump.
It was headed to mid-afternoon, and a much anticipated lunch, so we folded in our truck and started back along the miles of rutted roads, and golden fields, when another young buck leaped through the tall grass, his coat shining in the sun and yet camouflaged with his surroundings, simply amazing is all I can write.
We arrived back to our much anticipated lunch, without disappointment, what a spread, our guide was sure it was Sunday, surely no other day would produce such a spread. Roasted pork, fresh stewed apples, glazed sweet potatoes, green beans, cole slaw, and a cheese souffle, all followed up by piping hot yeast rolls, I believe I ate my weight in rolls, with the best yet to come, a homemade coconut cream pie, I could not help but remember my fathers favorite, and how much he would have enjoyed this day. After our lunch we finished up our grand tour with a short drive to a 1840 beauty of a house, saved by one of Sherman's men as they marched to Atlanta. This house had been used as headquarters for a general, when one of the slaves on the property was asked who owned the home? When the name of the owner was revealed the slave was told to tell his owner the house would be spared from flames, for the owner had once played cards in the north with the general prior to the unfortunate great saddness of northern aggression. The house was truly magnificent and still being enjoyed to this day.
We headed on out after a truly wonderful day and tour back through the cotton fields by which we came, smiling from ear to ear, life is like a box of chocolates.
Our day concluded with a quick stop at the local veterinary in Hampton for three dozen fresh eggs, you have to love a small town in the south.