Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Chapter 47 - Wilmington to Charleston, South Carolina
Our drive today from Wilmington to Charleston, South Carolina was around 185 miles down Hwy 17. While our road was almost all a four lane divided highway, the drive was still relatively slow as much of the drive was through towns and cities including Myrtle Beach and we were constantly slowed by 45 mph or slower speed limits, traffic lights, and stop signs. That said, we arrived by 12:30 pm after five hours of driving and for the most part the drive was easy and most of the scenery was pretty. The only really crowded roads did not occur until we reached and passed through Charleston. Our RV park, the Oak Plantation Campgrounds, is around eight miles south of Charleston. Perhaps the biggest surprise of our drive was passing over the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge over the Cooper River coming into Charleston. This bridge was constructed only ten years ago and it still looks brand new and is quite stunning in appearance. I hope that this shows in this photo.
Because of the awful traffic we decided not to drive this afternoon into the historical district of Charleston. We had visited Charleston many years ago and we know that the old homes and buildings inside the historic district are incredible to view, nevertheless we thought it best to wait until the traffic is lighter tomorrow morning before we make the trip.
Only the few very wealthy people of Charleston live in the downtown historic district and the rest of the working class folks must live out by our campground, for on Monday morning at 7:45 am when we headed back into the city, the road was again bumper to bumper traffic. Frankly this is an awful way to start a trip to visit one of our country's most beautiful cities. Furthermore when we finally did make our way down to the southern point of this peninsular shaped city where the Ashley and Cooper Rivers join, we spent almost a half hour trying to find a place to park. All of the parking spaces on the side streets are reserved for residents and the rest of the spaces were mostly occupied. We finally found a spot on Murray Blvd up the street from the White Point Garden, also called Battery Park. It seems that in the past cannons were placed in this area of the city to defend against the occasional enemy warship or pirate attacks. The park is really quite lovely consisting mostly of huge old oak trees and a few statutes but considering that the park is surrounded on two sides by multimillion dollar mansions and water on the other two sides, the park land itself is literally priceless in value.
We finally found our car after a few wrong turns (of course we were without street maps) only to find that our time on the parking meter had expired. Fortunately no ticket. We made our way back to the campsite where we spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing and planning what we are going to do tomorrow. We decided that it is probably time to head home. I made reservations for one night only in Jacksonville. After that, we may just make the drive back to Estero, Florida to enjoy the remainder of the summer. We will see what happens.