Roadtrek Roadtrip, Kayaking the Waccamaw River

Thursday, October 20: I drove the few miles into downtown Conway, South Carolina, and launched from town, heading up river against the tidal current. It was a perfect day – sunny, not too warm or cool, and on a weekday the water wasn’t crowded. I saw only two small fishing boats in the time I was out.

I paddled up to where a canal goes straight, and the river turns right; first photo is the canal (which next time I will follow; it has another launch somewhere on it), second is the railroad swing bridge shortly after making the turn.

This is a low land of cypress and pines, with some oaks scattered through. I do like cypress knees!

There were lots of turtles – but the only one willing to pose was the one by the city waterfront; the rest I mostly saw as they splashed into the water!

The city of Conway wants boaters to know they are welcome – there are also signs asking that you not anchor for more than 72 hours!

This is where I turned around, about two miles from the launch.

As I returned, I saw that the city has decorated one of its gazebos for Halloween, with a very thin person fishing:

Because there was signage for the Waccamaw River Blue Trail, I looked it up when I returned to the house, and was able to download a map of its many miles – I now have places to explore for several more trips!

Roadtrek Roadtrip, Vermont – Maryland and on to South Carolina

Friday, October 14: I joined my Bennington, Vermont friend for breakfast (and reattached a button to the sweater I knit for her a while ago), and headed west through Troy, New York and southwest down to Pennsylvania. The above photo was taken at a New York rest area; the colors were great. Driving does get in the way of photography, though – I would have liked a photo of the tree that was so bright a hot pink/red/dayglo orange I had to close my eyes when I looked directly at it! It was in a small suburban yard, with busy traffic and no place to stop, though. Great color continued into Pennsylvania, with the leaves becoming less intense as I drove further south. My goal for the day: a friend in Montgomery Village, and that’s where I spent the night.

Saturday, October 15: In the morning, we went our separate ways – but not before I took photos of the red tree in his front yard,

and the “fox” hunting the neighbor “geese” –

I was headed to Bowling Green, Virginia, where three of us converged, from Vermont, southern Maryland, and Richmond, Virginia. It was Harvest Festival in town – wall to wall people, a car show, live music, crafts and local farm products, and fair food. We shared the most odd egg rolls I’ve ever met, filled with chicken, mac and cheese, and collard greens!! Dipped (gently) in a spicy sauce, they weren’t bad, but not something I’m likely to crave. I walked a little further than my joints were happy with – and one of my friends caught a golf cart ride for me back to the camper, for which I was very grateful. And then on to Interstate 95 – boring boring boring driving, through Richmond and Petersburg, and exiting Virginia into North Carolina.

I really like how North Carolina highlights symbols of their state in the terrazzo floors in their welcome centers – this is not the first time the cardinal and dogwood have appeared in the blog. I slept in a couple of rest areas, making it about half way through the state – I wanted to be in Conroy, South Carolina by late morning. And I was; the driving was much more interesting once I left the big highway and headed down the secondary highways. 

Japanese (?) Maple winged seeds at a North Carolina rest area

Sunday, October 16: It was HOT! I sat outside with the cousins for a while, but the heat (82 F, 28 C) – even in the shade – eventually chased us inside. (I am not posting the photo I took of the three of them, two adults and dog, all napping while I knitted!) We went out to dinner in Murrells Inlet, seeking and finding seafood at The Claw House; great food, excellent service in a very busy restaurant with a water view. This is one of a couple of large fish tanks.

These are the greeters as you arrive:

Another South Carolina Day

The magnolia in the back yard is really starting to hit its stride in terms of opening blossoms – more every day. It is just large enough to provide shade for a couple of chairs – although we tend to stay on the deck under the awning.

Today was a construction day here, with the lumber delivered this morning, and the guys getting the walls framed for a garden shed. Four generations of family gathered in the evening for ribs, salads, asparagus, watermelon, deviled eggs, and Boston Cream Pie, with food provision done by about five of us. With four working on the construction project, the only ones not contributing were the year old baby – and the dog. The dog was more interested in taking exception to the birds daring to enter her yard!  This mockingbird was in and out of the space numerous times.

South Carolina Day

The excitement of the day was going over to the son’s house to watch the concrete pour for the patio between the pool and the pool house. And for me, meeting more of the family; there were four generations there today. And it’s SO warm here – the roses have pretty much gone by in the back yard!

Roadtrek Roadtrip, Spring Edition

If you were wondering what the state flower and bird of North Carolina are, the floor of the Welcome Center is happy to show you – dogwood and cardinal. Yes, I’m on the road again; I left Monday, and by Tuesday morning was in Richmond to visit friends there. Then yesterday drove down to South Carolina to visit cousins. I’m sitting out on the back deck, in the shade with a nice gentle breeze, and a nice gentle dog, and a glorious, just starting to bloom magnolia.

Roadtrek Roadtrip, Part 7: Bobcat Landing

It isn’t often that one sees a container garden of squash plants at a boat launch! I did not launch the boat; there was too much current in the South Branch Edisto River for it to be fun. One can stay here overnight, though, so I did – it gets a 1 1/2 out of three on my boondocking scale. Flat? Yes. Dark? Mostly – except when vehicle headlights came through shining at me. Quiet? Not really – there was a constant stream of cars and trucks, one or two at a time, coming in, sitting around for a while, driving off. And many of them were muscle cars – Mustangs, a GTO, a Camaro, a Dodge Charger – many of which were louder then necessary, not impressing me in a favorable way! And Route 301 is right there, making its own drone of noise. But things quieted down after midnight, and sleeping wasn’t bad. In the morning I visited for a while with the volunteer who cleans up three local launch areas – good for him; it’s great to see that kind of community involvement.

Roadtrek Roadtrip, Part 5: Wambaw Paddle Trail

Wednesday, November 3: I drove down to the Francis Marion National Forest on Sunday, spending three nights in the Elmwood Hunt Camp campground. After a couple of days sitting around, reading and knitting, it was time for a little more activity – and time to move on. I launched from Elmwood Landing, about a mile from the campground, and went upstream, riding a rising tide. When the tide was clearly going against me again (and I was hungry, and getting tired after a couple of hours) I turned and went back to where the Roadtrek awaited me.

Launching at Elmwood Landing

Some cypress knees are more ornate than others! But not found in New England, so I really feel far from home.

Even this far south, there is colored fall foliage.

Palmetto – another plant not found in Vermont!
Neither is Spanish Moss.
Southern bayberry, or waxmyrtle – so similar to what grows in New England.

This is where I turned around – looking upstream, then down.

This fungus looks so much like spray foam insulation!

When I returned to the launch, the water level had fallen significantly – I’m glad I wasn’t out any longer. When I launched, all of this mud was covered in water, which was still rising. The level gauge, as I left, read 5.10 feet; when I returned, it was unreadable!

Water level in the black

Roadtrek Roadtrip, Part 3: Conway and Myrtle Beach, S.C.

This small neighborhood Decorates for Halloween. Two of the houses put an amazing amount of effort into it. If you can, zoom in on the porch shown in the daylight; there are things I didn’t see until I did that!

Today was a beautiful day, with comfortable temperatures; we spent a lot of time on the back deck, knitting, reading, throwing balls for Amber. When her humans went in, she lined them all up –

For dinner, we went to The Captain’s House in Myrtle Beach. We were met by a wooden Captain at the door. The food was excellent, as was the view: