From Tornadoes to Hurricanes

South Carolina

After arriving at my aunt’s house in Pickens SC, I went for a ride. At a gas station a couple good ‘ol boys told me no one in South Carolina wear helmets. So I lost the lid and continued my ride. I was looking for a local waterfall.

It’s remarkable that this waterfall has no signs to get to it. And you won’t find it on a map. Unless that map was made by locals. They call it Twin Falls around here. And that is the name by which I called it when I had to ask a guy in car at a stop sign where it was. My uncle told me about this waterfall but I missed a turn. It’s also known as Eastatoee Falls and trust me, with this one it’s easy to get lost!

This is one determined tree. Where there’s a will there’s a way!

Bob’s is at a fork in the road off a mean, twisty highway.

Chillin’ on a bench swing at the corner of route 178 and 11. I had just walked into an unlocked unisex bathroom and it was occupied by a very startled lady. Just sayin’.

And here is me and my dear sweet Nana. She is turning 98 in September!


I decided it would be best to stay north in the mountains to try and stay cool. I camped out at Cloudland Canyon State Park. Before getting there a lady told my to watch out for rattlesnakes. But when I got there the camp host told me not only to watch out for rattlesnakes and cottonmouth snakes, but watch out for….

….scorpions! I had never seen one before. He was hiding in my fire pit. So I played with him a bit before lighting my fire.


Another fantastic thing about this scorpion yielding forest is the mushrooms. I have never seen such variety. There were mushrooms everywhere!

Then another first for me. I saw the after effects of a tornado. It is humbling to see the destruction left behind from this super power. These shots are actually of the second town I saw hit by tornadoes. A worker told me this happened in April. When I passed the first town, I guess I was too awestruck to take a picture. It didn’t even occur to me until I was miles away. At first I was disappointed that I had not snapped a shot. I was not expecting to find more.

Ave Maria Grotto. A Benedictine monk, Brother Joseph Zoettl build this place. It consists of 125 miniature reproductions of some of the most famous historic buildings and shrines of the world.

I came upon a third town I saw with tornado damage.

This is an old covered bridge. If you click the photo you can read it’s history.

It was hot, so a 50 cent Dr. Pepper hit the spot.


I set up camp at a fine campsite in a national forest outside of Houston AL. Also in Houston is the oldest jail in Alabama. Notice the faint rainbow above the jail.

I was the only person staying at this campsite on a lake.

That night this crazy looking thing came crawling up to me. He reminded me of those party animal worms in Men in Black.

This the longest natural bridge east of the Rockies.

At the same location is a rock formation they called Indian Face.

This next town hit by a tornado was the worst of all that I saw. This pile of debris was a Wrangler factory.

Here is the path of the tornado. It snapped trees like twigs as it traveled down this ravine. Amongst the trees you can see pieces of the Wrangler factory spewed about.


I rode the Natchez trace Parkway starting at about 40 miles north of Tupelo to it’s end in Natchez.

Tupelo MS. Birthplace of Elvis Presley. Here is the home where he was born and raised.

And here is Tupelo Hardware, where Elvis bought his first guitar.

On the wall where I am pointing hung the 22 caliber rifle Elvis wanted for his birthday. His mom said no. Instead Elvis got a guitar that was in the very same glass case my elbow rests on.

These are indian mounds. No one is exactly sure why the natives build them. But there are many of them built by eastern tribes.

This is Windsor Ruins. Once a 23 room mansion. All that remains after a fire in 1890 are these Corinthian columns.

This home near Windsor has been consumed by vines.

Along the Natchez Trace Pkwy is a small cypress swamp.

In the swamp I saw turtles…

…and alligators

This is Emerald mound. It is the second largest indian mound in the United States.

I stuck my camera through the broken glass on the above right side window. This is what was inside.

And finally, the Mississippi River.

Natchez Mississippi.

This placed was closed. Too bad. I was looking forward to getting under her dress.

This is Rosemont Plantation, home of Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy.

After a long ride through some thuderstorms I am in Hurricane country on a full moon. New Orleans Louisiana, the place of my birth. The only Hurricane I hope to see is served in a tall curved glass at Pat O’Briens on Bourbon Street.

8 Responses to “From Tornadoes to Hurricanes”

  1. Bobby V. Says:

    Great stories and photos as always, Pat. Love reading your blog. It’s getting me pumped for my trip out to the Black Hills, Yellowstone, and the Tetons in a few weeks!

  2. Great pics. I am enjoying following you on your journey!

  3. have a hurricane for me 🙂 and a meat biscuit at Mothers, of course. am loving this year’s blog, lots o’ fun nature…waterfalls, mushrooms, orange lizards, wow!

    XOXO ~gia

    • Hey Gia! Yeah, seeing some interesting things this year! Meat biscuit huh? I am around the corner from Mother’s. Yesterday I had the gumbo and some greens for lunch and a catfish po’boy for dinner. I have the menu right here beside me. Yummy!

  4. Wow, remarkable post…maybe your best in 4 years. The photos and text made me feel like I was there with you. All I saw today was James circling the reservoir like a Lionel train, lap after lap after I went home. Get some lagniappe in n.o.

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