South some more to an historic city
Dec 9, 2011
|Friday, December 9, 2011
Hey Gang. Weather got very nice for a while, had shorts on for a bit. I went back to Atalaya, the Huntington house to take an audio tour on Monday while Barb headed out with the truck to check out some stores. She didn’t have much luck when she found out that most places were further away than she wanted to drive and one store she was told not to miss was closed. Bummer for her. I on the other hand, enjoyed wandering thru the house again with no one in it and learning much more about the Huntingtons. One of the more interesting tidbits was that Anna, when she married at the age of 47, was earning in today’s dollars, a million bucks a year. Not bad for slinging mud and casting bronze. Guess her sculptures were appreciated by folks. So her husband didn’t have all the big bucks.
Tuesday morn we packed it up and headed all of 50 miles south to a U.S. Forest Service CG that was right on the Intracoastal Waterway. There are only 14 sites in the cg but it has water and electricity, something we’ve never seen in a USFS CG before. It was nice and quiet.
Since we got there nice and early we decided to check out an old plantation that was a state historic site. It was located back from the coast several miles along a river and it was a rice plantation. Did I mention that this area of South Carolina is called the “low country?” And that they grew lotsa rice around these parts? Well they did. We had a very interesting tour given by the site manager herself inside the plantation house. I did not know that this part of the country was settled by French Huguenots. The plantation house we toured was originally built in the early 1700’s and then added on to a couple times. It was sold by the original owner to a family that owned it until they sold it to the state of South Carolina in the early 1970’s. At its peak the plantation had over 350 slaves and cultivated several thousand acres of rice. After the Civil War things went downhill fast but they managed to survive.
The neat thing about touring this house was the way the state historic folks thought back in the 70’s . They decided to basically strip parts of the interior wall coverings away to show the construction techniques used way back in the day. No 2 x 4’s bought at Home Depot here. A lot of hand hewed and pit sawed timbers. It was very interesting to see how things were cobbled together. A wise person told me, back when I was building our house, that the difference between a good carpenter and a bad one is, the good carpenter knows how to cover his mistakes. This fancy mansion showed that alright. Course most of the work was done by slaves and they did a good job working with what they had.
The next morning we got the news that someone had reserved our site so we had to pull out. Ya see all the sites are reservable online and since we didn’t have a reservation we had to get out. We were told we could only pay for one day at a time when we got there so it wasn’t a huge surprise. Nice warm and sunny day so we packed up and headed the fifty miles to a private cg south of Charleston called Oak Plantation. It’s nice and pretty quiet. It was actually a good thing cause we had lousy internet reception at the other place and we had to take care of some family business and needed good internet. So we spent the rest of the day doing that and phone yakking. Cooled off and rained a spell and spose to be cooler for a week or so.
Yesterday we were lazy in the morn but finally headed into town just to check it out. We were thru here we think in spring ’89 but neither of us remember much. It’s a pretty neat place. We hit a visitor center and watched a movie there. Oh, poor ol’ Charleston. It’s been battered. There were several fires that burned most of the town, one in 1861 in fact, just before they started the Civil War by firing on Fort Sumter in their harbor. Then the Yanks shelled the bejeezus outa em during a long siege. Then a hurricane whammed em in 1883 and then an earthquake clobbered em in 1886. Things were quiet for a while until September, 1989 when hurricane Hugo smashed em.
Even after all that there are a number of old buildings that still date way back to the 1700’s. And quite a few beautiful old houses predate the Civil War that have been restored. We walked around a bit down the narrow streets to the waterfront where the big shacks have sprouted and hang on to this day. We enjoyed just strolling the streets.
Today now was a little different story. We went our separate ways for a change. Well actually I went and B stayed and did laundry. I know what yer thinkin, but she don’t like me sticking my hands in the laundry so fine. I had to go and tromp around ships all day long. Actually the aircraft carrier Yorktown is tied up here along with a WWII sub. I’m a sucker for both. Since last winter we tromped all day on a battleship and sub and 2 years ago tromped another aircraft carrier in San Diego, she decided to skip this one. And the truth is what I actually wanted to see was a WWII destroyer as I have never been on one. Imagine my surprise when I arrive at Patriot Park where they are all located to find out the destroyer has been gone for 2 years for repairs. Oh well I made the most of it and did in fact thoroughly enjoy myself. Poor Barb on the other hand didn’t enjoy herself too much. The laundry was a long way from our spot so she to lug many loads up and back. So I poured her wine and made supper. She be all better now. And tomorrow’s another day.