Monthly Archives: May 2020

June is Short, July is Long — Jeb Loy Nichols and the Westwood All-Stars

Listen To This

Who needs a break? As we celebrate a reunion with the simpler things that make our journey around the sun worth its weight in gold, a soundtrack of the season is in order. The appropriately titled June is Short, July is Long by legendary singer-songwriter Jeb Loy Nichols and the Westwood All-Stars is a must-have for kicking back with a grill and some backyard ambiance.

Nichols, who is most known for vintage soul grooves, concocts a funk-folk-reggae-country-blues marinade that produces a rich, smoky vibe full of flavor. Recorded live over a three-day living room session, June is Short, July is Long resonates with a simple and honest chemistry between Nichols and his All-Stars that is expansive and cozy. Songs like the neck-bobbing groove of “You Got It Wrong,” the ragtime-beach-reggae tap of “Black Rooster” and the lazy chair slumber of “Home in My Arms” are just a few of the gems in this 12-pack of awesome.

If you are new to Jeb Loy Nichols, you will soon be diving into the deep end of his nine prior releases and they will not disappoint. So take a deep breath, relax, enjoy good company during these summer nights and remember that life can have some consistent comfort amidst all the ups and downs.

– Chris Rucker

Openings and Restrictions at the Lake During COVID-19

Lake Guide

Open or Closed?
An update of boat ramps and recreation facilities at Clarks Hill Lake amid COVID-19

Wildwood Park
(as of May 19, 2020)
Wildwood Park boat ramps and the beach are open, and campgrounds can be reserved as well.

Other amenities are closed. However, Columbia County officials say additional features at Wildwood Park could be open in June.

At the International Disc Golf Center, two of the three disc golf courses, the W.R. Jackson Memorial and the Jim Warner Memorial, are open. The Ed Headrick Memorial Course will remain closed for the time being due to a significant number of downed trees and damage from flooding earlier this year. The clubhouse, restrooms, pro shop and Ed Headrick Memorial Museum remain closed as well.

An honor box, located near the bottom of the ramp at the front of the clubhouse, is available for greens fees. Patrons must pay by cash only until the pro shop reopens.

Social distancing guidelines must be observed. Otherwise, the center will have to close again. All IDGC events are suspended for rest of the year until more staff members return from furlough.

For more information, visit columbiacountyga.gov.

Pointes West Army Resort
(as of May 19, 2020)
Pointes West Army Resort, which offers recreational opportunities to veterans and active duty, retired military and Department of Defense personnel, is providing limited services to mitigate risk factors associated with COVID-19.

All day-use areas including public restrooms, the beach area, playgrounds, bath houses, pavilions, picnic areas, primitive camping areas and recreation areas are closed. Rentals of boats and other camping equipment is suspended as well.

Pointes West is taking reservations for RVs with restrooms and lodging facilities including cabins, cottages and the motel for authorized users who live within a 200-mile radius, excluding COVID-19 hot spots such as Atlanta.

No walk-ins or visitors are permitted, and reservations must be made beforehand by telephone. Patrons must adhere to social distancing guidelines and refrain from gathering in large groups. Failure to do so may result in expulsion from the facility.

“Our rules are not based on state directives,” says Derek Hagelthorn, general manager. “They are applied at the discretion of the Fort Gordon command.”

In addition, he expected to open the boat ramp to authorized users on Friday, May 22.

“Once social distancing is relaxed to groups of 50 or more, Pointes West will open the swim beach. That could be in the middle or the end of June,” he says.

For updates, call (706) 541-1057 or visit gordon.armymwr.com.

Georgia State Parks
(as of May 19, 2020)
Trails, boat ramps, fishing docks, campsites, cabins and golf courses at most Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites are open. Outdoor activity is considered essential, as long as visitors maintain proper social distance and follow CDC guidelines.

However, to ensure proper social distancing and to protect the health of the public and employees, the park system temporarily may limit access to facilities when capacity has been reached. Staff members will patrol the parks by vehicle and be available by phone.

Visitors are encouraged to go to the parks closest to their homes – that’s Mistletoe and Elijah Clarks state parks in this area. Daily $5 park passes can be purchased online, on mobile devices or with the QR at self-pay stations located throughout every park.

Sanitation
Facilities are being properly sanitized, and restrooms are well stocked with soap. Staff and volunteers have significantly increased the number of times that public areas are cleaned. Bathrooms, door handles, railings and other high traffic areas are being sanitized in accordance with public health guidelines.

Trails, Boat Ramps and Other Day-Use Activities
Some parks may limit access to trails in order to maintain social distancing. Some boat ramps may also limit access if parking reaches capacity. Some restrooms and campground bathhouses may be closed as well. 

Picnic Shelters
Picnic shelters and group shelters are limited to reservations with 10 or fewer people.

Golf Courses
Golf courses are open. Clubhouses and pro shops are closed to walk-in traffic, but staff remain available onsite and by phone. Golfers can reserve and pay for a tee time by calling the clubhouse directly or by booking online through each course’s website. All golfers are required to follow CDC guidelines and use proper social distancing. Staff members have taken all possible actions to make the courses safe to play by modifying bunker rules, limiting tap-in requirements so golfers are not required to reach their hands in the cup and cleaning golf cars after each use.

Playgrounds, Splash Pads and Rentals
Playgrounds, splash pads, swimming pools and exercise stations are closed. Recreational equipment rental is suspended, including bikes, kayaks, fishing boats, mini golf and disc golf equipment. 

Camping Reservations
Overnight guests can pay remaining balances online and use self-check-in with the RA Camping App (Apple or Android devices) before going straight to their cabin, campsite or yurt. Visitors also can contact the park office to pay their balance. If checking in to a locked facility, call park offices to receive additional instructions.

Programs
Ranger-led programs have been rescheduled or postponed. Interpretive rangers are creating free education content to help school children continue learning from home with online daily eRanger lessons. Kids can also complete Junior Ranger activities and earn stickers.

Dining Facilities
Dining facilities at all Georgia State Park lodges are closed at this time.

Visitor Centers and Museums Temporarily Closed
Visitor centers, museums and other buildings are closed to the public. Rangers will continue to staff the visitor centers and museums, and they will provide assistance over the phone and through web-based resources.

For more information, visit gastateparks.org.

South Carolina State Parks
(as of May 19, 2020)
South Carolina State Parks are open on a limited scale.

Golf courses, along with most trails and outdoor spaces, are open.

Group facilities such as picnic shelters and community buildings remain closed, and interpretive centers and parks offices are operating on a limited basis.

Visitors to South Carolina state parks are asked to do the following:

• Follow social distancing guidelines.
•Be prepared for gate closures when parks reach their capacity as the number of visitors will be limited.
•Purchase park admission online on the same day as your visit to limit contact with park staff. Present your receipt at the park gate for entry.
•Try to limit gathering size to less than three.
•Follow CDC handwashing guidelines. While the park staff will try to ensure that soap is available in all restrooms, visitors are encouraged to bring their own soap or hand sanitizer.
• Bring your own canoes, kayaks, paddleboards or jon boats if you want to paddle.

For more information, visit southcarolinaparks.com.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
(as of May 19, 2020)
Phased reopening of campgrounds and additional boat ramps at reservoirs owned and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers along the Savannah River began in mid-May.

“It’s been day by day,” says Kevin Madsen, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers chief ranger. “Our priority has been to open Corps boat ramps first, then campgrounds, then day-use areas. The CDC guidelines say to keep the beaches, playgrounds and shelters closed.”

The gradual reopening will vary based on the ability to ensure visitors and Corps of Engineers staff remain safe and can continue to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus and COVID-19. For safety purposes:

  • Before opening facilities, workers will conduct a thorough cleaning of restrooms, showers and other common-use items.
  • Day-use fees, including boat ramp fees, are waived until October.
  • Visitors must bring their own soap, hand sanitizer and paper towels when using restrooms.
  • Playgrounds, beaches, shelters and life jacket loaner stands will remain closed until further notice.
  • The Below Dam South Carolina site is open now, but the shelter and playground remain closed. Restroom occupancy is limited to two people at a time.
  • Restrooms at boat ramps currently in use are now open. A list of open ramps can be found at the end of this article.
  • Congregating in groups of more than 10 will not be allowed.
  • Visitors must follow social distancing guidance established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state or local limits.

Camping

  • Campers must make all reservations through the Recreation.gov website. No cash collection, on-site reservations or future reservations will be taken on site.
  • Visitors with camping reservations should print their registration form before arriving at the campgrounds. This will help limit transferring material between the public and the campground staff.
  • Only registered campers will be allowed in the campgrounds.
  • Campsite occupancy is limited to 10 per campsite.
  • Individuals camping in trailers and motorhomes with shower and restroom facilities should use the facilities in their trailer or motorhome to assist in ensuring proper social distancing and to reduce occupancy at the restroom-shower houses in the campgrounds.
  • Restroom and shower house occupancy are limited to two people at a time at the Hawe Creek, Modoc, Petersburg, Ridge Road and Winfield campgrounds. Campers must bring their own soap, hand sanitizer and paper towels.

The commander of the Savannah District reserves the right to close any or all facilities or limit their use, should doing so be in the best interest of public health and safety. And as always, the Corps of Engineers urges all visitors to wear a life jacket whenever they are in, on or near the water.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Boat Ramps Open:
(as of May 19, 2020)

Columbia County:
Keg Creek Ramp
Petersburg Campground
Ridge Road Campground
Winfield Campground

Lincoln County:
Chamberlain Ferry Ramp
Double Branches Ramp
Gill Point Ramp
Leathersville Ramp
Murray Creek Ramp

McCormick County:
Dordon Creek Ramp
LeRoy’s Ferry Campground
Hawe Creek Campground
Modoc Campground
Modoc Ramp
Mt. Carmel Ramp
Mt. Pleasant Ramp
Scotts Ferry Ramp (old and new)

McDuffie County:
Amity Recreation Area
Big Hart Recreation Area

Elbert County:
Morrahs Ramp

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Boat Ramps Closed:
(as of May 19, 2020)

Columbia County:
Lake Springs Park

McCormick County:
Calhoun Falls Ramp
Clarks Hill Park
Mt. Carmel Campground
Parkville Recreation Area

Lincoln County:
Bussey Point

For updates, please refer to sas.usace.army.mil or the Savannah District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Facebook page.

Go Fish

Lake Guide

Clarks Hill Lake is home to some of the best fishing in the southeastern United States

Clarks Hill Lake has a large population of game fish including striped bass, hybrid bass, catfish, crappie and many other species. Yellow perch fishing is popular below the dam. On average, the Georgia and South Carolina Departments of Natural Resources stock the lake with more than 220,000 striped bass and 610,000 hybrid bass each year.

The two state agencies have a reciprocal license agreement, so residents of both states may fish most areas on the lake (from boat or shoreline) or its tailwaters with a license from either state. Anyone age 16 and older must have a current license in possession to fish.

Fishing licenses are available at select marinas, sporting goods and hardware stores, bait and tackle shops and each state’s Department of Natural Resources by mail, phone or online.

  • An annual recreational fishing license costs $15 for Georgia residents age 16-64. Saltwater fishing additionally requires the free saltwater information permit, and mountain trout fishing additionally requires the paid trout license.
  • One-day permits are $5, and additional days may be purchased for $1 each.
  • Young anglers under age 15 can get a youth fishing license for $10, which includes mountain trout privileges. The multiyear license is effective until their 17th birthday.
  • Seniors age 65 and older are eligible for a free lifetime license.

Fishing from the shore or a boat is permitted in most areas of the lake except at boat ramps, courtesy docks and any area marked as restricted or prohibited access. Many areas along the shore are marked specifically for fishing. Fishing piers are also located at several lake recreation areas.

Free Fishing Days

If you’ve ever wanted to try fishing or take the kids, June 6 and June 13 are the perfect days to test the waters. On these two days — Free Fishing Days in Georgia — no fishing license is required.

Free Fishing Tackle Loaner Program

With the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Fishing Tackle Loaner Program, you can “cast” away your worries whether you have fishing equipment or not. The program provides rods, reels and tackle box equipment free of charge for the day as long as the supply lasts. There’s no age limit for borrowing equipment, but children are expected to be with an adult. Visit georgiawildlife.com/Fishing/TackleLoaner for a list of participating parks.

Mind Over Matter

Sports

Photos courtesy of Megan Buning, Augusta University and the University of South Carolina

A university associate professor and former softball star conducts research to help sports officials up their mental games.

You remember collegiate athletics, right? Those games that thousands of young men and women played – with the support of their fans – on campuses across the nation before their seasons were shut down amid concerns about the spread of coronavirus?

Well, we know college sports will be back. And when that time comes, thanks to the research efforts of a former softball pitcher and current Augusta University associate professor, athletics (and fandom) have the potential to be better than ever.

From Field to Classroom
During her college and professional softball career, right-handed pitcher Megan Buning exceled on the mound. However, she was always just as dialed in to what goes on in the mind during competition.

It wasn’t only the mental game of the players that piqued her interest, though. After all, they share space with other people on the field – namely game officials. Now, with her softball career behind her, her new profession has given her a way to stay involved in the game and to explore the psyche of the rules enforcers in sports.

Buning, an AU associate professor of educational research, is finishing a year-long study of the mental performance of umpires and sports officials. She works primarily with softball umpires to improve their skills, but she also has worked with officials in other sports such as baseball, basketball, volleyball and soccer.

With her background as an All-American pitcher for the University of South Carolina, along with coaching stints at Florida State University and the University of Mississippi, she developed the ability to relate to sports officials.

“I can speak their language, and I understand the game,” says Buning, who lives in Evans. “Within athletics, it’s like a fraternity or sorority. There’s definitely a culture and a way of doing things. I enjoy it because I understand it from the inside.”

During her seven years as a Division I softball coach, the diehard Gamecock, who earned a bachelor of science in exercise science from USC in 2002, continued her own education. She earned a master’s degree in sports psychology at Florida State and a doctorate in higher education at Ole Miss.

She had intended to use her doctorate as a springboard to a career in athletic administration. However, her dissertation advisor told her she should consider a faculty position.

“It had never crossed my mind, and then this position came open. As soon as I got off the plane, I thought, ‘This feels like home,’” says Buning, a Greer, South Carolina native.

She joined the AU staff in 2014, teaching quantitative and qualitative research courses to graduate education students. During her second year at AU, Buning, who earned tenure last year, started letting herself teach like she had coached.

Immersed in the sports psychology world since 2006, she began translating these techniques to her education students to help them develop mental performance strategies and deal with anxiety.

“I teach all graduate students in the college of education,” says Buning. “Not many of them have a sports background, but I wanted to combine what we do in the classroom with what we do in the field.”

Commitment to Change
Softball tugged at her again, however, and Buning soon found herself back in the sport with the launch of the SEC Network. In the spring of 2015, she became a color analyst for South Carolina home softball game broadcasts on the SEC Network+ digital platform. Working in the booth, Buning, who also is an analyst for Clemson University softball games on the ACC digital network, realized that softball umpires were unprepared for the intense scrutiny that comes with increased television exposure.

“TV coverage was beating softball umpires down. Other officials have been on TV a long time,” says Buning. “It hit collegiate softball all of a sudden. It went from having 10 games a year on TV to having all of them televised. It happened so fast.”

She also found that her grasp of the rules wasn’t what she thought it was. “I think I know the rules, but they change a lot,” says Buning. “I ask the umpires about their perceptions.”

She started connecting with umpire coordinators, who assign umpires to games, and

asked if the officials receive mental training to perform their jobs like athletes and coaches do. When she discovered they did not, she decided to turn this training deficiency into a research endeavor that combined her passions.

“I wanted to do research that’s applied and can be beneficial and meaningful to others quickly,” says Buning.

In March of 2017, she started offering workshops, training camps and instructional rounds to sports officials to help them improve their mental performance through sports psychology techniques.

“Umpires have to be unbiased. They have to know the rules and mechanics inside and out. They have to make the right call because they can change the outcome of a game,” says Buning. “Coaches have to rely on kids to keep their jobs, and athletes have to learn how to perform and execute at a high level and win games.”

She works with two to five umpires at a time in the instructional rounds, and all of them must umpire at the collegiate level. In addition, the umpires must agree on the mental performance issue they want to address. These issues can include emotional control, refocusing after a controversial call or play, maintaining focus when they’re tired from calling multiple back-to-back games, communication, self-doubt and fear of failure.

“They’re hungry for this,” Buning says.

Once they identify their focus area, the umpires come up with observable, nonjudgmental, evaluative evidence that illustrates if they’re struggling or doing well. “It’s like a court of law,” says Buning. “What are the facts?”

In the observational phase, everyone in the group watches videos or game clips of each other’s performances and takes notes. Then they come together in a virtual meeting, and Buning gives them strategies to improve their mental performance.

“I just facilitate. It needs to be led by them,” Buning says. “But they have to make a commitment to change.”

For Love of the Game
For her research, she worked with about 50 umpires in instructional rounds and more than 150 through workshops.

“Working with umpires and getting to know them has made me a better announcer,” says Buning. “It has also changed my view of the game and given me a deeper understanding of the entire game itself.”

She believes that working with sports officials has made her a better professor as well. “It’s not just lecture. It’s about integrating,” she says.

She hopes her work, which largely was complete by the time the coronavirus pandemic struck, will be published within the next year. However, she says she needs to expand and collect data from other types of game officials as well.

Buning also would like for sports fans to appreciate the thankless jobs of game officials.

“When fans are watching games, I would encourage them to take a step back and just remember that a lot of sacrifices and training go into what umpires are doing. They are private contractors that have other fulltime jobs. They take time off from work to travel to games. They do it because they love it, but umpires get mentally drained and beat up,” Buning says.

“Just because they’re being televised doesn’t mean they’re public figures. The institutions make the choice to put the games on TV. Just take a break and pause before you have an extreme reaction to what you’re seeing on the field.”

Her research already is having a positive reaction on sports leagues. Last fall the Peach Belt Conference announced that it would call on Buning to provide mental performance training to its referees and officials. She wants to continue her work with game officials as long as there’s a need.

“They’re not making a whole lot of money,” she says. “They’re out there because they love the game and love to be a part of it in that way.”

By Todd Beck

Photos courtesy of Megan Buning, Augusta University and the University of South Carolin

Hiking, Biking, Canoeing or Horseback Riding 2020

Lake Guide

Hit the Trail
There are plenty of hiking, biking, canoeing and horseback riding trails to conquer at the lake. 

Bartram Trail – 18.5 miles
Columbia County
Entrances are at West Dam Park, Lake Springs, Petersburg Campground and Wildwood Park. The section from West Dam to Petersburg is a beginner trail while the others offer more climbing, creek crossings and technical challenges. Connects with Lake Springs Loop and links easily with Keg Creek and Rock Dam trails. Beginner-intermediate level. sorbacsra.org

Bussey Point Horse Trail – 12.4 miles
Lincolnton
Bussey Point is a 2,545-acre peninsula at the confluence of the Savannah and Little rivers that caters to horse lovers. Closed to vehicular traffic, there are more than 20 miles of well-marked wooded equestrian trails and natural-surfaced roads to ride on. Campsites near the trail are designed for campers with horses and trailers, and include highlines for tethering. The roads and trails throughout the area also are open to hikers and mountain bikers.

Catfish Peninsula – 6.5 miles
McCormick County
Catfish Peninsula is a 1,070-acre peninsula along the Savannah River portion of the lake. The area contains 10 trail roads that branch out through the area. The area contains six food plots and several old stands of large pine and hardwood. Note: There are no trail signs in the area.

Cliatt Creek Nature Loop – 3.75 miles
Appling
Located in Mistletoe State Park ($5/car park pass), this remote trail is marked with white blazes. Grades are a little steep, and there are a few obstacles. The footbridges at most water crossings are wide enough for bikes, although the approaches are difficult. Part of the trail follows Cliatt Creek through a hardwood forest as it flows toward the lake, while another section wanders through woods with a gentle series of dips and rolls.

Dozier Branch – 2 miles
Lincoln County
From the canoe launching area, go downstream along Dozier Branch to where it joins Grey’s Creek. Go north along Grey’s Creek until the water is too shallow to go any further. These creeks are not accessible to most power boats and provide excellent fishing. There are no trail markers on these canoe trails. Extra caution should be used during periods of high stream flows.

Forks Area Trail System (FATS) – 37 miles
Sumter National Forest
A series of six different loops through a thickly forested area makes this a great system for beginner to intermediate riders. Generally beginner friendly, the optional lines provide challenges for more experienced riders. Although hilly, there are not many climbs that require a lot of effort or dismounts. sorbacsra.org

Hickory Knob Trails — 10.2 miles
McCormick
Multiple loops and fast trails are fun and challenging for the intermediate rider. Located in Hickory Knob State Park, the Lake Loop is 7 miles, Turkey Ridge is a 1.7-mile loop and Beaver Run is a 2.5-mile out-and-back. sorbacsra.org 

Keg Creek Trail – 9.2 miles
Appling
This trail, marked with yellow blazes, is a fun ride full of roots, dips, bridges and creek crossings that are technical enough to be challenging but easy enough for fairly novice riders. Some of the creek crossings are easy; some are difficult. Connects with Bartram Trail at Wildwood Park and links with Rock Dam Trail by less than 3 miles of paved road. Intermediate level. sorbacsra.org 

Lake Springs Loop – 2.5 miles
Columbia County
Located in the Lake Springs Recreation Area ($5 parking), this paved interpretive trail, marked with white blazes, is a spur off of Bartram Trail (marked with yellow blazes). Secondary trails identified with red blazes allow visitors to explore the Lake Springs shoreline. The trail connects the four peninsulas that make up the park and ends at an observation tower overlooking the lake. 

Little River Blueway Outdoor Adventure Area – 51 miles
McCormick
Located at the convergence of Little River and Clarks Hill Lake in Sumter National Forest, the Blueway offers 51 miles of trails for canoe, kayak and standup paddleboard enthusiasts to explore. The trail system includes five main routes and 23 contiguous sections that offer easy access to protected lands and waterways. Upper sections of the water routes are surrounded by national forest land, where paddlers can see abundant wildlife. The lower sections along the Little River and open water sections on Clarks Hill, which are buffered by U.S. Army Corps of Engineer lands, include coves for paddlers to explore. There are no trail markers on these canoe trails. Extra caution should be used during periods of high stream flows.

Modoc (Stevens Creek) – 5.5 miles
ModocAn out-and-back trail for intermediate or advanced riders, this trail is best known for its multiple creek and ditch crossings. It is one of the most technically challenging trails in the area. sorbacsra.org

Rock Dam Trail – 13 miles
Appling
Located in Mistletoe State Park ($5/car park pass), with access via the Cliatt Creek Nature Loop, this trail is marked with blue blazes and will challenge even the most seasoned rider with several creek crossings, a gully ride and a long, rocky, rooty extremely off-camber climb. Most riders prefer the loop in the clockwise direction. Multiple loops; intermediate/advanced level. sorbacsra.org

Shriver Creek – 3.25 miles
Lincoln County
Shriver Creek is a 900-acre peninsula along the Savannah River portion of the lake. The area contains six trail roads that branch out through the area. Most trails go to or pass one of six food plots. Longleaf pine trees are common. Note: There are no trail signs in the area.

Wildwood Park – 12 miles
Appling
Wildwood includes up to 12 miles of wooded trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. The more advanced biking portion of Bartram Trail from Petersburg to Wildwood Park offers nine miles of fast single-track challenges. A brisk ride through Wildwood takes riders to nearly eight miles of more technical obstacles of Keg Creek. Entry is $3 per day per car, truck or motorcycle. The entry fee for vehicles with a horse trailer is $6 per horse per day. columbiacountyga.gov

Barbecue Slaw Sandwiches

Entrees
  • 1 (5-pound) bone-in Boston butt (pork shoulder)
  • 1/2 cup barbecue dry rub (recipe follows)
  • Hamburger buns
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Chopped cabbage or coleslaw
  • Pickles (optional)

Dry rub (makes about 1 cup):

  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sweet paprika (Don’t use smoked or hot)
  • 3 tablespoons black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground mustard
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Spread rub over pork, coating liberally (do not remove fat). Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Set grill up for indirect cooking (heat one side on high and leave other side turned off). Unwrap meat and place on unheated grill side, fat cap up. Adjust temperature as needed on the heated side to get a steady 250 degrees. Grill at 250 degrees about 11 hours or until thermometer inserted into middle is 195-200 degrees. Remove from grill and set in a pan; cover with foil and let rest 15-30 minutes. Hand shred with forks or pulling claws. Serve on buns with barbecue sauce, cabbage or coleslaw and pickle slices. Makes 16-20 servings.

Parks & Campgrounds

Lake Guide

During the coronavirus pandemic, please check with individual facilities for the latest updates on openings and closures.

Baker Creek State Park
McCormick
50-site campground with water and electricity ($20-$27 per night), primitive group camping area available, restrooms, showers, 10-mile mountain bike trail, nature trail, boat ramps, fishing, picnic area and shelters, grills, drinking water, pavilion, volleyball, basketball, horseshoe pit, ranger station, dump station, camp store. (864) 443-2457. 

Big Hart Campground & Recreation Area
Thomson
31 waterfront campsites with water and electricity ($24-$26 per night), showers, flush and vault toilets, swimming beach, drinking water, picnic sites, picnic shelter with large grill ($75/day), playground, boat ramp, dock, fish-cleaning station, dump station. Entrance fee is $5 per car. Annual pass is $40. (706) 595-8613.

Broad River Park & Campground
Lincoln County
Single, double and triple campsites available with water and electricity ($20 each); boat ramp; restrooms; showers; fish-cleaning stations; dump station. Admission is $5 per car. Annual park pass $40. (706) 359-2053. 

Bussey Point
Lincolnton
14 waterfront primitive campsites large enough for horse trailers ($10 per night), highlines for tethering horses, picnic area, fire rings and grills, hiking trails, mountain biking, beaches, boat ramp, central well with hand pump for drinking water, more than 20 miles of well-marked wooded equestrian trails and natural surfaced roads for riding, free parking. (864) 333-1100. 

Clay Hill Campground
Lincolnton
10 campsites with water and electricity ($20 per night), 7 primitive campsites ($18 per night), $40 annual park pass. Showers, restrooms, boat ramp, fishing, grill, fire pit, picnic area, free parking. Located on the north side of Georgia’s Little River section. Shoreline offers excellent fishing for bluegill and other species of bream. (706) 359-7495. 

Elijah Clark State Park
Lincolnton
165 RV and trailer sites ($30/site/night), pioneer camping ($35 and up), 10 walk-in tent sites ($20), 20 cottages ($150), 4 picnic shelters ($30), 2 group shelters ($80-$200), miniature golf ($4), canoe and kayak rentals ($15 for 4 hours or $25 for all day), boat ramps, fishing pier, fish-cleaning station, playgrounds, swimming beach, picnic areas, hiking trails, geocaching, trading post camp store, educational programs. (706) 359-3458. 

Hamilton Branch State Park
Plum Branch
173 waterfront campsites with water/electricity ($21-$27 per night), 11 tent sites with water only, primitive group camping area, restrooms, showers, boat ramps, fishing, playground, picnic area, shelters, bike trail, dump station. (864) 333-2223. 

Hawe Creek Campground
McCormick
34 waterfront RV and tent campsites with water and electricity ($24-$26/night), showers, flush and vault toilets, boat ramp, drinking water, trash collection. Five miles from Hickory Knob State Park. (864) 443-5441. 

Hesters Ferry Campground
Lincoln County
16 waterfront RV campsites with water and electricity ($18 per night), 10 waterfront tent campsites ($16 per night), showers, restrooms, picnic area, dump station. Located on Fishing Creek, which is known for some of the best fishing on the lake. (706) 359-2746.

Hickory Knob State Resort Park
McCormick
44 RV and tent campsites with water and electricity ($22-$26 per night), 16 duplex cabins ($88-$120 per night), 76 lodge and motel rooms ($72-$100 per night), barracks for up to 13 people ($130-$172 per night), Guillebeau house ($97-$135), showers, boat ramp, dock, fishing, canoeing and kayaking, playground, swimming pool, restaurant, store and gift shop, hiking and mountain bike trails, lakeside championship golf course, practice putting green, tennis, archery, skeet shooting, meeting rooms ($125-$170 per day), convention center ($210-$280 per day), meeting barn ($310-$384 per day), Wi-Fi. Open 24 hours. (800) 491-1764.

LeRoys Ferry Campground
McCormick
10 primitive campsites without water or electrical hookups ($6), boat ramp with security light, rustic toilets, a hand pump for drinking water, grill, picnic table and fire ring. Pets allowed. Open all year. (800) 533-3478. 

Mistletoe State Park
Appling
93 RV, trailer and tent sites ($27-$32 per night); 3 backcountry campsites ($10); pioneer campground ($75); 4 walk-in campsites ($15); tent cabin (sleeps 4, $55 per night); 11 cottages ($150-$165/night); 4 picnic shelters ($35/day); 2 group shelters ($75-$155); beach house (seats 75, $95-$250); boat ramps; canoe rentals; fishing; dock; swimming beach; biking and hiking trails; bird watching; geocaching and planned park activities. (706) 541-0321. 

Modoc Campground
Modoc
70 waterfront RV campsites with water and electricity ($18-$26 per night), showers, flush and vault toilets, coin-operated laundry facilities, boat ramp, playground, hiking trails, picnic shelter, drinking water, dump station. Five miles from Thurmond Visitor Center. (864) 333-2272. 

Petersburg Campground
Appling
93 waterfront RV and tent campsites ($18-$26 per night), most with water and electricity; showers; flush and vault toilets; drinking water; boat ramp; two swimming beaches; fishing dock and cleaning stations; hiking trail; playground; picnic shelter; coin-operated laundry facilities; dump station; trash collection. Four miles from Thurmond Visitor Center. (706) 541-9464. 

Plum Branch Yacht Club
Plum Branch
63 waterfront RV campsites with water and electricity, primitive campsites, covered and uncovered moorage and dry storage, fuel, boat ramp, beach, ship’s store, Lakeside Grill restaurant, bathhouse, restrooms, pavilions. (864) 443-3000. 

Pointes West Army Resort
Appling
58 waterfront campsites with water and electricity ($14-$20 per night); 20 waterfront campsites with electricity only ($10 per night); primitive campsites ($7 per night); waterfront cottages, cabins and rustic motel suites; camper rentals; pontoon boat rentals; beach; picnic tables; grill; fire ring; country store; swimming; playgrounds; bathhouse; boat ramps; fishing; boat storage sheds and slips; camper storage; camping equipment rental; conference center; 10 pavilions; hiking with Bartram Trail access. Military or government ID required. (706) 541-1057. 

Raysville Campground
Thomson
55 campsites with water and electricity ($20-$24), boat ramp, fire pit, grill, showers, TV/cable hookup, dump station. Within a mile of Amity Recreation Area, which has numerous beaches, picnic shelters and ball field. (706) 595-6759. 

Ridge Road Campground
Appling
69 RV campsites with water and electricity, plus 6 tent sites ($18-$24 per night); showers; flush and vault toilets; drinking water; boat ramp; playground; swimming beach; picnic area; fish-cleaning station; dock; grill; fire pit; coin-operated laundry station; dump station; trash collection; TV/cable hookup. (706) 541-0282.

Soap Creek Campground
Lincolnton
30 RV campsites with water and electricity, primitive camping, 5 lakeside cottage rentals, slip rentals, electrical hookups, water, boat ramps, fuel, restrooms, bathhouse, ship’s store, beach, picnic area, hiking trails, event center and meeting rooms, free wireless Internet. (706) 359-4100. 

Wildwood Park
Appling
Run by the Columbia County Recreation Department, this 975-acre park is open year-round and located 1.5 miles from Pollard’s Corner. It includes 61 RV and tent campsites ($20 per night per RV and $10 per night per tent), 6-lane mega boat ramps, camper storage ($30 per month), shower and restroom facilities, docks, beach area, 7 covered pavilions ($150-$200), 3 championship disc golf courses ($5-$6 per day), playgrounds, fishing, weigh-in station and horse riding trails. Home of the International Disc Golf Association Headquarters and Hall of Fame. Park admission is $3 per car, truck or motorcycle per day or $30 for an annual unlimited admission pass; $6 per day for a vehicle with a boat/watercraft ($30 annual pass); $20 per day per bus and $6 per day for vehicles with a horse trailer. Seasonal passes and senior discounts available. For park pass information and camping reservations, call (706) 541-0586 or register online at columbiacountyga.gov.

Winfield Campground
Appling
80 RV and tent campsites with water and electricity ($26 per night), showers, flush and vault toilets, boat ramp, beach, drinking water, playground, dump station, ice and camping essentials available for purchase at the gatehouse. Located on Little River near Mistletoe State Park. (706) 541-0147.

 


 

Recreation Areas
(No Campgrounds)
During the coronavirus pandemic, please check with individual facilities for the latest updates on openings and closures.

Amity Recreation Area
Lincoln County
Boat ramp, fishing pier, comfort station, drinking water, picnic area, 3 picnic shelters, beaches and swimming area, playground, nature trails, baseball field, dock. Entrance fee is $5 per car. Annual pass is $40. 8 a.m.-8:30 p.m. For shelter reservations, call (706) 359-4444.

Below Dam Recreation Area
McCormick County
Across from Thurmond Visitor Center. Boat ramp, comfort station, drinking water, picnic area and shelters, mini shelters, fishing pier, playground. No swimming or wading due to strong currents. Entrance fee is $5 per car. Annual pass is $40. 8 a.m.-8:30 p.m. For shelter reservations, call (864) 333-1147.

Cherokee Recreation Area
Lincolnton
Boat ramp, dock, restrooms, picnic area, picnic shelters ($75 per day), drinking water, playground, nature trails, swim beach. Entrance fee is $5 per car. Annual park pass $40. 8 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Just across Little River Bridge. (706) 359-5525 or (706) 359-5523.

Clarks Hill Park Recreation Area
McCormick
Boat ramp, dock, fishing pier, fish cleaning station, picnic areas, picnic shelters ($10-$125 per day), mini shelters ($10-$20 per day, no electricity), drinking water, restrooms, 2 swimming areas, hiking trails. Entrance fee is $5 per car. Annual pass is $40. 8 a.m.-8:30 p.m. For shelter reservations, call (877) 444-6777. 

Eddie Fletcher Memorial Park
Lincolnton
Boat ramp, picnic area, swimming beach, restrooms. Open 8:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Located at Soap Creek. (706) 359-7970.

Gill Point Recreation Area
Lincoln County
Boat ramp, dock, picnic area, picnic shelter, drinking water, restrooms. Entrance fee is $5 per car. Annual pass is $40. 6 a.m.-10 p.m. For shelter reservations, call (800) 533-3478. 

Keg Creek Wildlife Management Area
Appling
Two miles from Pollard’s Corner. Open to hunting seasonally (hunting and fishing license required), interpretive trail, fishing, hiking, bird watching, canoe access, picnicking, observation tower, boat ramp, dock. (706) 595-4222.

Lake Springs Recreation Area
Appling
Three miles from Pollard’s Corner. Boat ramp, dock, fishing pier, fish-cleaning station, drinking water, restrooms, picnic areas, 4 picnic shelters ($75-$125 per day), 13 swim beaches, playground, volleyball, horseshoe pits, walking and biking trails, Bartram Trail entrance point. Entrance fee is $5 per car. Annual pass is $40. 8 a.m.-8:30 p.m. For shelter reservations, call (800) 533-3478. 

Parksville Recreation Area
Parksville
Boat ramp, fish-cleaning station, picnic area, 2 shelters ($50-$125 per day), 2 beaches, playground, ball field, restrooms. Entrance fee is $5 per car. Annual pass is $40. 8 a.m.-8:30 p.m. For shelter reservations, call (800) 533-3478.

West Dam Recreation Area
Appling
Restrooms, picnic areas, playgrounds, shelter ($125 per day), 10 mini shelters ($10 per day), 7 beaches, fishing, Bartram Trail entrance point. Entrance fee is $5 per car. Annual pass is $40. 8 a.m.-8:30 p.m. One mile from Thurmond Visitor Center. For shelter reservations, call (800) 533-3478.

Respite from the Fast Lane

In The Home

Photography by Sally Kolar

A couple that has plenty of get up and go can put on the brakes at their Clarks Hill Lake home when they’re ready for some down time

For two people who live life to the max, empty nesters Christine and Chris Walker took a minimalist approach when they downsized to a two-bedroom home on Clarks Hill Lake two years ago.

The exterior of the contemporary house is made of stucco, hardy board and 1-inch-thick cultured stone cut into 12-inch-by-24-inch pieces. Inside, the clean lines and open spaces offer the perfect backdrop to showcase the Walkers’ collections of art, sports memorabilia and automobiles.

“We have a fast life with the business we have,” says Chris, who owns Southeast Utilities of Georgia and also builds custom Ford F650 super trucks. “When we’re not working, we can spend time at the house for quiet and solitude. The lake is our passion. It’s our release.”

Sporting Life
The Walkers, who used to spend almost every weekend at Clarks Hill, knew they wanted to build a house on the lake. When they first saw the property they now call home, however, they didn’t like it. “The lot was completely wooded,” says Christine. “You couldn’t even see the water.”

After a second look, however, they reconsidered. Now the footprint of the house occupies space that once was filled with giant boulders, and the front door marks the spot where a giant white oak tree stood.

“Everybody in the family helped prep the land for the house,” says Chris. “After the land was prepped and organized, then we built the house. It made the placement of the house easier. I oversaw or built everything.”

It took the Walkers about a year to build the house, and they moved into the Appling home two years ago. They also took a collaborative, but unorthodox, approach to the design of the house.

“We designed the garage, and then we designed the house around it,” says Chris. “I designed and engineered the house, and Christine was in charge of the interior design.”

A garage-first approach might be unconventional for most people, but not for the Walkers. Chris raced formula cars in the 1980s, and the custom truck builder also collects vehicles, which he houses in the 4,000-square-foot garage.

His collection includes a special edition, handmade Rolls Royce, which has a special sound system for opera and classical music with copper speakers and coils; a handmade, all carbon fiber 2019 McLaren 720s; a 1958 Jeep pickup, which was fully restored for Jay Leno’s garage; and a 110-year anniversary 2019 Morgan three-wheeler. He also has a fully electric, carbon fiber Lito Sora fighter bike – the motorcycle that Daniel Dae Kim’s character, Chin Ho Kelly, rode in “Hawaii Five-O.”

Chris collects professional sports memorabilia as well, and the garage is full of jerseys from pro athletes. “I’ve been collecting jerseys half my life,” says Chris. “I built trucks for a lot of these guys.”

He has signed jerseys from super truck customers including NFL stars Albert Haynesworth, Chad Ochocinco, Plaxico Burress and Irving Fryar and NBA greats Shaquille O’Neal and LeBron James. His collection also includes jerseys worn by professional athletes such as Dan Marino, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Russell Wilson, Joe Montana, Larry Bird and Greg Maddox.

Another sports memorabilia display in the garage features a collection of frames that each hold a photo of a Masters Tournament winner, his autograph and a badge from the year he won.

Other wall displays include boating memorabilia – Chris races boats now, with Christine at his side as his navigator. He stores his 45-foot and 47-foot race boats in Lincolnton, but the Walkers, who love to travel, keep their 26-foot Chris-Craft Catalina at their Chigoe Creek dock. The dock bears the name “Walker’s Cay,” which they fittingly call their lake retreat after the northernmost island in the Bahamas.

During the winter, they go out on the lake about twice a month. The rest of the year, they’re on the lake four times a week.

“There’s a little island where we like to go to meet friends,” says Christine. “When we’re at home, we’re usually on the lake.”

Designed to Entertain
Even though the house only has two bedrooms, it was designed for sleepovers and entertainment. The house features four-and-a-half baths (including a full bath outside), and all of the couches turn into beds so friends and family who come over to play are welcome to spend the night.

Frequent guests include their children, Savannah Walker and Cameron Morbey, who live in the area. Their other two children – son Christopher, his wife, Alejandra, and their son, Eliah, who live in Florida, and daughter Whitney Weathers, her husband, Jim, and their daughter, Sadie Jane, who live in North Carolina – visit as well.

Just inside the front door, a floating staircase leads up to the entertainment room – a favorite hangout for the Walkers when they’re not traveling or on the lake. To build the staircase, they put that giant white oak tree from their property to good use. Chris had it milled, and he used the wood to make the 18 steps and the railing for the staircase.

“I would say what I wanted, and he made it,” Christine says. “He’s detail-oriented and romantic. And he listens.”

The entertainment room features a black bamboo floor, which is made up of planks that are 4.5 inches wide. “I like the sexiness of black hardwoods,” says Christine.

The room also features black trim work, teal walls and exposed A/C and heat duct. “It’s the one room that pops out from the rest of the house,” Chris says.

Railed openings on one wall overlook the living room on the first floor, and big picture windows on the opposite wall offer a view of the lake. Furnishings include white couches and a stamped aluminum coffee table. A chalkboard barn door opens to a full bath, which includes a vessel sink and a shower.

For fun and games, the room includes a pool table, a poker table, a dart board and a flat-screen TV. The entertainment room is full of more sports memorabilia as well. Chris’ collection, which he has amassed in 30-plus years, includes a pair of boxing gloves signed by Muhammad Ali; a half-dozen coins used for the opening coin flip in various Super Bowls; countless autographed NFL helmets signed by the entire teams (including a Patriots helmet from Tom Brady’s first Super Bowl); and an autographed football from the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins’ perfect season.

He also has a baseball from the 100-year anniversary of the World Series, which was signed by all of the living World Series MVPs; a case full of Hall of Fame bats; and a 1997 World Series trophy that belonged to Florida Marlins closer Robb Nen. “I taught him how to fish,” Chris says.

He loves all professional sports teams, but the south Florida native is partial to the Dolphins and the Marlins. Since moving to Georgia in 1996 (Chris was sold on Columbia County after a convenience store clerk told him “around here, you get your gas first and then pay for it”) he also has become a fan of the Falcons and the Braves.

The entertainment room leads to an open-air porch, where Christine and her girlfriends like to sit during “game night” at the Walker house. The porch features a fire pit surrounded by four square stools and an outdoor kitchen with a teppanyaki grill. A spiral staircase connects it to another porch below.

Spacious & Sleek
A vaulted ceiling brings a feeling of spaciousness to the living room, where big picture windows overlook the landscaping in the front yard. “We don’t like curtains and doors,” says Christine.

However, the doors they have were made in Italy with solid wood, and they’re lined with aluminum strips. A two-sided, vented, propane-burning, slate fireplace separates the family room and the kitchen.

Chris made the open shelves in the kitchen from the oak tree they had milled and mounted them with industrial plumbing pipes that he painted black. The oak ceiling was made from the tree as well.

In addition, the kitchen features deep drawers and cabinetry with no hardware, a farmhouse sink, stainless steel appliances, a walk-in pantry with a pocket door and a chandelier, and countertops of vein-free, manmade material. A clear vase, which holds oil-based, floral décor, sits on the adjoining dining area table.

The master bedroom also features a vented, propane-burning, slate fireplace as well as a mirrored wall, a walk-in closet with an island in the middle and a “futuristic, crazy” chandelier.

“Every room has a chandelier, but that’s the only light fixture in the whole house that Chris picked out,” says Christine. “In the rest of the house, we have frou-frou chandeliers.”

Two oversized Oriental porcelain vases, which had belonged to Christine’s mother, stand in the corners on one side of the room. Doors lead out to a balcony on the other side.

The adjoining master bath has tile flooring, a stand-alone tub, a walk-through tile shower, two trough sinks and a separate water closet.

The antiques that Christine once favored have been replaced with sleek, modern furnishings, and artwork has a constant presence throughout the house as well. “Art can be passed down for many generations,” Christine says.

An oil painting, which they watched the artist finish on a river in Bangkok, hangs on one wall in the living room, and a hand drawing by Picasso hangs on another wall. A print called “Vintage” by Erté, a Russian-born 20th-century French artist and designer, hangs in the kitchen.

Tucked under the floating staircase, a hand-cut bronze sculpture, “Callisto” by Michael James Talbot, sits on a granite base. An abstract oil on canvas triptych lines the wall by the staircase.

They got a wood carving on the back porch in the mountains of Taipei, Taiwan when they took Christine’s mother there. “He is carved out of a tree root,” says Christine. “He has to be by a door because he wards off any bad spirits and brings in health and happiness.”

In a back hallway, the Walkers grouped 25 of their favorite black-and-white family photos in black frames with white mats. Even the laundry room is a gallery, where two pictures that Chris had done for his wife for Christmas one year, hang on a wall. To honor her penchant for footwear, one of the pictures is an oil painting of a shoe and the other features hundreds of shoes hand-etched with Xs and Os in copper.

While artwork is a necessity in the home, the couple took the opportunity to shed anything they no longer needed when they moved into their lake house. And that minimalist attitude hasn’t changed.

“If we don’t use it, we don’t keep it,” says Christine. “Except for clothes, shoes and pocketbooks. You can’t have too many of those.”

By Betsy Gilliland

LOVELACE ROOFING COMPANY

Men At Work

Since 1986, Lovelace Roofing has specialized in offering residential and commercial roofing services to clients located throughout the area. Fully licensed and insured, their knowledgeable roofing contractors are capable of taking on any and every job that comes their way. Lovelace Roofing gives free estimates and will work with your insurance company so that you don’t have to. If you’re looking for a local and reliable roofing company, please look no further than Lovelace Roofing.

3850 Washington Rd. Suite 4-F • Martinez

Visit us at www.LovelaceRoofing.com

Call for a FREE ESTIMATE 24 Hours a Day: 706.863.5399

 

Don Lawrence | D.C. Lawrence Real Estate

Men At Work

Don Lawrence, president of D.C. Lawrence Real Estate, has had a long-standing career in real estate and development. As a graduate of the University of Maryland with a degree in economics, he spent 20 years in real valuation and consulting. He first put those skills to use while working in Washington, D.C., for Joseph J. Blake & Associates and Ernst & Young, where he performed valuation analysis on many large and complex properties.

706-825-4376 
Visit us at www.DCLawrence.net

Don@DCLawrence.net

Greg Oldham Realtor

Men At Work

For over a decade, Greg Oldham has been helping clients navigate the real estate market to find their dream home or successfully sell property. With his extensive knowledge of the local market and experience in both buying and selling homes in Columbia County, Greg has made it his mission to help clients achieve their real estate goals.

Greg prides himself in working closely with clients to fully understand their needs and to help find them a home that meets everything on their checklist. He will also work tirelessly to market your property listing to sell it quickly and get you the best value for your home. When you’re buying or selling a house, you want an experienced REALTOR® on your side who will work for you.

706-877-4000

See my website at GoGregOldham.com

 

Men At Work

Interior designer Michael Siewert is happy to make house calls for his clients. However, with the relocation of his business, Signature Interiors & Gifts, he looks forward to seeing customers in his new “home” as well.

Michael is building a new 10,000-square-foot, five-bay shopping center on Furys Ferry Road. Signature Interiors currently is located on Washington Road in Evans, but it will move into a 5,000-square-foot space in The Signature Shops on Furys Ferry later this summer. Michael also is opening a new ladies’ shoe store, Signature Soles, in the shopping center.

He will continue to operate Signature Interiors East on Monte Sano Avenue.

“I’m excited to expand into the new store,” Michael says. “I needed space to grow.”

He offers full interior design services for commercial and residential properties as well as interior and exterior finishes for new home construction and remodeling projects. He also sells interior home goods and gifts, and he sews custom bedding and window treatments.

The new location will feature a large design studio library, and Michael can help clients with any budget. “I stay up on current design trends. I’m immersed in design,” he says. “When clients have a need, I know where to find what they want.”

4158 Washington Road, Evans

(706) 447-1503
Visit the website at www.MichaelSiewert.com

Al Kane Stone & Stucco Projects

Men At Work

Get your dreams set in stone by the experts.

Al Kane has been providing a tradition of craftsmanship and quality in the area for 37 years. As an experienced stone and stucco installer, he offers confidence and peace of mind that you will be delighted with your finished project.

Specialties include:

• Patios • Fireplaces • Fire Pits • Outdoor Kitchens • Walkways • Decorative Walls • Retaining Walls • Water Gardens • Pool Decks • Flagstone • Stacked Stone
• Synthetic Stone • Stucco • Stained & Sealed Concrete

 

New Builds & Remodels
Residential & Commercial
Free On-Site Estimates
All Work Guaranteed

(706) 829-9245

Bob’s Tropical Fish

Men At Work

One of the younger clients at Bob’s Tropical Fish once made the comment that their fish seem happier than the fish she saw in other stores. Store founder Bob Hockman and his team laughed about it, but the more they talked about it, the more plausible it became. Bob’s fish are happier … because they’re healthier.

With more than 27 years of experience, Bob has an uncanny knack for buying the right fish and making sure they are in perfect health before they are ever offered for sale. This attention to detail results in a better aquarium or water garden at your home or business.

Explore their website or visit their retail store and water garden center in Martinez. You will be amazed at the huge selection of fish, plants, aquariums, equipment, supplies and the South’s largest display water garden. • Pond Supplies • Reef Accessories • Aquariums • Fresh Water Fish • Saltwater Fish and Much More If you don’t see what you want, ask any of the staff for special order items. Bob has established relationships with the premiere manufacturers and distributors in the industry and can source most any item you need for fishkeeping of any kind.

3563 River Watch Parkway
Martinez
(706) 863-9478

Visit our site at bobsfish.com

Hours: Mon – fri 10am – 7 pm | sat 1pm – 6pm

Get the Picture

People

A former photojournalist, who now works in the corporate world, is having his first show since his recent return to photography.

For some people, the commute to and from work is a daily grind to be completed as quickly as possible. Then there is photographer Patrick Krohn. He manages to turn his 5-mile commute into a 30-minute trek every morning and afternoon.

“My commute takes longer because I stop and take pictures all the time,” he says. “I’m always looking around and seeing how I could make a photo from a scene.”

Krohn, who spent more than 10 years as a photojournalist and now works as a price analyst in the corporate world, recently returned to his first love of photography after almost 15 years. He primarily photographs landscapes and nature.

“It’s easier to do on my schedule,” he says. “The landscape is always there. It’s on its own time. It doesn’t require planning.”

Krohn will share his work with a photographic show, “Some Eclectic Musings of a One-Eyed Dog,” at 4P Studios in Martinez from March 31 – May 2. The photographs will include landscapes that he passes going to and from work each day as well as scenes from recent trips to the Pacific Northwest and to the Lake District in England. All his original works will be available for purchase.

With his journalistic background, Krohn takes a documentary approach to his photography. Resisting preconceived notions before he ventures out into the world with his camera, he just gets excited about photographing what is presented in front of him.

“I’m not changing anything around me,” Krohn says. “I find things and explore them as I would as a journalist. I find nature as it is and see it the way it is. I enjoy discovering something and then composing it in a nice way. I have always been fairly creative, but photography just clicked with me. I enjoy the creativity of being out and about – even in the pouring rain.”

Carolina Bay Nature Preserve in Aiken is one of his favorite places to take photographs. Unlike typical bays, Carolina Bays are oval or roughly circular depressions that are common in the lower elevations of the Carolinas. They tend to collect water and often develop communities of plants and animals that are unusual in the surrounding area.

“There are no vistas in this area, but there’s a lot of great nature if you just look at it,” Krohn says. “There’s nature all around us. I keep going back to the same places at different times of the day.”

Krohn, whose photography business is called One-Eyed Dog Studios after his one-eyed rescue terrier, Rogue, also teaches photography workshops at 4P Studios and at Art & Soul in Aiken.

“I enjoy putting classes together,” he says. “I like letting people know there’s so much you can do with photography. There’s no failure, just figuring out if you’re doing things right or not.”

If You Go:
What: “Some Eclectic Musings of a One-Eyed Dog,” a photography exhibition by Patrick Krohn

When: Tuesday-Friday 1-5 p.m. and Saturday 1-4 p.m. March 31 through May 2, or by appointment; free artist reception 4-6 p.m. Sunday, April 19

Where: 4P Studios, 3927 Roberts Road, Martinez

How Much: Free

More Info: (706) 267-6724