Late Autumn Drive in the Mountains

We had two nice late autumn drives this week, one with the Upstate MINIs, and the other with a new car club we just joined. We can socialize safely in the parking areas outside, and have a fun drive with pretty scenery. Things like this do help us keep the feelings of isolation at bay. So, we met in a parking area behind a donut shop for a nice run with the MINI club. Of course, donuts were on the breakfast menu.

We set out all in a long line. I think we had around 15 cars to start, and three more joined the caravan along the way.

The day was heavy overcast, but that didn’t stop us. I was hoping that some leaves would still be on the trees in the upstate of SC.

We drove out Hwy 11, and headed into northeast Georgia for lunch in Clayton. It was seriously foggy going over the ridge. We saw the same fog coming back through Highlands getting home that day.

A couple of days later, we struck out with our new car club, again starting out south. We like the back roads, note the sign warning of twisty curves ahead.

The day started out cold, but warmed up nicely in the sunlight. Along the way, we saw many pastoral scenes like this one. The little black dots near the tree line on the right are horses.

We drove around those pretty roads for a while, and eventually ended at Caesars Head State Park for an interim stop.

The club participation was so large, we went in two groups running about 15 minutes apart. Luckily there was plenty of parking for both groups.

On a short walk to the overlook, a placard told what was in the distance.

The view of the Piedmont of South Carolina, from the French for foot of the mountains, stretches for miles to the horizon. This is a different Piedmont from the central part of North Carolina. The peak you can see just to the right of the center, I think is Glassy Mountain.

This peak is Table Rock, with the Table Rock Reservoir below. We were going there for our picnic lunch.

Time to move on, we lined up to follow the leader.

Pretty leaves were left here and there, and winter views of mountains made the drive interesting.

More curves with winter mountain views and some bright orange leaves.

Coming down the mountain, the peaks in the distance seemed to have a lot of evergreens.

At Table Rock park, we had our lunch around a pavilion, sitting in our own chairs so we could be safely social. The great thing was that I got to spend some time with my friend, Mary (who blogs at The Inside Stori), and meet her husband. I took roast beef wraps, with a corn and tomato salad for a side dish. I got a bit of teasing from one of the other guys as I took a checkered tablecloth, cloth napkins and melamine plates too. I should have taken a photo of that.

Table Rock Reservoir is lovely. This is where we parked to see the Solar Eclipse in 2017.

As it gets colder, our clubs will all stop doing drives. We may get out on our own if a warm day comes. I just hope that next year, we’ll have a vaccine, and can resume the fun things we love to do with friends.

Are you taking any drives in your area for fun?

19 thoughts on “Late Autumn Drive in the Mountains

  1. Thanks for sharing your pictures. The mountains look lovely, even as the leaves are disappearing. I might have to talk the hubby into taking his pretty orange truck out for a ride along the coast. 🙂 Looks like you had fun.

  2. Brenda @ Songbird Designs

    Sounds like fun trips! The last time we got out for a good drive in Boomer (the ‘Stang) was when we participated in a drive by graduation party for our pastor’s oldest son. I haven’t driven a stick in a long time since my knees had gotten so bad, so it was a fun trip because Gary held Chloe in his lap and we popped the top so she could enjoy the ride too! We made it, but he said I couldn’t drive anymore! He’s always been the pilot and doesn’t care to be the navigator! LOL What’s your new car club? Glad you got to have some social distanced fun. We.All.Need.That!!!

  3. Your photos are lovely Carole, thanks for sharing your day-trips with us. It looks like it was fun. My hubby and I sometimes drive the backroads here in Ontario, I must remember to bring my camera with me.

  4. June

    Thank you the pictures were lovely and bring back wonderful memories.
    We have friends in North and South Carolina and have visited often.
    Winter is on its way here in England just hope we don’t get too much snow.
    Hope we can safely come to the States next year.
    Stay Safe
    June

  5. Rita C.

    Nice getaways! We go somewhere in local radius almost every day, but haven’t taken a day trip for a month or so. Your outings looked fun. Happy Thanksgiving, Carole.

  6. karenfae

    that looks like such a pretty drive and nice for a day out safely – yes I can’t wait for all to get a vaccine and go safely about again

  7. kathyinozarks

    I am so happy to read that you were able to join your car clubs-and gorgeous views. people can not stay cooped up in their homes forever-and I don’t think that works either-we need to live our lives without fear-hopefully the vaccine will help Happy Friday Kathy

  8. What fun drives you went on and a great way to socialize during covid. I love your photos and feel like I can close my eyes and feel I’m riding in a car. I hope you do find more nice days to get out and go for a drive. Soon we’ll have a vaccine and be able to enjoy life more freely. But sure nice to get out and find joy via your car clubs. Thanks for sharing. We haven’t been on any car trips, but you’ve inspired me to plot out something.

  9. Olivia in Piedmont

    Love to ride the back roads in the mountains, only get to go once a year but never been to S.C mts. will have to add that to my to-do list. Those Roast Beef wraps and side dish sound delicious how about your receipe.

  10. My sister used to be a park ranger at many of those parks. She finished up at Jones Gap. She does dog grooming now, go figure. She lives in Inman, but will only drive an electric car.

  11. Joan Sheppard

    Thanks for taking us on this trip with you! Especially like the picture in the mirror! I can smell the damp leaves and fall in the air! We don’t take many drives, but have the 1,300 acre woods near and walk the dog there every day, one small section at a time. Tablecloth – of course! We’re not barbarians!!!! That’s how we roll – LOL

  12. Mary

    It must have been wonderful to join old and new friends for your fun days out in the car.
    Am I right in saying that your new car club is not a ‘Mini car’ club? They look bigger cars.
    I’m sure that it would have been great to be ‘free’ for a couple of days. :))

  13. Sharon Vrooman

    Thank you for sharing such a delightful adventure with some new friends. Of course someone who does such lovely tablescapes simply must bring the proper things.

  14. Julie

    Something was up with my network connection, I got this 12 hrs late today! Thanks for a delightful travelogue. I love going on vicarious rides with you. Truly! The scenery is beautiful and it sounds like you enjoyed getting out & visiting in person. It looks like a vaccine is on the horizon so isolation should ease up next year, but masks may still be “in fashion”.

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