Saturday, January 16, 2016

Road Trip

I've had wanderlust since I was a child, I'm sure it came from my Dad. He didn't travel the country much but went "Up North" and to Canada at every opportunity. I also inherited his love of maps.

A couple days ago we had to pick up pottery from Shayne Greco and as we drove down 17 South we noticed there was a lot of tree clearing going on, Highway 17 is FINALLY going to become a four lane highway between here and Jacksonville. We never thought it would happen in our lifetime.

Here is a link to a newspaper article about it.

We've carried Shayne's work for several years, ever since a customer told us about it and we tracked him down. 

His work is hand built, and is amazing. It's always fun to visit artists studios and see what they are creating.

It is an all handmade line of stoneware pottery. His pieces are very substantial and decorated with flowing sculptures of land and sea dwelling creatures. Each individual piece is completely hand made from start to finish. The colorway is all neutrals consisting of subtle Iron Browns with crisp Mediterranean White.

The glaze used on all the work is lead-free. Each piece is "Stained" (a process in which some of the glaze is wiped off before the second kiln firing)

Shayne had been at Carolina Creations in December doing a little Christmas shopping.  What did he purchase?, clay sculpture of course! You might find it interesting that artists tend to collect work in the same medium they work in. The reason is that we appreciate the difficulty and the work that goes into a piece. Not only that but the trial and error and countless trials it takes to "get it right". If you came to our house you would find LOTS of pottery by many, many artists.

As long a we were down that way we went to ride the Elwell Ferry, one of three inland ferries in North Carolina.  We had ridden the other two, the San Souci Ferry, and Parkers Ferry, previously.
The inland cable ferries located in North Carolina are operated by regional DOT divisional offices rather than the North Carolina Department of Transportation Ferry Division, the state has no plans to replace these ferries with bridges because while they are heavily used, they are all on secondary roads.
Unfortunately the ferry wasn't running due to high water but we did drive down and take a photo of it. If we would have gone a couple days before we wouldn't have been able to get down the road. When I got back to the car after taking my photos I had about 2" of mud stuck to the bottom of my shoes!

Here is a little information about the 3 inland ferries.

Elwell Ferry

In the absence of nearby river crossings, brothers Walter Hayes Russ and John Roland Russ[1] approached Bladen County officials and were granted authority to operate a crossing ferry.[1] Service began in 1905 with Walter Russ and later his son, Lee Roy Russ, operating the ferry.[2] The service was named for a local family.[3]

Initially constructed of wood, the 33-foot ferryboat was poled upstream and rowed back by hand and could carry a wagon and two mules. The county subsidized the ferry's operation for toll-free service six days a week, with a quarter on Sundays and a fifty cent toll for night crossings.[2]
In the 1930s, the North Carolina Department of Transportation incorporated its inland ferries into the state highway system, installing the first cable at Elwell and providing larger boats that could be guided with a pull stick. Walter Russ oversaw the modernization as well as the addition of a gasoline-powered engine on the boat in the late 1930s.

Until 1952, the Ferry was the only river crossing between Wilmington and Elizabethtown.[3]

The ferry travels a distance of 110 yards, shore to shore, with a travel time of five minutes, has a maximum capacity of two cars or four tons by weight, operates without a toll, and operates daily, providing service from 6AM to 6PM, Spring and Summer, and from sunrise to sunset in the Winter and Fall. There is no ferry service on Christmas Day or on days of high water or storm conditions. 

Ferry traffic averages 60 to 80 vehicles daily.

San Souci Ferry
The Sans Souci Ferry has operated in some form or fashion since at least the 1800s. It wasn't until the 1930s that the state Department of Transportation took over operations of the ferry and has operated it ever since. 

The Sans Souci Ferry is a cable ferry located on the Cashie River in Bertie County, North Carolina
The ferry is located on SR 1500 south of Windsor, NC

These ferries differs from most ferries in that they are literally driven, or in other words, guided, by a steel cable that is stretched across the river. The cable is secured on each end of the river by steel posts and as the ferry crosses the river, the force of the boat, with the help of rollers on the side of the boat, pulls the normally submerged cable out of the water. 

The cable is permanently secured to the ferry and allows for the boat to not stray off course in normal river currents. The ferries only carry two cars at its maximum and does not operate in high water conditions or storms for the threat of the cable snapping in treacherous conditions is too great. 

People wanting to ride the ferry that happen to be on the opposite side of the river than the ferry must blow their horn to summon the ferry. 

The ferries are free of charge. The ferry operates almost every day except for days of high water and bad weather. 

Parkers Ferry

The Parkers Ferry is on land that was part of the Meherrin Indian Reservation. The Meherrin now live about 10 miles away in the Winton area.

The ferry consists of a steel barge like platform that cars drive onto. Off to one side of the boat is an "engine room" where the operator sits and controls the boat's engine, which actually sits outside beside the room. The ferry is powered by a diesel engine. The operator must know when to let off the throttle, since the ferry has no brakes or on board steering device. In the early days the ferry was made of wood.

(Much of the Ferry information came from Wikipedia - thank you!)

No comments:

Post a Comment