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Road to Charleston, South Carolina

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

September 20th-22nd

We left Jacksonville after lunch just as the clouds were rolling in. We were hoping to drive all the way to Charleston before evening, but that was a little optimistic. We stopped on St. Simon’s Island, Georgia at Fort Frederica National Monument to see the ruins of a colonial fort and went for a swim on the beach. Then we found a state park just south of Savannah to camp for the evening. It stormed all night and the next morning everything was sandy and soaking wet. We ate our breakfast standing up and reluctantly rolled up the dripping wet tent and stuffed it in the bag. Then we drove the last 70 miles to Charleston.

Charleston is a charming little southern city with stately mansions and lots of southern history. We picnicked in the square and then walked the streets of the historical quarter- admiring some of the historic houses and churches. We followed the waterfront where there were lots of runners- presumably students since it was the middle of the work day. We explored the old market- now for tourists- and then walked down to the Fort Sumter Visitor Center for. It was too late in the day to take a ferry out to the fort (which lies on an island in the harbor), but there was plenty to see at the visitor center. Fort Sumter was attacked by Confederate forces which initiated the Civil War. The rain held off for us, but it was a hot and humid day.

After a long day of visits we drove just north of Charleston where we camped in a national forest. Our camp site was next to the Intracoastal Waterway. We had a nice evening but woke up the following morning to pouring rain. It let up a little bit so that we could have breakfast but once again, all of our camping gear was soaking wet…

We continued up the South Carolina coast and stopped in Georgetown, South Carolina, a small town that was at the center of the rice-growing trade. We walked along the historic waterfront and saw turtles and egrets and then visited the rice museum. Our tour guide let off a sense of that antebellum nostalgia. We were determined to cover some miles that afternoon. We stopped in Wilmington, North Carolina and had a walk down its main street and saw some beautiful old historic homes. We treated ourselves to an Italian ice and frozen custard before continuing the road to Greenville, South Carolina. We basically stopped in Greenville because there was a cheap Motel 6. We were tired of camping in the rain so we took an evening off and called for pizza delivery for dinner.