Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Saturday, October 27, 2012


Pam - In Mike's previous posting, he told you a little about our days in Charleston, but he wanted me to tell you more about it.  My guess is that he figures that I will remember more.... little does he know! 
Thursday -
When we got in town, we parked the jeep and decided to walk everywhere - good idea!  Loaded with maps, off we went.  The first thing was to make reservations for the harbor tour and then we headed for the City Market.  What a cool place!  Many sweet grass basket makers, craftsmen, and everything else.  Had lunch there - red rice, collards and sweet tea!  Aren't we Southern?!  Next we hiked down to the docks to meet our boat for the 90 minute harbor tour.  While we were waiting to board, we got a peek at our "friend Sandy" (you know, the tropical storm on the horizon?)  Wind was whipping around, waves were cranking and our boat was bobbing up and down.  I was just a little worried about sickness, but it worked out well.  We sat up on the upper deck (wind in my face) and we had an excellent captain/tour guide!  I strongly recommend this trip, he pointed out many points of interest both on land and on the water (including dolphins) and told little stories about the Revolutionary war and the "war of Northern Aggression"!  It gave us ideas of where we wanted to go check out after we docked.

After we docked, we hiked all over the town checking out the homes, buildings and churches.  We then went to The Battery to look at the cannons (and the HUGE monument dedicated to the Confederate soldiers!)  Sandy was splashing a few waves up over the sea wall there. 

By this time, I was getting hungry and we found the coolest restaurant where we could eat outside on the street, drink their own crafted beer and THE BEST steamed oysters!  We later went to a rooftop bar for a drink.  Turns out our bartender lived in Monroeville as a young kid! 

Friday - We started the day at Boone Hall Plantation - it's still working!  What a worthwhile trip!  As we pulled up the drive, it was lined with Live Oak (that's its name) with Spanish moss hanging all over it.  We toured the plantation house, took a tram tour of the plantation - they still grow vegetables and fruit - toured the slave quarters (it hurt my soul) and attended the most marvelous Gullah !  presentation!  Oh!  I forgot, we also saw a HUGE copperhead snake (thick as my forearm) - our tram ran it over.  YEA!!!  Our guide said "Oh yeah, we gots lotsa poisonous snakes here - copperheads, two types of rattlesnakes and coral snakes!  When I worked in the fields as a young boy, I keeps my eyes open!"  Needless to say, my eyes were on the ground the rest of the day!! 

Roadway lined by Spanish moss draped Live Oaks. 
Picture doesn't do it justice!  It was right out of Gone With The Wind!

Gullah life presentation
Can you find Mike in the giant Live Oak?

How about now?!

After leaving Boone Hall we went directly to their roadside stand to pick up some fresh veggies (I finally get to eat some homegrown tomatoes!!  I so missed them this summer!)  Then we were off to the Isle of Palms and Sullivan Island.  We were too late to tour the fort located there, but we were able to walk around it.  We also were by the waters edge when a big container freighter went by.

On Sullivan Island as a big freighter comes into the harbor.

Finally, I was hungry again and we ate at Buddy Roe's Shrimp Shack!  My boy has more bars in the South!!!  I had green fried tomatoes, that was a first!

Not much to say except they had really good food!

Saturday - The day Sandy came to town!  It rained much of the day and the wind wasn't as bad as we anticipated.  I got some work down in the motor home and spent alot of time on the computer (didn't get alot accomplished, but I spent time on it!!!)  Oh, and spent alot of time watching the Weather Channel, worrying about our trailer in Rodanthe NC! 

Oh well, time to wrap it up because tomorrow is another day of packing up and moving on down the highway.  We are heading to Hunting Island State Park which is just southeast of Beaufort SC.  Bye for now!

Oct 23, 2012  Today was a day to take advantage of a beautiful beach day, so we got a late October sunburn and took off in the jeep to investigate a beach area called Pawleys Island, and then spent the evening in Murrells Inlet at a small boardwalk, which went out over marshland and connected six restaurants and bars.  We ate at a place called Creekratz, and I discovered a dish called shrimp and grits. I don't know how i've lived all this time without it. Awesome. This area is known as the fishing capital of S Carolina
     Oct 24  I rode 92 miles in 6 hrs today. The trip to Charleston S C was all U S Route 17 again, with no shoulder, so I did all I could do to stay off the major road. I went back toward the ocean in Surfside Beach and Murrels Inlet, and had to backtrack because of dead ends two times. I also checked out another cool little boardwalk area in Georgetown S C, which got me off the main road.  Georgetown also seems to be a manufacuring town for International Paper, and there were a ton of logging trucks on the road. The huge pine forests along US 17 also had tall fire towers to watch for fires, so I knew I had to stop and climb one.  It was about 9 stories tall and got very narrow towards the top.  I climbed into the hut on top, and was greeted by hundreds of wasps.  They were a friendly sort, even up that high, I snapped a few pictures, saw that the forest was not in danger, and got outa there!  I took another detour into a town called McClellandsville, that was filled with large oak trees with Spanish moss hanging down everywhere. That would become a familiar sight in the Charleston area.  Whe I came back out on to 17, I ran into a guy who had been on the road biking since April 1st, had ridden 15,000 miles, and was on his way to San Fransisco by way of Florida. Wow! I might be jealous. The last cool thing of the day was when rte. 17 turned into Sweetgrass Basket Weavers Highway! Locals, probably desendants of the slaves, called Gullahs, were selling their wares, out of little shacks on the side of the road .  At the end of the day, Matthew, the bicyclist I met, pulled into the campground, and joined us for dinner and a beer.  I grilled him with all kinds of questions and heard many stories about his travels all over the U S and Canada.

Georgetown, SC

My fire tower

"Chicken City"  Look closely and you can see the stores in the town!

"Very dry docked"

Sweet grass basket sellers.

My friend Matthew who is cycling around the country. 

     Oct 25 Today we walked all over downtown Charleston, did a boat tour out around Charleston Harbor and the island that Fort Sumpter is on. We had dinner at a sidewalk Cafe and drinks at a rooftop bar .
                                                     Views from our "cruise"

Fort Sumter
Bridge into Charleston

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Cruise ship that was in port.

Dock in front of USS Yorktown

USS Yorktown
Of course we do the cemetary tour......

Checking out the cannons at The Battery.

Flags in Charleston


      Oct 26  Today was spent at the Boone Hall Plantation, a beautiful place with a lot of history, including origional slave quarters.

     Oct 27 Saturday.  We sat tight today and rode out what is tropical storm Sandy.  We had a lot of rain all day and some wind, but the issue of concern is what it is going to do over the next 2 days on the Outer Banks, specifically, our trailer.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Happy Birthday Daddy!!!

Just in case my Dad and Jennie check this blog tomorrow, (Tuesday, October 23) I want to say happy 88th birthday Daddy!  I love you more than you know.  oxox

3 generations!

Wilmington to Myrtle Beach - Pam

Pam -  You just read Mike's posting, now you get my version!!  We stayed at the Wilmington KOA for 3 nites.  They had a deal of buy 2 get one free.  Couldn't pass on that!
Thursday was a beach day and Thursday night we had a few drinks at Buddy's Crab Shack (didn't sell food!)
Yeah, it's a dive!  But fun....

We spent Friday doing the tourist thing.  We went to see Fort Fisher -confederate fort, and then the NC Aquarium in Fort Fisher.  We got to see alot of alligators in captivity, plus an albino gator!

Of course Mike had to be playful at the aquarium...

Saturday morning Mike hit the road and I got to pack-up and hit the road again.  This was the most nerve wracking day to drive since Wilmington is a very busy city (and traffic was snarled due to the triathlon).  But I eventually got out of town and headed south - into construction!  With my jack down alarm going off!  What I haven't mentioned before is the fact that our jacks down alarm has been going off ever since I left Rodanthe!  And the jacks aren't down!  My plan is to go to Camping World in Myrtle Beach to get it repaired, so I'm trying to get to Myrtle Beach early so I can stop in before they close at 5 on Saturday.  Of course, things don't always run soon as I get into South Carolina, I start hitting red lights and suddenly I'm having trouble with the Invisa Brake installed in the jeep.  When I apply the brakes in the motorhome, the Invisa Brake applies the brake in the jeep.  Well, here I am stopped at the light and when I try to pull out, the engine starts straining and I can't move the jeep for a few seconds and then it goes forward and all is fine.  Scary.  Of course, as you get into Myrtle Beach, you hit lights constantly and every few lights, the brake locks up.  One more thing for Camping World!!!  When I get there, they schedule me for Monday at 8am and tell me we can camp for FREE with full hook-ups at their other store.  So off I go and get set-up before Mike rolls into town.  To make Saturday just a little worse, the hot water tank started spewing water and then we went to a sports bar to watch the West Virginia game and they lost!

Sunday was better and we did the tourist thing in downtown Myrtle Beach.

Today (Monday) I checked the motorhome at Camping World at 8am and stayed there until 2pm!  But I did get everything fixed - unfortunately they can't find anything wrong with the Invisa Brake, so life may get interesting down the road....
We are at a nice campground by the ocean and I had to take some scenery shots...

 This is a picture taken while sitting at the picnic table, eating my supper!

Looking out over the campground after sunset.  Life is good!

Well, gotta go, I just got scolded because I am repeating what Mike told you... Oh well!

Wilmington to Myrtle Beach

Mike- Saturday, Oct 20. NOW I know what its like to ride 97 miles into the wind!  wind was mild but out of the southwest for the entire trip from  Wilmington N C  to Myrtle Beach S C. I rode thru  Wilmington and took a 25 minute ferry ride form   Fort Fischer to a beautiful little fishing town of  Southport N C.. When I first started out in Wilmington, the Beach to Battleship Ironman and half  ironman triathalon was going by me in the opposite direction on their bikes!  Someone said there were over 3000 participants. I dont know if thats accurate or not, But I was motivated and pounded the first 20 miles pretty hard.  Then I calmed down and enjoyed the ride thru Carolina and Kure Beaches, including the Salty Paws Dog Festival, of all things! Tents set up and music for dogs and their owners! I also rode past a wedding on the beach at Fort Fisher before I got on the ferry.  Southport N C was really nice, at the mouth of the Cape Fear  River.  From there it went down hill, as the wind picked up and I got back into interstate speed traffic with very little shoulder room on route 17.  As I rolled into N Myrtle Beach it was a culture shock, as we are finally out of the laid back outer banks and fishing town coast, to the huge miniature golf courses, the 20 story hotels on the beach, the 10 story roller coaster, the strip clubs, the FOUR HUNDRED AND FIFTY freakin restaurants, and all the arcades.  We will take some time and enjoy it, however.
     Sunday Oct 21    We spent last night at a free campsite at Camping World because we have some motor home issues that we are going  to get straightened out on Monday morning. Beeping jack leveling device has been driving Pam whacko, thermostat in hot water tank, and problems with Invisibrake system for jeep are on the list.  Spent the day on the boardwalk, and hangin out at Landsharks Bar and Restaurant watching NFL on an outdoor screen.  Then we went to a Steeler Bar and watched Sunday Night  Football.  Steelers won. We are over Myrtle Beach.
     Monday Oct 22   I rode about 27 miles in two hours aroung some side roads in Myrtle while Pam sat at Camping World until 2 o'clock and got all that straightened out.. I shook out my legs a little and checked out a few campgrounds in the area.  We settled on a campground very close to Surf City S C.  We have a site right on the ocean, and we are with about 2000 of our closest friends at this huge campground with a  Holiday Rambler Convention. We did decide to stay one day and crash on the beach and enjoy the 80 degree weather tomorrow.

Deck in front of Landshark bar and giant ferris wheel

View from the Southport N C ferry below Wilmington N C

The palm trees and spanish moss started in S Carolina. I'm still getting used to that!

Big buildings and planes crashing in to golf courses are common sights in Myrtle Beach

Friday, October 19, 2012

Mike -We spent Tuesday night in the Croatan National Forest Campground, and I rode 68.7 miles onWed, Oct. 17.  It was pretty much a nerve wracking ride on U.S rt.17 that was filled with fast moving traffic and small shoulders. Jacksonville NC and Camp Lejune made for some unique sights. Helicopters were always in the air, and the town had a barber shop every half mile. It looked like some of the military surplus stores would have been cool to go through.  Made it to the KOA in Wilmington NC. I had no idea this was such a big place (pop. over 100,000).  We spent thursday at
Wrightsville Beach trying to impose our will on the weather, but there was no sun and one rain shower, so we went to a little hole in the wall called Buddy's Crab House (that didnt serve food), and had a few beers and looked at the dollar bills glued all over every inch of the place.  The sunset was good, so we watched it and walked down the street to a place called  King Neptunes, and ate and then called it a night.
     Friday was spent driving through some neat beach towns, (Carolina beach, Kure Beach) and touring  Fort Fischer, a Confederate  shipping port, and going to the N Carolina Aquarium where we saw an albino alligator that was unique. Came back to the campground and were surrounded by Airstreams that came for some type of gathering

 We are now in the land of cotton, palm trees, and Piggly Wiggly storesW
 We  saw these docks in New Bern withall the birds on them. Alfred Hitchcock would have loved this!

 Camp Lejune is a unique place. I was getting buzzed by military aircraft all day long. Didnt see any tanks though.