Sunday, May 13, 2018

Toodling On The Doodle

Just a few hours after departing GA we landed at the site of our next rail trail adventure in Easley, S.C. the...


Here we go!

The Doodle Trail got its name from the train that used to make this run. 

The train carried a variety of commodities to and from Easley and Pickens. 

Because the freight engine could not be turned around and had to run backwards from Easley to Pickens folks said it was like a doodlebug.

Interesting fact....  Ant Lion Larvae are called doodlebugs.

We just saw our first Ant Lion Larvae last month on the Withlacoochee Trail in FLA.

Nicole snapped this photo while saying, "It's another Whirlabout but maybe I'll get a better photo."
This is not a Whirlabout though and she is pretty sure it is a Hobomok Skipper - Poanes hobomok - which means NEW butterfly!

The Eastern-Eyed Click Beetle (Alaus oculatus) is not new to us but still how very cool that those are just spots not eyes.

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All smiles while enjoying a great trail.

We thought this cool structure was some kind of cocoon but the shape was not like others we've seen.

Research revealed that it is the egg case of a Praying Mantis and contains 100-200 tiny mantises.

Funny story:  Darlene's father after seeing Nicole bring home cocoons told us that a relative once brought home what they thought was a caterpillar cocoon.  When a few days later she had hundreds of little praying mantises running all over her walls she realized she was wrong.  HA HA

Funnier story:  Had Nicole known what this was when she took the photo she probably would have brought it home!

We crossed a nice trestle

and saw this Eastern Kingbird.

Then we passed under a bridge and saw these

Barn Swallows nesting.

They say this railcar is left over from the good 'old days.

This old Fordson tractor was so cool that Nicole photographed it in Black and White.

Nicole is learning a lot about butterflies that look similar but are not the same.  She thought this was an American Painted Lady Butterfly when in fact the American and the Painted are two different butterflies.

We have seen the Painted Lady but the one in the above photo is the American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) and had we known it was a new butterfly we would have spent more time getting a better shot!

At the end of the trail we sat on a bench and ate lunch while gazing at our semi-mountain view.

You can see them if you squint

and look over the buildings and through the wires.

We really enjoyed our 15 miles on the Doodle Trail. 

This ride was our first official introduction to hills on a trail.  Every up was rewarded with a down and we did our best to pedal our way through.  Still, there were plenty of times that we were thankful for our motor assist.  Without it, we would have found it more work than fun and, well, you know what they say about all work and no play.

After the Doodle we had plans to spend a few days on the Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville. 

However, the predicted high temperatures for the following days had us re-thinking that idea in exchange for gaining a little altitude.

It was a rainy yet beautiful drive that took us over the ECD (Eastern Continental Drive) and topped out at 3700 feet in elevation as we entered TN.

The change in altitude was evident on the mountain sides where there were varying shades of light green to indicate that many of the trees were just now getting their leaves.

We landed at 1500 feet of elevation for the night and temperatures were around 10 degrees cooler than our previous location which increased our excitement for our upcoming adventures.