Friday, March 9, 2012

Huntington Beach, SC

After over a week of short stays we were ready to settle in for a while. Huntington Beach State Park on the shores of South Carolina was the perfect place. A nice campground with a mixture of sunny sites out in the open and large private sites nestled in the trees (we chose the latter), situated south of Myrtle Beach, in Murrell's Inlet, on miles of white sand beach. Temperatures in the 60's and 70's made it possible to kick off the jeans and sweatshirts and don our shorts and tees.

At least a mile of beach was dog-friendly, so we took most of our walks there, enjoying the sun, the salt air, the surf and seagulls.

The hard packed sand below the high-tide mark was great for bicycle riding too.

Seafood markets were in abundance, so we made most of our meals from the ocean's bounty, mostly local shrimp:

We had a couple of less-than-perfect moments, though, to spice things up. Firstly, Toby took a break from being cute & good, found a nasty festering heap of shit in the woods, and rolled and rolled and rolled. The reek preceded him as he emerged from the brush at the edge of our campsite! Gagging, we turned the hose on him, then shampooed him all over. The smell still lingered, so we shampooed him again, and this time he was allowed inside. Vile beast!

The other misadventure began at 4:30 one morning, when I slowly came to realize that the cracking and breaking sounds I was hearing in my dreams were not dreams, and I bolted upright in bed. I ran out into the living room and could tell that the sounds were coming from the roof, specifically from our air conditioner. Something was tearing the plastic shroud to pieces! I ran outside with a flashlight, but it was gone before I got up there. In the morning's light, this is what I saw:

The chunks of plastic, still laying there on the roof, were large, and showed few, if any, tooth marks. The hole was around 4 inches wide and 6 inches tall. I believe that it was a raccoon that did the damage. Perhaps it smelled the aroma of the shrimp that I'd boiled for dinner earlier that evening. I removed the shroud, collected all of the pieces, and found that I could fit them back together. So I superglued all but the smallest pieces back in place. Then I cut a coathanger up into pieces that would fit in the groves formed by the plastic, and bedded them in place with 5-minute epoxy.

The repair came out well, and is hardly noticeable from the ground. It'll save me having to find an RV dealer who could order one for me, and the hassle of figuring out where I'd be to receive it. Now I can deal with it when we get back home.

So, back to the fun stuff. We biked down to the town of Murrell's Inlet,a fun mix of small town and tourist destination. A shoreline shopping & dining area called the Marsh Walk featured lots of seafood restaurants with names like The Dead Dog Saloon, Bubba's Love Shack, and Drunken Jack's. All along the frontage was a nicely made boardwalk, following the shoreline contour, and providing dock space for waterborne patrons and fishing vessels. It was nice - exactly the kind of thing our home town should do with its waterfront.

Another nearby attraction was Brookgreen Gardens. This place was really great - we went twice. The first time we walked all around through the various planned gardens, admiring the indigenous plantings, the pools, fountains and sculptures:

The second time we went to their zoo of indigenous animals, all of whom were either born in captivity or rescued and unable to survive on their own. There were herons, otters, 'gators, foxes, and birds-of-prey.

This is a black-crowned night heron:

A white ibis:

A 10 foot long alligator:

It was a great and relaxing time on the Carolina coast. We could stay there for a very long time. Maybe someday we will...

1 comment:

  1. The picture of Toby on the beach is awesome!