Augusta is southwest of the Savannah River, in Georgia, while North Augusta (my new home) is across the river, in South Carolina. After being a resident of this lovely state for nearly a month, I figured it was time to put my new driver’s license and car tag to use and start exploring South Carolina.
Columbia and Charleston are on my near-future radar, but right now, it’s all about Aiken, which is only fifteen minutes away and possibly the most beautiful town I’ve ever seen. From the live oak tunnel on South Boundary, to the horse trails in Hitchcock Woods, to the charming shops and cafés downtown, to the houses with whimsical names like Mousetrap and Let’s Pretend, Aiken is absolutely gorgeous and somehow suspended in time.
There's a self-guided driving tour of Aiken I plan to take (and photograph), but I’ve already driven through the live oak tunnel, ventured into the Hitchcock Woods, visited the Aiken County Historical Museum, and browsed the gallery at Aiken Center for the Arts. I hadn't planned to visit the gallery, but I wandered in after photographing Splendor in Glass (shown above), which is right outside the door. I'm glad I wandered in, too, because I got to see Leslie Alexander’s Winter series, wherein she balances the extreme paleness of winter with a pure, pristine, graceful aesthetic that reminds us of winter's place in the great cycle of things... or maybe that's just my take, since I’ve been reading the Tao Te Ching.