Thursday, May 23, 2013

We Survived South Carolina Roads

South Carolina and Georgia are beautiful states with friendly people and courteous drives, but the roads are terrible for cyclists.  The major roads have no shoulders and most have rumble strips which force cyclists toward the center of the road with the car and truck traffic.  Understandable we saw very few cyclists.   The Adventure Cycling route, which we were following, goes inland in Florida to stay on rural country roads through Georgia and South Carolina.   Except for our visit with Carolyn’s cousin Beverly on St. Helena Island, we took very few pictures in Georgia and South Carolina because of the rural nature of the roads.  We would recommend our cycling friends avoid cycling the eastern section of these two states.

Baptist Church in Robertville, South Carolina
There’s a pretty white Baptist church in our village of Big Bear, CA, that we always thought looked more like a New England Congregational church.  As we toured the south we have passed hundreds of white Baptist churches.   One of the churches we thought was particularly attractive with its black window trim was in Robertville,  South Carolina.  Robertville is also the birth place of Henry Martyn Robert, author of “Robert’s Rules of Order”.

Elegant House in Beaufort SC 
Our visit with Carolyn’s cousin Beverly was delightful although the South Carolina roads to get there were challenging.  From the ACA route, we rode routes 21 and 17 into Beaufort, a charming small southern city on the water.  

View of Golf Course from Bev and Larry's Back Deck
On Wednesday as we arrived on Data Island, Bev and Larry met us in their golf cart.  Dataw Island is a gated community of mostly retired northerners from the north-east and mid-west.   Their home is on one of two golf courses on the island and about a quarter mile from the golf club house.  Shortly after we arrived they drove us to a dock where they purchased shrimp from the first catch of the season.   

Shrimp Boat near Dataw Island
Thursday we drove to Savanna, Georgia.  It is a port city with a beautiful historic section.  We boarded a tram and toured the historic district.  Unfortunately it was raining so we didn’t take  any good pictures.  However we enjoyed the tour and pleasant lunch overlooking the harbor.   

Plantation Ruins Dataw island
Friday Bev and Larry took us on a tour of Dataw Island and an adjoining island in golf carts.  The first stop was the ruins of the plantation from the 1800s.  From there we rode past a water hazard and photographed an alligator.  We also toured an adjacent uninhabited island. Both islands are surrounded by saltwater marshes.   

Alligator Near Water Hazard on Golf Course
Marsh Near Dataw Island

Marsh near Dataw Island
Uninhabited Island Adjacent to Dataw Island
Hank and Carolyn Dipping Front Wheel in Atlantic Ocean
Monday was our day to finally perform the ceremonial dipping of the front wheel in the Atlantic Ocean.  For this we rode to Hunting Island, about 15 miles from Bev and Larry’s home.  In many ways the interior of Hunting island looks like a scene from Jurasic Park.  In fact, the Vietnam scenes from Forrest Gump were filmed here.  As we dipped the wheel in the Atlantic, Bev and Larry surprised us with a small bottle of Champaign and two glasses.

Hank and Carolyn at Hunting Island

Horse Drawn Carriage in Charleston
On Tuesday we drove to Charleston and took a tour of the historic district in an open horse drawn carriage.  The weather was good and Hank took lots of pictures.  That afternoon we toured the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier museum.  There were some interesting displays on the Yorktown but we observed extensive deterioration of both the carrier and the aircraft on the flight deck.  Clearly this carrier doesn’t have the same level of volunteer support as the USS Midway in San Diego.

Typical Charleston House - Note Door on Street Leading to Porch
Larry, Bev and Carolyn at USS Yorktown Museum
Larry, Carolyn, Hank and Bev on Our Last Day
Thursday we left Bev and Larry’s and headed north.  Shortly after leaving Beaufort, we passed the ruins of Prince William’s Parish Church.  It was partially burned by the British during the Revolutionary War and damaged but not burned by Sherman’s troops during the march to Savanna.

Prince William's Parish Church
The remainder of our travels through South Carolina were mainly through rural country roads interspersed with main roads which are terrible for cycling.

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