Part 15: Beaufort, SC to Chapel Hill,NC


Navigation Links
 Trip Home Page     


The Trip

After our great tour of MCAS Beaufort, we returned to our beach camp at Hunting Island.  Next day, we broke camp and headed out to see what else was on the inland.  Then, we headed north to Myrtle Beach and on to visit friends in Chapel Hill, NC.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

Our first stop was the lighthouse on Hunting Island.  Interestingly, we dismounted from the truck and headed toward the beach but could not see the lighthouse structure.  It was there, of course, but hidden behind the foliage.  The beach area was nice, but we did not go in the water.

The foliage on the beach was a mix of Palmettos, regular palms and pine trees.

Any area that could be even remotely called a "dune" was fenced off to prevent foot traffic.

Since we could not see the lighthouse, we assumed it was some distance away and got back in Thor and drove on.  "Some distance" turned out to be about 200 yards, so we parked again and got out to see what was there.  The structure was "classic east coast lighthouse" in every way.

Unlike some of the lighthouse structures we have seen, this one had an iron skin on the outside.  Note the bolts at the bottom of the skin holding it to the concrete slab.

You could, if you were willing to pay, walk to the top to see the view.  I was not willing to pay their toll, so we saw the structure from the outside.  Entry to the park was not free however.  It seems that you pay and then you pay.

The sign says it all.

We walked down to a different section of the beach and were pleasantly surprised to see some locals that were not obese.  Given our recent experiences, this was a rare event indeed.  And while these individuals would be deemed unnoteworthy by our standards, it was a refreshing change from the local norms.

Her squint proves that the white sand beach had plenty of glare.

The glare was bright enough that you could not stand the light for long without reaching for the sunglasses.

I have no idea where these folks are from; we did not speak to them.  Interestingly, there were homes on the beach in the area south of Hunting Island State Park.  Just to the south, there was another bridge that takes you to a gated island.  All the homes on that island are private and they are right on the beach.  This would be an interesting fantasy right up to the time of the first hurricane; then fantasy turns to nightmare.  All coastal areas here have "hurricane evacuation route" signs.  But, the geography is such that to get out of harm's way may require a drive of hundreds of miles to reach land that is sufficiently above sea level to be immune to storm surge.  The locals refer to the area as "the low country" because of the near-sea-level elevation.

We stopped for lunch at a bar near Hunting Island.  During lunch, our waiter noticed our truck and told us that there was a "similar vehicle" near another restaurant in the Beaufort area.  So, armed with that knowledge, we set out to find the truck.  We did find the vehicle, but never located the owner; he may have worked in the marina, but was not associated with the restaurant.  This truck is a "Hanomag" and appears to be German.

The item on the front bumper is a spare spring stack.  But, compared to Thor, this was a very, very wimpy spring stack.

Whoa!  Imagine our surprise to find that this fellow has a Northwest MogFest sticker on his truck.  And the date indicates 2006 and Kathleen attended that 'fest.  So, it is likely that she saw the truck there.

Ever wonder where the large tire carcasses you see on the freeway come from?  The answer is large trucks like the one above.  In my mind, this fellow was highly irresponsible.  We had to try hard to catch up with him to signal him that one of his trailer tires was bad.  Using hand signs, he signaled that he knew and just continued on the surface street and onto I-95.  The tire was literally smoking.  Indeed, it was the smell of burning rubber that drew our attention to the situation in the first place.  The driver was just too lazy (or schedule driven) to address the problem.  So, this story ends with the tire self-destructing at-speed on the freeway and spraying tire debris on the road and into the windshields of other cars.  Where are the cops when you need them?

More on-the-road follies.  Have you ever noticed the large number of derelict mattresses on the side of roads?  Ever wonder why?  The reason is because folks transport mattresses w/o sufficient tie-downs and the force of the wind rips the mattress off the roof.  In the case above, there are minimal tie-downs and these folks are using the "arm strong" method instead.

We headed through Charleston, SC and then over the river to Mt. Pleasant for a supply stop.  En route we got a nice view of the high-tech bridge that spans the river.

This is a very graceful structure and has to be high enough to allow passage of large cargo ships.

From the elevated roadbed of the bridge, we could see the docks of Charleston.  There was a large ro-ro (roll on, roll off) car carrier there delivering cars from overseas.  Note the parking area at the far right of the photo.

The structural elements of the bridge produced interesting patterns.

From the bridge, we could see the aircraft carrier museum on the Mt. Pleasant side of the River.  We visited this are on our last trip to Charleston a month prior to our departure on this trip.  See this link if interested

We traveled north along the water and crossed another significant river at Georgetown.  From the bridge, we could see some of the local infrastructure associated with the International Paper mill in town.

The far building part of the paper mill plant.

On the other side of Georgetown, we got a view of the local marina.

After passing Georgetown, we continued north along the beach.  We were lucky enough to get one of the last campsites at Huntington Beach State Park.  The camp was nice; right next to the beach but far enough away to block the noise of the surf.

Next morning, we headed north through the Myrtle Beach area and then north-west to visit our friends in Chapel Hill.  Our plan was to stay in Chapel Hill for several days.

Navigation Links
Previous Adventure
Top of this Page
  Next Adventure
Trip Home Page  
Bill Caid's Home Page

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