2013 Travels travel blog

Carpe at Lake Aire RV near Charleston SC

In Spartanburg we pick up I 26 South

A bad accident on I 26 in Columbia SC

We're in the South now... A Piggly Wiggly truck

South of Charleston we move to SC 162

Nearing our RV park. Note the railroad tracks...

We lost our front right wheel hub cap
Now you see it—now you...

USS Yorktown with USS Laffey to left

Arthur Ravenel JR bridge with Yorktown's bow

USS Yorktown's flite deck

USS Yorktown's bridge
We were surprised at how small it is

Sandi takes the Yorktown's helm...

One of the USS Yorktown's engine rooms

One of the USS Yorktown's engine rooms

Steam valves control Yorkthwon's turbines

Bob with 5" gun turrets on USS Laffey

USS Laffey served during D-Day and then in the Pacific

Waterfront fountain in Charleston
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month

Charleston's Customs House

Bob the "Swinger" in Charleston

Carriages ply downtown Charleston

Wed, 09 Oct: A good day, unless you're a hubcap...

After our aborted start yesterday we were pretty much ready to roll when we awoke under our own power and without alarm clock guidance. We had hooked Dinkum up last evening so once we went thru our checklists we were ready to roll wheels—which we did a few minutes after nine.

We doubled back toward Spartanburg on I 85 and transitioned to I 26 south toward Columbus. It was a good day for driving and the roads were in fairly good condition in the northern portion of the state.

We stopped for a long lunch at a Wal*Mart in north Columbus. Shortly after getting back on the Interstate we encountered a bad accident on the northbound side that really had traffic backed up. Some folks didn't have a good day; both those involved and those delayed.

South of Columbus the road got rougher, mostly due to the heavy truck traffic. While we didn't keep track, it seemed to us that more than half the trucks were carrying containers, probably heading for the port of Charleston or Savannah.

We stayed on I 26 east of I 95 and planned to spend a few days at the Elks Lodge in Summerville SC, a city some 25 miles west of Charleston. This was, optimistically, known as Plan A.

We fought the traffic thru Summerville and got to the Elks Lodge only to discover that the trees were so low that there was no way we could get the coach in without causing damage to the paint and/or antennae. Since we were jammed into a driveway with Dinkum connected we performed another of our amazing disconnect the car in three minutes tricks. Bob managed to get Carpe backed out and heading the other way on the narrow street. It is now time for...

Plan B: There is a Wally in town, let's stay there. Since the car was already disconnected, Sandi followed Bob and we kept in touch via 2 meter VHF radio. Bob missed the Wally turn, but Sandi went in with the car and discovered that it was very, very tight and the parking lot was full of shoppers. This was not going to work either. Time for...

Plan C: Bob continued to a Hess station and Sandi caught up with him. Following some discussion we decided that we'd try the Passport America RV park south of Charleston. We reconnected the car, got back on I 26 to I 526 to US 17 south to SC 162 and Lake Aire RV Park. We got an OK site, on grass with a fairly good "view" of the sky. It has 30-amp service and water so we'll do just fine...

Which goes to prove that flexibility is a prerequisite for successful RVing. We're not sure we had a Plan D, but we're sure we'd come up with something had Lake Aire not worked out.

Anyway, we finally got settled in a bit after four having covered 241 miles. We lost two hours, one for lunch and another fighting traffic in Summerville. And, to top off the day, when we got parked we discovered that we'd lost a front wheel hub cap somewhere between Gaffney and Charleston. The hub caps were removed for front wheel bearing service and it probably wasn't reinstalled properly. It's always something...

We'll be here for four days and plan to play tourist. Stay tuned.

Thu, 10 Oct: And there were trains...

Recall, if you will, that we have oft mentioned the natural law requiring RV parks be built in close proximity to railroads. That law sure applies here at Lake Aire. It is only a one track CSX line, but boy do they move freight! And we're near the crossing for US 162 so the crossing horns kept us serenaded all nite.

We awoke to a beautiful day with bright sun and mild temperatures. After a relaxing breakfast we made several phone calls, one to the Freightliner Service Center in Gaffney to inquire how we can get a replacement hub cap (they're going to send us a replacement at no charge... Wow, what customer service!!!) Once finished with business it was time to have some fun.

We hopped in the car and headed north on US 17 thru Charleston to Patriots Point. Patriots Point has an excellent naval museum that includes the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown, the destroyer USS Laffey, and several other ships. It was an easy drive from the RV park and the mid-morning traffic was a pleasure.

We got parked ($5) and bought our senior tickets ($15/pp) with no lines. We decided to visit the Laffey first as neither of us had ever been aboard a destroyer. This ship has an amazing history as she served in D-Day in 1944 and then moved to the Pacific where she served valiantly. Notably, she survived an attack by eight kamikazes and survived.

Next we boarded the Yorktown, another storied vessel. We toured the hanger deck, the flite deck, the bridge and conning area, the engine rooms, and the Charleston Naval Yard exhibits. By then we were really fagged out and headed back to the car. These old legs just can't do that much climbing without complaining.

We lunched at Locklear's Low Country Café where we enjoyed fresh-as-can-be seafood. Then back down US 17 to the RV park where we're presently sitting down. It'll soon be Happy Hour at which time we expect to not only be sitting down but sitting down with feet UP!

Fri, 11 Oct: Tourist time...

Today we decided to play tourist and visit historic Charleston. We drove to the Visitor's Center where we parked the car and got a downtown map and trolley route information. The city maintains three motorized "trolley" routes that are free to visitors and city dwellers alike. It seemed, in fact, that there were more denizens of Charleston taking advantage of a free ride than tourists, but that's another story...

We took the trolley to the waterfront where we walked around snapping pix and enjoying the well maintained old buildings. We walked thru the market on Market Street, but after the first dozen or so stalls all the woven baskets started to look alike. We didn't buy anything.

After a few hours of hoofing it we hopped back on the trolley for the ride back to the Visitor's Center and Dinkum, who was patiently waiting for us in the parking garage.

After ransoming Dinkum we headed back down US 17 and stopped at Costco for, of course, pizza at the food court. We only had a few items on our list as we're eating our way thru our freezer in preparation for our cruise. After Costco, it was back home for a relaxing afternoon and evening.

Sat, 12 Oct: We did nothing!!!

We stayed at home and frustrated ourselves with our computers. We did do one load of wash, but beyond that it was pretty much a lazy, relaxing, and totally wonderful day.

We're "outta heah" tomorrow for Savannah...

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