Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Getting High in South Carolina

Odometer 30278 miles
Trip meter 188 miles

Okay, maybe that title is a little risque- what I was referring to though, is that South Carolina has several geographic regions that we passed through today.

Joan and I came into South Carolina on the coast driving up I-95 from Savannah. Neither of us has ever been to this part of the US before and were surprised that the coast here is very different than what we know in Oregon. The Visitor's Center brochure describes the coastal plain; "the topography is flat ground alternating with rivers, estuaries and of course ocean."
The difference in elevation from the dry ground and the surrounding water or marsh is sometimes only a few feet.

Our travels today took us in a northeasterly direction up through the center of South Carolina and the trip gave us a feel for two new topographic areas of the state. We left Hollywood (near Charleston) and set out for Kinards, a small town north and west of Columbia. We were not in a hurry with less than 200 miles to our destination, we set the GPS for the back roads to Columbia and the Sandhills region of SC.

As we reached the gradual undulations of the Sandhills we realized that we have been on the US coast all the way from Texas and we were never more than 100 feet above sea level for that whole time. Faithful readers may remember back in February of this year Joan and I were visiting Alabama and reported on Ecor Rouge, the highest point on the coastline between Maine and Texas. (120 feet above sea level!)

The Sandhills brought mixed hardwood and pine forests, and the sweet smells that accompany them.

Sometimes one gets the feeling that a particular thing you set out to do is just not supposed to happen. One goal for our morning was to stop at a Post Office or a Pak-Mail and send off a package for mom's 92nd birthday. At noon we zipped by a Post Office right on the 2 lane highway we were on- Opportunity eh? At the next chance, I got all 56 feet of bus and car turned around and headed back to where we'd seen the PO. We scanned for a place to park as we approached. There was no paved or gravel shoulder outside the travel lane so we considered whether we could get into/ park/ get back out of/ the parking lot- no way. so we looked at the next several businesses no in-and-out driveways-and only small parking lots- rats!
We looped through a gas station about 10 blocks away and headed back up the road past the PO again to the fast food drive-in where we turned around the first time. This Hardee's restaurant had truck parking so we parked there. Customers Only the sign says- so it's close enough to noon we have a sandwich and walk the several blocks back to the PO. Sign on the lobby door says closed for lunch- come back in an hour! Arraugh! Maybe tomorrow we'll mail it from Kinards, SC.

We told the RV park in Kinards that we'd be arriving at 4PM and we were only 1/3 of the way there at noon. The backroads are fun and interesting but not fast. Joan and I were very complimenty of the beautiful, well kept homesites we passed, some were gorgeous antebellum style homes on acres of rolling lawn with elaborate brick, stone, and wrought iron gates.  In the mid afternoon I really wanted to stop for a break and have some frozen yougurt or ice cream, but we were having no luck at this either.  After finding a parking place and running back up the street in Denmark, we found out the icecream place is closed on Mondays!  At North Livingston we stopped at a Piggly Wiggly Market and bought cones from the freezer case.
At about 3 PM we decide to jump onto Interstate 26 and called the RV Park told them we'd be at least another hour and a half. No problems they tell us. Most park offices close at 4 PM, this one closes at 7 PM!

We took the ring road around Columbia not intending to stop at this city of nearly 800,000 on this trip, and continued up I-26 to Kinards.  The Magnolia RV park is just off of state route 66 (no not THAT route 66
 :->) and looks like an old KOA park that has been taken private.

The grounds are gravel interior roads and stair-step down a gentle slope, reminding us again that we are out of the coastal plain!  After all the rain last night and the run up the highway today the exterior (and interior) of the coach was a mess, so I asked and got permission to wash the bus.  Joan plied me with lemonade spiked with gin and I worked at it until dark and got the driver's side and the two ends done.   When Joan called "dinner is ready" I was ready to pack it in for the day.  Tomorrow I'll get the passenger side and maybe even the car.
The drinking water here is great!  Since we hit Florida the fresh water has had a slight sulpher odor to it, and at Charleston the water was so treated (softeners)  it felt like you couldn't get the soap off in the shower.  Coming from the NW we are spoiled and can't help but appreciate good tasting water.  We buy bottled water for drinking and we go through a lot of it.  At one time I was railing about how much we are spending on K-cups for our coffee ($1.95/day), now I want to do a study on how much we spend on Dasani!

We intend to stay two days here, then we'll travel the 50 so miles to Gaffney and get ready for my Freightliner classes- I'm getting excited about that!  Tomorrow we'll explore the local area in the car and hopefully get mom's birthday gift in the mail.

Your Travelling Friends

Jeff and Joan

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