Part 13: Greenback, TN to Hunting Island, SC


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The Trip

Many thanks to Bob and Kitty for hosting us at their farm.  They had to leave to visit family and it was time for us to move on.  We left Greenback and headed east via the Cherahala Skyway and into Georgia and South Carolina.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

Leaving Greenback and heading north through Lenoir City we spotted this poor soul crossing a main highway in his motorized chair.  Not very smart since he had no warning indicators at all and was not visible.  I doubt that this act will be performed many times before there is a tragic outcome.

We went north to the freeway and then east for awhile.  We had not been on a freeway for some days and the change was not refreshing, but rather stressful.  En-route, we spotted this huge cross next to the road.

We decided to take the Cherahala Skyway east as we were told it was a great drive.  The weather was overcast so the photo opportunities were limited.  But, we did get a shot from the crest of the road when there was a break in the fog.  The views were awesome.

Despite the drizzle and fog the Cherahala Skyway is a popular route with the bikers.  We passed many of them.

Our route took us past Cheoa Dam.  We used the pullout on the road and immediately were overtaken by construction workers doing repairs on the dam.  They were refurbishing the spillway control gates.  The work crew can be seen on the crest of the dam near the center.  This was where the "dam scene" in The Fugitive with Harrison Ford was filmed.

We were just getting ready to leave and the crew opened up one of the gates for testing.  You can tell that the action was recent due to the small size of the bubble pool at the bottom of the spillway.  In the photo above, they are preparing to open a second gate for testing as well, the stream is visible.

We decided to go to Fontana Dam a few miles upriver to see if the campsite there would be acceptable.  This dam was quite a bit larger, and the thought of camping downstream of the dam was unacceptable to Kathleen due to the possibility of a breach, no matter how small, so we moved on.

We spent a quite night at a Forest Service camp on one of the branches of Fontana Lake.  Next morning, we went to the boat launch area to see what was there.  Not much actually save the concrete launch ramp and this fellow's party barge.

We traveled on to Bryson City for lunch and passed this oddly parked bulldozer.  He was pretty close to the center of gravity on the hill.

Kathleen had a passing fantasy about riding the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad on their tour.  Lucky for me, the tour for the day had already left, so I only had to take a couple of train photos.

One of their motors was parked close to the station.  We had a burger at a tavern next to the station and it was good.  We briefly checked out the local sights and then headed south out of town on one of the back roads.

En route to Highlands, NC we passed Bridal Veil Falls, so we had to stop.

The falls are right next to the highway and are quite high.  The road builders were nice enough to build a way to drive under the falls.

Since the road was there anyway....I had Kathleen take a shot of Thor getting a shower.  We passed into SC and spent a nice night at a close state park.  Thor was a hit with the local Jeds and they were bummed when we left.

We stopped at the Richard Russell dam on the Savannah river.  This dam was built for both flood control and power generation purposes.

We traveled to the Savannah River and stopped to see Strom Thurmond Dam.  This fellow is big and required plenty of locally made concrete to build.  The spillway is on the left, the powerhouse on the right of the photo above.

As part of the planning and construction of the dam, many large core samples were taken from the foundation rock to insure it's suitability.  The cores above were 24" in diameter.

Thurmond dam had a large switchyard with modern components.

From the crest, you could see folks at play in their water toys.  There were plenty of people present since it was Memorial Day weekend.

Memorial Day travelers and campers put a good humpin' on our plans.  We were turned away from a number of sites due to being full.  So, we ran for cover in the back country.  When we were clear, we returned to the coast at Hilton Head Island.  Though we arrived on Sunday, the RV park had ONE site available and it was on the water.  Score!!  This is the view from the back of our site.  The boats at the marina generally belong to the folks in the RV park.  The facilities were new, nice and clean.  The only downside was that tropical storm Beryl was churning off the coast bring clouds, wind and rain to the area.  We had hard rains at night and strong winds all night and into the next day.  No damage in our area however.

The next morning was overcast and windy, but minimal rain.  From the back window of the camper I spotted this bird with a bum leg roosting on a piling.

Later, a heron took his place.

A walk over to the marina allowed me to show our site in context to the marina.  We got the corner lot and it was the most secluded on in the park.

The Hilton Head Harbor Marina also had a pier into the open channel.

The trees in the park were covered in Spanish Moss which I think is way cool.  It would be totally cool except that the moss is home to some nasty mites that like humans.

Wave action had built a berm made totally of shellfish remains.  The berm was 5 feet high and 100 feet long.

We broke camp and headed into Hilton Head Island to see what was there.  Along the way, this fellow pulled up to check us out.  Since he was close, we got a photo.  This is a nice restoration, but I am not sure of the car as we did not see it when stationary.

We left the Hilton Head area  and headed to a campsite we had reserved at Hunting Island near Beaufort, SC.  Outside our window, this blue bird of happiness was visible.

Hunting Island State Park is right on the Atlantic Ocean coast.  It was a very short walk from our site to the water.  The coastal dunes were quite small, but still interesting.

On the beach, I spotted a Palmetto log that had washed up on shore.  The end of the log had been clearly eroded by the wave action revealing the internal structure of the log.  Note the fibrous structure of the Palmetto trunk as seen end-on.

The high surf from the previous night's tropical storm left plenty of sea grass on the beach.

Kathleen was not happy about the strength of the wind vis a vis her hair flapping in her face.

To the south of our position was a lighthouse.  Tomorrow or the next day, we will check it out.

I have no idea what this sign means.

South Carolina State Parks are quite nice places.  So far, we have stayed at three and the have been clean, nice and in good repair.  We will stay in more in the future part of this trip.

Tomorrow, we visit a friend Ramon who is a Marine pilot.  Ramon is going to give a tour of his facilities in Beaufort, SC.

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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2012, all rights reserved.
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.