Friday, February 28, 2014

50 State: South Carolina - Upstate

As I mentioned in the last post about the low country, when going to the 50 states, South Carolina is one of those states that I have always spent more time going through than doing things in. One particularly well-rutted strip is the portion of I-85 between Atlanta and Charlotte. There was rarely ever any reason to stop. But while my son was at Georgia Tech I kept wanting to stop at one place in particular, the BMW plant between Greenville and Spartanburg.

The factory tours fill up well in advance but one year I had the forethought to book early. In addition to the tour which does not allow photography to the point of confiscating cell phones, they have a museum with lots of great vintage BMWs.

While passing through Greenville, we went to their quaint downtown and found a distillery right in the middle of town.

Also in Upstate South Carolina is Clemson, Georgia Tech's closest ACC rival with their ubiquitous tiger paws and the stadium ominously known as Death Valley.

But the most prominent feature of the upstate area is the Peachoid, aka The Big Peach, a major landmark just off the interstate in Gaffney, South Carolina. This town is now famous as the home of fictional House of Cards congressman Francis Underwood. But for many years, it was my sign to take the next exit for Gardner-Webb University where my future wife was going to college.

It always let me know I was in familiar territory even if I was only passing through.

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