Sunday, May 7, 2023 - We drive for two hours and 100 miles on I-26 to get to Columbia, SC and then turn left to the Lexington/Gilbert area. We are here to see the Hipschman family. The weather was great and the traffic was average for a Sunday morning.  

We contacted Jeanette Hipschmann and made arrangements to stop by their new home to visit and have dinner. We arrived at about 5:00pm and both Elise and Kyle were at church. Elise is active with the musical programs at church. Elise is a wonderful pianist and she also plays the violin too. She primarily plays the violin during weekly church meetings and special events. Kyle is a singer. He has a very good voice and sings with the choir at the church. Elise is a Junior in high school while Kyle is in the eighth grade and will move on to high school next year.

We had a great tour of the new Hipschmann home before the kids returned from church. The Hipschmann's home is built just off the taxi way of a small grass airfield. They have a Piper Cub and a RV aircraft to place in their new hangar. The house and the hangar are nearly finished, and the landscaping is the next major activity to attack. Jeanette's kitchen is to die for. Her appliances are top-of-the-line and the stove is magnificent and made by the Wolf Company. She even has a "steam oven" and a "sub-zero" refrigerator. Jeanette is getting her dream kitchen.

We had a great dinner after the kids arrived back at home. It was so great to see them and get up-to-speed on what they have been doing. Church, music, and school are each a key part of the lives of Kyle and Elise. Albert, Jeanette's husband flies Boing 777 aircraft carrying cargo all around the world. He called us from Singapore where it was 7:30 am while were at 7:30pm. It was great to talk to Albert and were sorry that we missed him. He travels for about 16 days and then returns home for about the same amount of time. After dinner we engaged in excellent conversation and then Elise played the piano for us (at my request). She is an excellent pianist. We headed back to our RV at about 10:30 pm after an extremely enjoyable evening.

Monday, May 8, 2023 - Lisa and I decided to take a walk along the greenbelt near the center of the City of Columbia, the capital of South Carolina. Our walk was five miles along the Broad River and the historical Columbia Canal that was dug along the river back in 1816. Lots of turtles in the river and a very pleasant place to walk.

After the hike, we drove to downtown Columbia to eat at the "Roly Poly" restaurant. Even though this restaurant had a review rating of 4.5, it was not that great of a place. After lunch, we walked over to the Capitol building for the State of South Carolina. It is a magnificent building with the separation of the Senate from the House of Representatives. Recently remodeled, it is a beautiful building. The legistature was not in session, so we were able to walk about in the chambers and take photos. Be sure to see the photo gallery to see the beauty of the building. It is too hard to explain in words without and extensive write-up.

After the tour of the Capitol building, we did something that we always enjoy: we went to Costco. After shopping and looking around the store. We headed back to the RV to relax before getting to work on the blog. One thing we have found that even though most Costco stores around the country are similar, they often have different and unique items for sale. It is fun to see the differences.

Tuesday, May 9, 2023 - Lisa and I depart for the small town of Peak, SC to ride a ten-mile portion of the Palmetto Trail through South Carolina. The trail is called the "Peak to Prosperity Passage." and is a rails-to-trails path that is ten-miles long. It is also dirt, gravel, and sand. This gave me a chance to try out my new Trek SL6 gravel bike. The bike worked great and the entire ride was a lot of fun. The trail is along an old railway line and is basically flat with about 300 feet of elevation change along the entire ten miles. We crossed about 15 trestles above creeks and rivers. There was only one other couple riding on this trail while we were there.

Wednesday, May 10, 2023 - We decided to go for a road-ride on this day. We looked all over for decent trails that would give us 30 or more miles. We were told that one of the good places to ride is at Fort Jackson just north of Columbia. Fort Jackson is a huge base that is one of the two primary training bases for new Army recruits. The layout of the base was very confusion, so we decided to go to the post Morale, Recreation, and Welfare (MWR) office to get some help with routes. When we arrived, we were informed that we would have to purchase ISportsman passes for the base to ride there. Through the software, we can check in and basically tell the base where we are going to ride so that if we don't check out after the ride, they can see if we need assistance. The intentions are good, but for a one-time ride, it was a real nuisance. So, we paid the $30 fee ($15 each for one year when we will not be back) and finished the paperwork. We were then told that we would have to take the paperwork to base security to get our cards. Base security said that they did not need to give use cards. Confused and running out of patience, we decided to just go ride.

We chose the 30-mile route that would take us out through the shooting ranges. We started the ride and found that we had some rolling hills. As we got farther into the backwoods area, the hills got a little steeper; up to ten percent. We were also, technically, supposed to check in with the range control before moving our into the range area. We decided to skip this and just kept riding out infeet of to the ranges. We did ride by several sites where active shooting was going on, but they all shoot away from the road and it wasn't a problem. Kind of cool, actually. The roads were excellent and the traffic was minimal; a great place to ride. We rode 31 miles and managed to garner just over 2,000 feet of climb. It turned out to be an excellent ride and well worth the effort to get there.

After the ride, we had a very light lunch since we had made plans to go to dinner with Jeanette Hipschmann in the evening. We met Jeanette at a nice, little Italian restaurant in the town of Lexington, South Carolina. The food, conversation, and service were all good. After dinner, we went out and looked at Jeanette's new Ford Bronco. It is a beautiful vehicle that is a fantastic blue color and she has made several numerous modifications to the vehicle. It was great to see Jeanette, Elise, and Kyle while were were here. Justin, the oldest son is at college in Pensacola, Florida and Albert, Jeanette's husband is busy flying a Boeing 777 between Australia and Singapore.

Thursday, May 11, 2023 - We will depart for The Pine Ridge RV Park near Roscoe, South Carolina where we will visit for four days. While there, we plan to attend the huge Joe Nall model aircraft flying event.