After a good morning outing at Stack’s Kitchen in Matthews for breakfast at 7 a.m. with about 46 men from my church and fixing a Spectrum phone voicemail routing issue at one of the men’s home from 10:30 a.m., I arrived back home at 12:30 p.m. to charge a few of my camera batteries and collect my gear for a road trip. I met Donald Sanchez in Waxhaw and drove us both down into South Carolina.
I stopped by an old general store near Landsford but closer to Edgemoor that I had photographed during a past road trip with photographer Michael “Hutch” Hutchinson, which had the faded Pepsi-Cola logo painted on the weathered exterior wall of wood siding. I thought Donald might like to have a moment of his own.
On the way to Lando while passing through Edgemoor, I spotted an old white Ford car and turned around after Donald went to the door and asked permission to photograph it. That man was really kind and told him that he could. I turned the car around twice to watch and wait. I was not so interested in it because the thought of ringing a stranger’s door bell made me nervous. Donald has already posted his photograph on his urban exploration Instagram account as I write this log.
I had both the Manetto Mill and Lando School abandoned ruins to visit while in Lando. Both were conveniently close to each other and easy to find. Unfortunately the Lando Manetta Mills History Center was closed on this day. I decided to skip the old train tracks that I read about from the South Carolina Picture Project website and I had already seen the train by chance in Edgemoor.
Driving away from Lando, I took an unplanned road and just when I thought there was no more to be seen, we were met by an old dilapidated house near Fort Lawn, which we both took pictures of as the sun began to brightly comb its fingers through the tree trunks.
Leaving Fort Lawn and heading towards Chester, Donald had mentioned earlier to me that he wanted to photograph more old cars like we had that chance on our last trip. Most of the way, I was praying for another encounter and on the road towards Chester, it revealed itself. He was looking at his phone when I pulled to the side and he excitedly exited to explore the site. Again, I stayed with my car with the hazard lights on.
After driving down the highway towards Chester, I realized we had both visited this location and I went about looking for a new road to explore. I found a large wheat field with a grain silo off in the distance and stopped because it reminded me of scenes from farming lands in Indiana.
I drove back towards Fort Lawn as the sun set with lemon yellow, reddish orange hues with strokes of pink and a final wash of dark oranges and deep golden yellows. I spoke with him as I drove aimlessly through town more interested in our conversation than paying attention to the direction I had been exploring early on without navigation. Navigating back to North Carolina from Heath Springs, South Carolina, it became dark. I stopped at a gas pump and Donald paid for me to refuel the car. Safe and sound, we made it back to our rendezvous in Waxhaw and parted ways.
Bookmark this travel log as I’ll be updating it in the near future with my own photography.
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