Thanks to Moncks Corner

Sorry we haven’t written….been busy catching up with my cousin and having fun!

Deanna and Ron, my cousin and her husband, arranged for us to park at their church. The unusual benefit was that the church has a 50 amp plug out back….so no generator morning and evening! It was a lovely place, and a perfect setting for our needs. We appreciated the hospitality!

We traded family history photos, and Deanna had the oldest one….taken 58 years ago on the occasion of my first birthday!

When we left town to head toward our next big stop, we went just 20 miles down the road so we could have a little more fun before completely leaving the area. We parked out behind a large cinema, and all went to see a matinee showing of the new Mission Impossible movie, and then had an early dinner in a restaurant next door.

Well, not all of us….Robyn stayed in the coach with the twins.

When the rest of us were finished, she went to a late showing of War Horse while I stayed with the boys. Deanna and Ron left, and we stayed parked there for the night.

That was last night. Today we took off, intending to take two days to get to our next big stop, a federal campground above Augusta, GA. For a change, we ran interstate almost all the way, and found the 175 miles flashed past so easily….here we are, all encamped! Not even sure what the place looks like, because we finished setting up in the dark.

Let you know tomorrow.

Movin on

We tore ourselves away from the coast, but not until Robyn caught the pelican deep in thought….

Rest assured, we didn’t go far.

Found a Trader Joe’s in Charleston, so stocked up on certain necessities to the tune of $250. Maybe more surprising was to find that the clerk who helped Robyn get everything out to the coach grew up in Akron, but started her work at the Kettering TJ store!

Finished the grocery shopping at a very tony Walmart store, if that isn’t too much of a contradiction in terms. Well, the store was the same as all the rest, but the parking lot….all cut up into little parking sections, with lots of well-kept shrubbery, and brick walkways dividing everything. Even the cart corrals were made with fancy-shmancy block walls. I was looking for a valet to park the Taxi.

Then drove across the edge of Charleston harbor on this wild-looking bridge.

We drove up to Moncks Corner to be nearer my cousin for a couple days. We can’t make it down Deanna’s lengthy driveway due to the glorious overgrowth of trees, so she arranged for us to park behind the Seventh-day Adventist Church. We’re all plugged in, and have the parking lot and grounds to ourselves, just a couple miles from Deanna’s home.

Sunrise, and the greybeards

As infrequently as I actually see them, I’m very much in favor of sunrises….we’re still alive!

Robyn observed this morning’s show.

Then she was there with camera in hand when the greybeard took the young ones walking through the tall trees with their Spanish moss.

And I couldn’t resist a more detailed shot of the moss….it’s just amazing to me!

I sure hope we wake up tomorrow morning, of all mornings in the year! And I sure hope we remember the reason for the season….the birth of our Lord, Jesus. His birth wasn’t celebrated by the biggest sales of the year or magnificent gatherings of pious people….it was celebrated by individuals who knew the meaning of His birth, recognized Him as their Redeemer, and worshipped Him as the King of Kings!

From our home to yours….

EspaƱol musgo

The heavy draping of trees in South Carolina with Spanish moss has always fascinated me. It apparently occurs because of the year-round high humidity. The moss plant does not harm the host tree, because its roots don’t dig into the tree….they only help it hold on, and pull moisture and nutrients from the air. Right here on the coast, the growth is quite heavy and widespread.

The high tides today were before sunrise and after sunset, and there were no lingering rays this evening due to heavy cloud cover. So no high tide photo. Instead, I provide this photo taken from our campground across the narrow intracoastal waterway and across the very broad barrier island. Doesn’t it look like a Kansas wheatfield?

The highlight of our day was my cousin visiting in the daylight, so we could get a nice picture!

The tide

Living for so long near the headquarters of Proctor and Gamble, the word “tide” brings little emotional response from me.

But post me alongside the ocean, and it quickly becomes fascinating.

Did you know there are typically two high tides each day and two low tides? I didn’t. And that the two high tides are not typically up to the same height, and the two lows are not down to the same depth? I didn’t. Here, they vary about a foot.

The photo was taken at just about the end of the ebb tide, but it was the noon low tide which wasn’t the lower of the two today. We’ll try to shoot the same scene tomorrow at high tide.

Lovely day today. It started to get hot, but then clouds came along and cooled it down nicely. Nice breeze all the time. Salt air!

My dear cousin, Deanna, came over with her husband for several hours this evening. They live about 30 miles away. We had a wonderful time, and will try to get together again.

I leave you with Robyn’s photo with her phone of this morning’s sunrise:

We touch The Big Water again

We stood on the sandy shore of the Atlantic Ocean again today. Constant pounding waves. They’ve probably come from Morocco or Spain; we seem to be nearly opposite the Straits of Gibralter.

With the tide out, Ross and Ryan walked on sand that felt like pavement. They were attracted to the sound of the waves, and required intervention immediately after this photo was taken in order to avoid the water that was rushing toward them!

This might have been the first rainy day we’ve experienced since leaving Dayton the day after Thanksgiving! We know, this morning might have been the first sun Dayton has seen in that time.

We went to Huntington Beach State Park, which is located at the end of a short causeway that serves to separate salt water tidelands from a small fresh water lake. Without the rain, we would’ve had some fun bird photos for you. And of the glorious Spanish moss growing on every tree in the park!

We skipped Brookgreen Gardens today because of the rain. The state park is on land donated to the state by the same people who provided the sculptures and impetus for the Gardens, and the crumbled ruins of their former home exist in the park.

Arrived at Buck Hall Recreation Area campground moments before sundown and finished parking in the dark, so have only the barest impression of our surroundings for the next five days. Will tell you and show you more tomorrow.

We moved on….

The Taxi does have wheels at its four corners, not anchors, so we moved on down the road today. With regret….it was a sunny & breezy 72 around noon….

We had originally planned this tour so that we’d use the road closest to the coast, and we’d cover maybe 30-50 miles per day. We’d stop at all the parks, piers, and landmarks. We’d photograph the coast at every opportunity.

HA, plans….who needs them?

First of all, we’ve known for months the Taxi is just not suitable for “nosing around”, because it’s too easy to get boxed in down some small street, not to mention the low wires and branches.

Second, we quickly found this coastline is simply not available to sightseers. Yes, a discreet beach here and there. But even that one we found the first day we were in Cedar Point was sheer luck, in that we could only access the parking lot when it was totally empty…the twists and turns to get into and out of it were challenging even then!

Third, the coastline is sometimes miles from the closest road along the coast, because of the many tidelands or deltas or barrier islands.

Fourth, while we have curiosity about these things, it’s not enough to devote our lives to the quest!

Then there was the matter of the many historic and colorful towns along the way: Wilmington, NC, Myrtle Beach & Hilton Head & Charleston, SC, and Savannah, GA ahead of us. The more we considered what it would take to see these places in the Taxi, and how it would occupy our time, the less inclined we were to see them! It still seems odd to say that. So many people devote their one and only annual vacation to one of these places, and travel a thousand miles to get here.

But this is us. Further, Ross and Ryan become huge factors to arrange any touring more than a short distance from the coach. We considered renting a car for a couple days, but stopped that plan as we considered all the moving and hauling and fetching and pushing.

And as we considered what we really like to do. We like driving through varying countryside, and we like stopping to look at key geographic features, and we like being in fabulous natural beauty.

So it changed our immediate plans: we were going to spend three days getting down to our next campground near Charleston, SC, but we decided to keep driving a bit longer each day and make it in two. Turns out we made it even further this first day (165 miles), which will give us some real time to spend tomorrow at an interesting-sounding sculpture garden and wildlife preserve, Brookgreen Gardens.

Then we’ll arrive a day earlier at Buck Hall (federal) Recreation Area campground, near the little town of Awendaw, SC. It’s much smaller than any other federal campground we’ve visited, but it’s right on the water’s edge along the intracoastal waterway. It stays busy, and we only have reservations for four nights, so we’re not sure how long we’ll actually be able to stay. It has four non-reservable sites, but they could already be occupied by people who want to stay awhile.

So we might stay a bit, or we might move on the day after Christmas.

We should have some fun photos for you tomorrow, from Brookgreen and maybe from Buck Hall.

Out and about

On one of today’s walks (there were five) we visited the lagoon where we’ve captured those fabulous sunsets.

Check out the pelican overhead!

We’ve needed heavy coats for our morning walks….it got down to 28 degrees last night….but just light jackets later in the day. One day last week it reached into the 70s, and we found ourselves working up a sweat on the afternoon hike! Got us to thinking about the weather farther south on this great loop we’ve planned….

It’s been sooooo nice to stay here! Just a handful of other campers in a place with over 40 sites….they help keep the place from feeling abandoned and creepy! It’s actually been quite the opposite, just slightly active every day with someone out and someone in, but a glorious sun doing its low winter arc to the south! The tall trees really let in the sun while adding their long, slender shadows.

We’ve been able to keep our lights dim inside and the shades up….so we can catch every last fading ray of sunset, and catch the first rays of sunrise.