If I left the impression with you that the only thing Gaffney, South Carolina has to offer is Freightliner . . . then I’m sorry because there is much, much more. So let me help you figure out what to do while waiting on service or if you just want an entertaining place to visit as you travel through South Carolina.
|Ironically, South Carolina produces more|
peaches than Georgia, and Gaffney
and surrounding Cherokee
County produce one of the largest
peach crops in the state.
Since we are not the kind to sit in the service lounge waiting for our number to be called, we loaded up Spirit and hit the asphalt in the tow car. In the course of our five days in Gaffney we found lots to do (and eat, of course). One attraction you cannot miss is the famous Gaffney Peachoid. The Peachoid is a 135-foot tall water tower painted like a peach that warmly greets you along the interstate as you drive into town. Actually, I think the peach is "mooning" us.
If you are wondering why the Gaffney water tower pays homage to a peach, then take a drive out the Cherokee Hill Scenic Byway (HWY 11) where you can’t help but notice the wide expanse of peach orchards. Ah, ha . . . that explains the million-gallon peach. The trees were in spectacular pink bloom when we were in the area and treated us to a gorgeous spring site. Even better than admiring the pretty trees was eating the peachy products. We couldn’t help indulge in peach ice cream and I bought some peach cider for a cocktail mixer later.
Just about 10 miles from Freightliner on the scenic byway is Cowpens National Battlefield. This historic site commemorates the January 17, 1781 American victory when General (and frontiersman) Daniel Morgan defeated Banastre Tarleton’s British force. The battle took place in the latter part of the Southern Campaign of the American Revolution and became known as the turning point of the war in the South, part of a chain of events leading to an American victory at Yorktown. We started our battlefield visit with a quick orientation movie at the visitor center and then set out to drive the three-mile auto tour. The auto loop road offers many pull-outs with wayside exhibits, overlooks, picnic areas, and short trails. Midway through our drive, we opted to stroll the two-mile hiking trail which wound through the beautiful hardwood forest. There are many other hiking opportunities at the battlefield but we had to get back on the road as lunch was calling.
I scored big with Betsy when I found a 1950’s style joint called the Bantam Chef. Unfortunately, for my cholesterol level, I felt obligated to order the daily special . . . a bologna burger. Yep, you guessed it, a burger patty with a slice of fried bologna on top. I added cole slaw as to incorporate a vegetable serving. Did I mention the order of fried pickles?
Now that we were totally saturated with food, we moved on to the only remaining covered bridge in South Carolina – Campbell’s Covered Bridge. The bridge was built in 1909 and used up until 1980. Since then the bridge has become a landmark and the surrounding land has been turned into a passive park with picnic areas, a short trail, interpretive plaques, and a great place to cool your feet (or paws) on a warm spring day.
Back in Gaffney, we decided to head downtown to drive through the history downtown. Prominently featured is the charming wooden dwelling that pays tribute to the towns founder . . . you guessed it - a man named Gaffney. This young enterprising Irish man came by way of Charleston and realized that the large amount of goods that came through this area might be able to turn a profit. Downtown Gaffney has reconstructed a replica of Gaffney’s house and incorporated 24 of the remaining logs from when he settled here in the early 1880’s.
If you are still looking for more to do, there is plenty of shopping. Located a couple of miles from Freightliner is the 75-store outlet mall and a 20-minute drive to Spartanburg plays host to every kind of shopping you could want. If it is antique shopping you want then the tiny town of Cowpens will keep you happy for hours.
With our service completed and our sightseeing over, it is time to leave Gaffney and venture into North Carolina. We decided to make a service appointment for next year and will happily return as the service and professionalism at Freightliner was spectacular.