2014 Spring Trip
After a long cold winter, last spring my husband and I took a vacation to South Carolina with side excursions on the way home. Originally we thought we would start at Charleston, but then decided to check out Hilton Head Island with a stop on the way at Old Sheldon Church Ruins. I loved photographing the ruins and surrounding area, the live oak trees, cemetery, tomb, headstones and gate. The ruins started out as the Church of Prince William’s Parrish, built 1745-1755, funded by William Bull whose plantation bordered the church grounds. The church was set on fire during the Revolutionary War it was rebuilt from the remaining walls in 1826. Then in 1865 it was burned again by Sherman’s troops of the Federal Army as part of the “March to the Sea” campaign, never to be repaired again to be as it stands today.
We did the main loop around Hilton Head Island with a stop at Chaplin Public Park and Beach before heading to Charleston. The next morning we visited Angel Oak Park on Johns Island near Charleston, the Angel Oak tree is estimated to be at least 400 and as much as 1400-1500 years old. Height of 65’, largest limb length of 89’, circumference of largest limb 11.5’ and circumference of trunk 25.5’ with overall area of shade 17,000 square feet. It’s an absolutely awesome magnificent huge tree.
Next we went to Folly Beach Fishing Pier on Folly Island then on to Folly Beach County Park. I talked with some of the people there and they commented that their winter was the worst they had seen and that it hadn’t warmed up to the average temperatures for that time of year. Even if it wasn’t their average temps it sure felt good to us.
That afternoon/evening we checked out the Waterfront Park in Charleston, known for its Pineapple Fountain. While walking along the waterfront we manage to see some dolphins, pelicans and egret.
The next morning we headed to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. While there we did the gardens and the Audubon Swamp. Copied from their website: “Founded in 1676 by the Drayton family, Magnolia Plantation has survived the centuries and witnessed the history of our nation unfold before it from the American Revolution through the Civil War and beyond. It is the oldest public tourist site in the Lowcountry, and the oldest public gardens in America, opening its doors to visitors in 1870 to view the thousands of beautiful flowers and plants in its famous gardens.” The gardens were full of Azalea’s in full bloom and a few remaining Camellia’s still lingering. There are several options to do while there but we chose to do only the gardens and swamp. Included in the gardens is a small nature/zoo exhibit where they had several peacocks, which one gave us a show by fanning out his plumes. While going through the swamp exhibit we saw many waterfowl such as egrets, blue herons, anhinga’s, ducks, ibis’ and geese, along with turtles and alligators.
After leaving Charleston area we made stops at Shem Creek Park and Huntington Beach State Park. The state park was an interesting stop with the road dividing seawater from fresh water where you can see alligators along with many different waterfowl. The beautiful sandy beach had numerous shorebirds to entertain us during our walk at the shore. Also at the park they have a nature center where they had park rangers out with school children teaching them about different creatures in the area such as ghost and shore crabs. Within the grounds there’s also a landmark of Atalaya, a picturesque, Moorish-style winter home of Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington, philanthropist and sculptor, respectively, who left the park and the adjacent Brookgreen Gardens as their legacy. By the time we got around to Atalaya we were to late to take a tour inside the huge structure, but of course I took pictures of the exterior, but it was so big I couldn’t get a picture from the front of the whole building, even with the panorama setting on my camera. I would love to go back and spend more time at the park, maybe we can return with the fifth wheel and camp in the campgrounds there.
With this trip we did allot of changing our original plans for we had thought about going to Myrtle Beach but Clare had talked about taking me on the Trail of the Dragon that he had done on his Harley a few years ago, so off to Deals Gap we go. From doing the Dragon’s Tail (318 curves in 11 miles) we went through the Smokey Mountain National Park, driving Cades Cove loop and then onto Cherokee. We thought we would head back toward Michigan via the Blue Ridge Highway but the highway was closed for construction a short distance north of Asheville. So we ended up heading from there to Cleveland to go to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to complete our vacation.
It had been four years since we had a vacation (trip) together, when we both worked and then when I was still working after he retired, we scheduled trips/vacations, but now since we aren’t forced to schedule time by employers we don’t seem to make sure to schedule the time for us to get away together. We each have our own trips that we take with others. Clare with brothers and friends taking trips on motorcycles, snowmobiles and to go fishing and hunting, and I sometimes with a cousin or friend to tour different areas for photography opportunities, other times I go on my own. Our interests don’t always follow the same path so it works out that we go our different ways more than together. Who knows when our next trip together will be, but I’ll still get away to see if I can capture that perfect photo.
Thank you for visiting, sorry for the lengthy blog. Hope you have an opportunity to get away to see part of our great country. There’s so much to see and experience.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
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