One of the downsides of buying a diesel motor home is the expense of the yearly maintenance it requires. This maintenance can't be performed just anywhere, and the best place in the country seems to be the Freightliner Service Center in the town of Gaffney, South Carolina.
Since we were in the area, we called to make an appointment several weeks ago. That's when we found out that appointments here should be made about six months in advance. Thankfully, they allow for a certain number of work-in appointments, and we were welcome to stay in their campground until they could get to us. The campground was filled with a beautiful line of well-loved motor homes!
So we wheeled into Gaffney, hoping to get our annual maintenance done within a week. It was actually great timing, as we could stay in their free campground through the Memorial Day weekend (when it is very difficult to find a camping site). We were greeted into town by the giant peach water tower.
We have always heard about Georgia peaches, but we came to learn that South Caroline produces more than twice as many peaches as Georgia. Known as the peachoid, the Gaffney water tower advertises that this is the center of peach country. You can barely see her, but Denisa is standing at the base of the water tower to show how big that peach is.
When you stay in peach country for a week, there is time for fun pictures of the peachoid too.
We also spent some time shopping at the fruit stands that surround Gaffney. It's a little early for peaches, but they have started picking the very earliest cling varieties. Baskets of just-picked peaches and strawberries decorate the shelves of all the fruit stands. Standing beside all this fresh fruit is a deliciously fragrant experience.
Abbott Farms advertise their stores on billboards along the interstate, welcoming travelers to come in for free samples. We did some tasty shopping there. We made a special stop at the Abbott Bakery, where the smell of fresh-baked yeast bread with fruit added almost knocked us to our knees. They bagged up a fresh loaf of peach bread right off the cooling rack for us--awesome!
We also drove by some of the orchards owned by Abbott Farms. They literally go on for miles.
Our day's shopping included fresh peaches, peach cider, peach bread, and peach butter. Not keeping with the peach theme, we also left with a small loaf of strawberry bread and some hot chow chow.
We like our new little town! It has good shopping in town, and an outlet mall just outside of town. We even have a college for a picturesque evening walk. Limestone College has been around since 1845, and it features some beautiful old buildings on campus.
We had a nice conversation with the Assistant Dean, who told us they had around 1,500 students on campus. They also have some 100-year-old catalpa trees on campus, sporting their white spring blooms.
With their twisting trunks and branches, these trees have character. The Dean told us that this one was named "The Dragon." You can see the dragon's head bending down to the ground at the base of the tree.
But Limestone College's claim to fame is their men's lacrosse team. So we had to walk to their first-class artificial turf lacrosse field on the edge of campus.
We found one of the lacrosse players was practicing his shot at the goal. We were one day too late to watch the home game that clinched their appearance in the Division II national championship game. They will be traveling to Philadelphia to try to win their third national championship in a row. They have already won five national titles for this little school.
Another interesting thing about Gaffney is that they manufacture Freightliner chassis here. Of course, we wouldn't miss the factory tour, which happens every week day at 10:30. It was interesting to see the chassis they make for UPS trucks and school buses. But most fascinating to us were the motor home chassis they were manufacturing right before our eyes. We were a little sentimental to know that this is where our motor home frame was born. No pictures allowed inside the factory, but we could take a picture of the frame parked outside.
Besides playing tourist, we are also doing what we can to pump up the South Carolina economy. We had to buy a new set of tires for our car, and we both needed hair cuts. So while we are sitting in Gaffney waiting for our turn at the service center, we are taking care of business as well.