Bubba, Snakes and Gators
Trip Start Aug 16, 2009
66Trip End Dec 25, 2009
The time has come to move south. We told Kate that we would probably be gone when she returned from school today so we got big hugs and kisses before she left. We will miss her bright and cheery little face and the company of her mom and dad. It has been a delightful week+ and knowing we may not seem Matt, Sue and Kate again for a while weighs heavy but we take comfort in knowing they are in a supportive community with caring and good-hearted neighbors.
Our target for tonight is Huntington Beach State Park just south of Myrtle Beach SC. The golf courses seemingly begin at the NC/SC border and are back to back. We see our first Spanish moss hanging from the trees and re-enter a growing area with farmer's markets popping up along the highway. It is tomato season and we could not be more thrilled, the roadside thermometers read 75 – 79 degrees depending on what side of the road they happen to be mounted, sunshine, seafood, garden tomatoes and sweet potatoes, it doesn’t get much better than this
As we drive into the campground with a salt marsh on one side and the ocean on the other we see the warning sign ALLIGATORS and as we register Nancy asks the ranger what we need to know about gators. Without so much as a blink we are informed that because of the cool weather (75 degrees) their metabolism has slowed down and so have they; we can feel comfortable just walking by them – not likely! Then she adds proudly that they have not had an incident in 30 years, and Nancy is thinking not one that they will talk about. Regardless, the marsh is beautiful in the late afternoon light and we are both thinking early morning bike ride.
We drive the 3 miles back into Murrell’s inlet for a very late lunch. As we finish eating the light from the setting sun turns the marsh and waters a golden color, needing a photograph we finish eating and stroll the boardwalk, gorgeous and peaceful.
November 17, 2009
Sunshine first thing in the morning promises a good day. Breakfast completed, the bicycles are ready and we are off to explore the park
The bicycle path follows the roadway across a man-made salt marsh that is home to waterfowl, alligators and many marine inhabitants. High tide conceals the muddy bottom, so a low tide return will be in order.
On the west bank we spot a bare limbed tree loaded with white egrets awaiting the low tide to provide them dining opportunities. A conversation with a couple of bird watchers reveals a bicycle trail of about 3 miles or so that loops around the camp. We find what we think is the trail, paved and well covered with pine needles as it weaves through the park boundary but we could not find where it looped back into camp so we followed it on into a residential area in the next little community, North Litchfield
The last stop of the day is at Murrell's Inlet Seafood for fresh caught local shrimp and some home made key lime wasabi cream sauce. Oh hurt me, fresh seafood on my plate again!
As we cross the causeway to the campground low tide reveals a number of herons, egrets, spoonbills, wood storks and assorted small shore birds feasting in the shallow rivulets of water as the setting sun casts a glow upon the marsh, it is a beautiful sight.