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Friday, February 23, 2007

Sunrise over the Atlantic

Two things: this one takes a while to load: there are 15 pictures. Also, I'm posting 2 posts today, so scroll down and read Conway, too.

If you wake up really early (after a 5am start at work Thursday morning, that felt like sleeping late) you can get a small motorhome into public beach access parking at Surfside Beach, SC, and be there to greet the dawn.

High tide was around midnight and left its wet mark.

If global warming raises sea level, these apartments are in big trouble.

They've built most amazingly close to the high water mark.

Here comes the sun.

Here comes the sun.

And as the day begins, the seagulls and bundled up humans come out to the beach.
I have a complaint.
As an RVer, I travel to many different towns and winter happens. In the winter, I go through lots more propane than I do normally. Sunday afternoon when I arrived in Conway, SC, it was COLD. It was cold all night and very cold when we got off work Monday morning, and after I slept, I thought it would be advisable to fill up my propane tank. My furnace, refrigerator, and stove all use it and running out would be really ugly.
Looking for propane on the road, I have learned to check hardware stores, gas stations, U-Haul depots, as well as RV places and campgrounds. I checked online (yay, Treo!) and also asked local residents, and all the responses led to Socastee Hardware, about 10 miles away. I went, filled my tank, worked out at the Curves in Socastee, returned to the store and took my pre-nightshift nap.
Tuesday I went to explore Conway - and passed not one, but two, propane pumps within a mile or two. If only propane were advertised like gasoline! Big signs stating availability and price!
And that's another thing - price sure does vary. From $1.99 to $3.60, in different places this winter in Virginia and the Carolinas.

Exploring Conway led me to the Conway museum. Inside I found Native American history, a whole family of stuffed bears (they were great, but their glass cases were too reflective to allow me to share them with you), items pertaining to the local economy (turpentine production, logging,) a quilt exhibit, a whole room full of insects, otter, possum, raptors... and reflective glass.

The Live Oak tree in front of the museum has a story of its own. the Wade Hampton Oak, a Live Oak that now shades the Horry County Museum. The Live Oak was named for General Wade Hampton, the first governor of S.C. following Reconstruction. During his successful run for Governor of S.C. in 1876, General Wade Hampton held a political rally under the canopy of the tree. Later, Mary Beaty guarded it with a shotgun. This led to awareness and preservation of Live Oaks throughout Conway.

On the way back to the store, I stopped at the Travelers Chapel on 501. There really isn't parking there, much less for a motorhome, so I parked at the Baptist Church across the highway and crossed the 4 lanes on foot. Lots of traffic!

The chapel is a tiny church.

(If you google "tiny church" you'll find others.)

Very tiny.

Inside are only 6 pews, no wider than the seat of a car. On the altar is a book, in which travelers have written their prayers.

Would this be my blog if there was no water? This is the Waccamaw River. It starts at Lake Waccamaw where I was last weekend. Comes through Conway, goes to the beach. Just like me.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Sometimes you run into someone who DOES know what's cool about where they live. I had the honor this weekend to stay at a friend & co-worker's place in between sets. She gave me a real guided tour of the area.

We went to Lake Waccamaw,
first to the little museum

there, and then to lunch by the shore.

The lake is one of the Carolina Bays. I had never heard of them, being from further north and west. Carolina Bays are egg-shaped, shallow depressions found primarily on the Coastal Plain of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.

However, some bays may exist in northern Florida and as far north as New Jersey. They are oriented on a northwest-southeast axis, with, in many cases, a distinct sand rim on the southeast end.

For the most part these land surface form features are not readily visible from ground level, but aerial views show them to be spectacular features on the otherwise monotonous coastal plain (Fig. 1).

The origin of the bays has been a subject of controversy for more than half a century, and numerous theories have been proposed over the years but none has been universally accepted by scholars.

In the museum, there was a dugout canoe,

which had been found in the mud of the bay, so it was dug out in both senses.

They had the head of a monosaurus,

a large critter that used (i hope) to
live in the lake.

We went to Moores Creek Battleground, the site of a Revolutionary War battle. First, we watched the movie - which made me think of Rendezvous - the next one's next month :)

Then we walked the less than a mile trail through the battlefield. Nowadays, a wooden walkway leads through the swamp, but you can see this would be a
yucky place to be a Rev War soldier slogging through the swamp to battle.

Had it been open on Saturday, we'd have had lunch at Mama Rita's,
which stands in the parking lots behind the buildings on Whiteville's main street - I would never have found it on my own.

Another place that I'll have to revisit at a later date, when they are open, is the Reuben Brown house in Whiteville.

For now, time to unplug the shore line and drive off to the next jobsite.

Friday, February 16, 2007

This week we worked in Murrels Inlet, SC so I spent a night at the beautiful Huntington Beach State Park.

It was cool and windy Sunday morning, but I had to do it - the walkway to the beach was right by my campsite.

I had intended to go before dawn and watch the sun rise, but when it came down to it, I decided to clean house first and let the world get warmer. I still got to watch the morning over the atlantic.

There are few other people out and about early in the morning in the winter, and there were no tracks at all on the beach. Just the gulls and me. I picked up a few seashells, enjoyed the peace, enjoyed the fact that I had a warm motorhome waiting for me.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

This week we were at Kings Mountain, NC.

One would think, then, that I went to Kings Mountain State Park. Actually, that is just across the border into South Carolina.

Where I went to go hiking was Crowder's Mountain State Park.

There are lots and lots of hiking trails there, and backpacking campsites - no I was not tempted - it was very very cold that week.

Once upon a time, the land this park was on was a World War I artillery range. If you find a piece of ordnance laying around (very rare, actually), don't touch it, leave the area, tell a ranger. On the other hand, if you find my right glove, which I dropped along the lake trail, email me!

It's black, part suede, part knit. When I realized I'd dropped it I retraced my steps and hiked the lake trail a second time - to no avail. The funny part is that when I stopped in at headquarters to see if someone had found it, someone had turned in a black glove. Not mine, though. What are the odds, at the end of January?