New stuff & Old stuff!

Trip Start Mar 04, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2014

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Flag of United States  , South Carolina
Wednesday, May 16, 2012

We've moved just a short distance from Cross Hill and are now comfortably settled in at the KOA in Gaffney, SC.  This is a short stop for us and we are here specifically to take in a couple of National Parks.  In talking to our fellow campers in Cross Hill we also learned that you can tour the BMW factory in Spartanburg along with the Freightliner Custom Chassis business in Gaffney. So, it was a couple of busy days here, which is just how we like them!

First up was Cowpens National Battlefild. It was here on January 17, 1781 that the Patriot troops led by Daniel Morgan defeated a much larger force of British troops led by Banastre Tarleton.  The National Park preserves the battlefield and includes a very nice paved 1 mile loop trail with displays and explanations of what happened here in 1781.  There is also a museum and short film.

Our next stop on day one was the BMW factory in Spratanburg.  They offer tours, you have to call ahead to schedule them no just dropping in!  They also charge $7 per person, but it was well worth it.  This factory makes the BMW X3, X5, and X6.  If you see one of these cars on the road - anywhere - it was made here!  Start to finsh, including 12 hours in paint, it takes 30 hours to complete one of these cars.  The factory has over 600 robots - which are fascinating to watch along with 2,000 'real' employees.  Here's a link for the tours, we highly recommend taking one if you ever pass this way!

Day two found us heading over to the Freightliner Custom Chassis factory in Gaffney.  They offer a free daily tour at 10:30.  We don't have a Freightliner chassis on our coach but it was still an interesting tour and completely different from the BMW tour! 

After a quick stop for lunch we were off to Kings Mountain National Military Park.  This National Park preserves what was one of the pivotal Southern  battles of the Revolutionary War.  The battle took place here on October 7, 1780.  A group of 900 patriot soldiers using guerilla tactics that were familiar to them from living on the frontier, dodged from tree to tree making their way to the top of the mountain where the loyalist troops were. 

The patriot sharpshooters were able to bring down Maj. Ferguson, the loyalists leader.  After his death, the loyalist second in command surrendered under a white flag. General Clinton, leader of all British troops in the Southern campaign said that "the instant I heard of Major Fergusons' defeat, I foresaw the consequences likely to result from it"  He called the loss "the first link in a chain of evils that ended in the total loss of America". 

This National Park, like the others we have visited contains a visitor center with a great museum and movie.  The battlefield walk is just over 1 1/2 miles and is well worth the time & climb!  The three National Parks that we have visited over the last few days all preserve a part of our history that we had no idea of!  What a great testament to the work that the National Parks does! 

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