May 11 – 15 Driving, Friends and Laketime

May 11

See Previous post as we did most of that again and saw many of the same birds. We took another bike trail today – Yellow. This trail heads across the marsh to little hummocks of low trees and palmetto habitat. The trail leads out to the main road upon which one can ride into Edisto Beach Township. We don’t much like riding on narrow, busy roads so we went back across the pluff and creeks to the main campground.

Got the rig ready for travel as tomorrow we head north to visit friends, Tom and Thayer who have a cabin on Lake Moultrie.

May 12

Traffic. Ugh. South Carolina drivers are not much for turn signals, have no awareness of how long it takes to stop a 29’ vehicle moving at 35 miles and hour and seem very oblivious to other drivers. “Phew, that one was a cupboard jumbler!” I remarked after one quick stop. I’m sure that sounds familiar to many in other states.

Our friends’ neighbor, Dennis, graciously let us park in his front yard on the lake. Breezy, full lake views, mayflies… who could ask for anything more?

Mayflies: one day wonders. They are harmless prehistoric insects that have a life in three elements; air, water & earth. At the end of the day, they have emerged from their flying form and left behind husks that are still sitting on whatever surface they landed upon (RV, chair, towel, deck, dock…).

Reconnecting with Tom & Thayer is so much fun. Remembering good times and sharing amazing food together is such a treat. We go out on the dock for sunset in the evenings and sit and chat until the stars are out and the lake goes dark. They owned Dodd & Dodd Nursery in Mobile, AL

May 14

Mother’s Day! We were privileged to spend the day with Thayer’s mom and her friends. Thayer’s mom, called Peach, is 98 years old and gets around very nicely, thank you, with her rocker. Though she has some memory issues, she regaled us with tales of her parents, raising her children and of acting in the local – Summerville, SC – theatre guild. Luckily we had been able to look at playbills and see pictures of Peach in her prime, so we could vividly imagine the world she inhabited.

Thayer took us on a tour of Summerville, where she grew up. So many beautiful old homes and properties still remain. The town center is charming and much like Fairhope, AL. Just like Fairhope, the town sprawls out from the center in the usual (not so attractive) strip malls and big shopping centers. We could see the bones of the community it had been and wished for earlier times – and less traffic!

I have to put in a word about food. We share cooking and planning, have we ever been making and eating some amazing food. Low country shrimp, Gulf Shrimp, Salmon Burgers (killer recipe upon request – or check out Cooking Light Magazine, April 2017); cheeses with whole grain artisan breads… I could go on and on. Breakfast today, melon, prosciutto, pineapple chunks and blueberry muffins! Glad I didn’t bring my skinny pants.

We got to Facetime with our son Morgan, Sarah and grandsons Sylus & Ryder. Both of the boys have grown so much! Ryder is just talking away and works his face and eyebrows much like his daddy did when he was a 3 year old. Sylus is learning well at his bilingual school. We did a little planning for our trip out to the West Coast to see them. We also heard from our son Gabe, who texted and FB’d a Mom’s Day wish. So nice to hear from them and know they’re doing well. Gabe & Erin are expecting our first granddaughter – their first child. We can’t wait to meet her!

May 9-10 Turtles & Birds, oh my!

May 9

Happy Birthday to my sister, Diana Fox.

Edisto (ED isto) is a barrier island and still recovering from Hurricane Matthew. The whole beach campground was destroyed and hasn’t been rebuilt – to date. This beach town reminds us of Dauphin Island, AL. This is a family place that hasn’t seen the huge commercial development or beach hogging condo-towers of most of the rest of the southern coast and gulf coast. Bike trails, people walking, one grocery, one gas station, a couple of gift shops and lots of houses that have been here a long time and weathered many a storm. There are pathways between beach houses for folks to get to the beach, even!

Loggerhead turtles nest here and are in the process right now. There is an active SC Marine Turtle Conservation Program whose volunteers and staff are busy trying to keep the loggerheads from heading to house lights instead of back to the water. 120 turtles, including a bunch of mother daughter pairs are nesting. Some turtles next several times in a season. Each one is tracked and their nests are counted over the years. One turtle has been nesting here since 2012 and has built 7 nests!

In 2008 someone brought a badly injured female whose carapace had been cut by a propeller in to the Marine research and . She was healed and finally released in 2013 and scientists have found evidence that she came back here to nest last year.

It’s really a tragedy that the entire Marine Research Sea Grant Program, is threatened by a cut of 30 million dollars here in South Carolina alone ($74 billion nationwide) when all “Non-Defense” funding was cut drastically by FY17’s Security Supplemental Budget . The work they do protecting coastal and other species and teaching humans how to enjoy and not destroy the environment plays a critical part in keeping our planet healthy.

May 10

We got the rig moved to the new site and cats tied out. They approve of this site as much as the last one and immediately began exploring in the brush surrounding the RV.

We headed out to the Interpretive Center on our bikes, with the intention of bike birding. Bike birding is when you cruise along, eyes glued to the layers of bird habitat; ground, up to 8’, 8 to 20’ and the top story of trees. When one spots a bird, scratch to a halt, stand supporting the bike and get those binoculars up! Today’s ride netted us Carolina Wren, Eastern Kingbird, Black and White Warbler, Painted Bunting, Carolina Wren, Eastern Blue Bird, Turkey and Black Vultures, Red Bellied Woodpecker, Great Egret, Laughing Gull, Wimbrel, Canada Geese, Brown Pelican, Osprey and Red-Winged Blackbirds. The Red Trail takes you through lots of different habitat, as you can see.

The Interpretive Center holds displays showing local sea and pluff (the marshy mud) creatures around every turn. Interesting information on local culture, plantation culture and farming the Edisto Island area. Lots of Islands – on maps they show as solid land but they are considered islands because one can’t get across the marsh pluff without a bridge. The Center is made of as many recycled materials as possible, situated in a way that would least disturb the environment and is surrounded by permeable concrete (to trap water and let it filter through the soil rather than run off into the waterways).

Great Day!

May 6 – 8 Learning Curve and Lizzy Looses Their Way

May 6

Our traditional Hudson’s Bay Stop at a park nearby (5 mi from home) was successful. After discovering at least 3 lists of “Oh, we need the…” and “Shoot, I forgot the…” We slept well, loaded up the bicycles, hooked up the car and hit the road.

May 7

In the planning of this trip the decision was made to drive a long day to get to a Seminole State Park in Georgia. It was a LONG drive. We decided we would NOT do that kind of drive again. Avoiding the freeway was a blessing and curse, as many of you know. Freeways are fast. Freeways are boring and gas is more expensive near the cloverleafs (cloverleaves?). The small roads were not at all boring, gas was super inexpensive and there were lots of interesting town centers with gorgeous churches and courthouses to enjoy.

Seminole SP is pretty isolated and it takes quite a drive to get up over to the campground. The park was lovely! We parked right on the lake. With only 6 other campers in the whole place, I got to practice morning yoga down by the lake in complete solitude. After meditation, my eyes opened to a low pale grey mist moving slowly over the surface of the lake, as the sun rose peaching the water. Peace.

May 8

When we were driving to our next stop, the check engine light came on. We pulled over for a bit to pull out the Scan Gauge and give a quick diagnostic check. Code P0327 showed that there was something going on. When we checked the codes at, we discovered the code has to do with the engine knock sensor. Barb is going to multi-meter the wires later to see where the problem originates. We got back on the road and proceeded to the Edisto Beach State Park in South Carolina.

This trip was our first using the GoodSamClub Trip Planner, GoogleMaps, paper maps and Allstays. True to my semi-dyslexic form… I got things backward and we ended up at the wrong State Park and missed one we really wanted to go to. The schedule had been for us to make an easy drive over to Jekyll Island State Park Campground (not reservable through the State Park System but through a concessionaire). I got really mixed up because I’d printed out all of the reservations from Reserve America and Jekyll Island was not on the list. Sigh.

Many phone calls later, this morning, we got things mostly straightened out. I need adult supervision when putting papers in order and making lists. Luckily all of those resources helped get us on the right track again! We arrived at Edisto Beach State Park safely and cadged the last open site from Tori, the Problem-Solving ranger. We move to our originally booked site on the 10th. Yikes.