Friday, December 1st – our Official First Day of Winter 2017/18 arrived earlier than either one of us wanted. Getting up at 5 AM and getting on the road before 6:30 AM is ridiculous!! But we did it anyway. Shut off the water, locked the door behind us and climbed up in the bright blue truck and headed south! The day was full of sunshine and blue skies and the miles rolled on! That is until we reached southern Ohio’s farm fields where a soft haze of fog lay in wispy layers.
|crossing the Ohio River|
The closer we got to the Ohio River, the thicker the fog got. As we crossed the tall double spanned bridge, the fog stayed over the river and we drove back into the sunshine! It was as tho it was not allowed to leave Ohio! We rolled right on past our planned 1st night’s stay in Kentucky! Kingsport Tennessee was a push but Warriors Path State Park was our new destination. We had camped there before on one of our ways home but this time all but one camping loop was closed off and the only site we would fit in was as uneven as you could imagine. We used just about all of the wooden blocks we had and were still a quarter bubble off!
The next day was uneventful as we rolled along – up and around each mountain and down the other side. I got to look out over the edges and enjoy the colorful toy train setup that was spread below in the valleys. The distant mountains were in shades of blues and grays, cloaked in fog and low clouds! Across North Carolina and into South Carolina we charged! A new to us state park – Wateree Lake State Park was selected for the nights stay! Wonderful accommodations! Autumn was still residing in the park and across the lake were hues of oranges and yellows.
As we stood, soaking up the peaceful scene, boats began appearing from all directions of the lake and congregating at the boat launch. It was a catfish tournament and the fishing time was just about up. While bass fisherman seem to require much fancier, obviously more expensive fishing equipment, this group of hardy fellows had boats that ranged from small dingy camo colored runabouts to large family oriented pontoon boats. Unfortunately, it was cold out and we were feeling chilled so back to the warm “condo” we went without seeing or knowing what monster fish won the contest.
In the morning, instead of backtracking west to the main highway, H listened to his GPS and she took us on a winding road that sometimes was in view of the extremely lengthy reservoir/lake below us! Sometimes the road hugged each cove and sometimes it crossed over the creeks and rivers that stretched out from the main lake. It would have been a wonderful motorcycle road! Finally back on a state road that was actually on our map, we continued our trip towards Myrtle Beach!
Huntington Beach State Park, just south of totally touristy Myrtle Beach and Murrell’s Inlet – the restaurant lined, condo crowded, historic jetty of land, used to be the winter home of the famous sculptor – Anna Hyatt Huntington and her philanthropical husband - Archer Huntington. In 1930, they purchased Brookgreen and 3 adjoining plantations and began construction on “Atalaya” castle the following year. Archer designed the square structure with an intricate covered walkway in the central courtyard, from Moorish architecture that he was fond of. The one story brick home was to be used as a setting for Anna’s sculpture work. Across the highway is 2,500 acre Brookgreen, which is now a Garden and Museum. It is home to many of her famous works of art and hosts many festivals.
My dear friend Sue, whom I went to high school with, lives just northwest of Myrtle Beach and is the main reason I wanted to revisit this area! She met us for supper on the day we arrived and chauffeured us up and down the strand of Murrells Inlet, explaining the history of the area. We enjoyed a seafood meal at Creek Ratz Waterfront Restaurant. “Creek Rats” are local kids who grew up playing in the swamps and marshes of the inlet! Behind all the waterfront eating places and bars was a gaily decorated wooden boardwalk that extended for quite a ways and we strolled along it, enjoying the evening a little longer! All the bright Christmas lights danced and sparkled on the dark water. The next day, Sue picked me up again and we spent the day together! Just two good friends – catching up and sharing memories and talk of kids and grandkids! She showed me Murrells Inlet in the light of day. We even walked the fishing pier. I got to see what her life was like in Myrtle Beach! We even got a little shopping done!
|Murrells Inlet in the light of day|