Tuesday, October 19, 2010

From Myrtle Beach to Gone With the Wind

I thought I’d give you all a break for a few days. Us too.

Myrtle Beach was so nice, and the weather was cooperating so well, that we decided to hang out for a few days. Mostly we spent the afternoons on the beach where we could see schools of Mullin, (foot-long silver fish) jumping out of the water, sometimes not three feet in front of us. The day before yesterday, as we were watching a tight, dark school of the little jumpers, I noticed a smooth slick of water approaching them. All of a sudden a whale rolled over, not more than fifty or sixty feet from shore.

One night we invited ourselves to our neighbour’s camp, Tom and Wendy,from Raleigh, NC. They were 40’ish and were nice people, but when I mentioned we’d been to New York City, Tom asked me what I thought of the proposed Muslim Mosque near Ground Zero.

I said, “Not much.” He said, “Well I think it’s disgusting. It’s a clear victory for their side if it gets done. I think that people are going to go out of their way to come from all over the US just to paint bomb it.” I said that I’d seen something on Sixty Minutes about it just the other night and that the moderate Muslims see it as their duty to get it done in order to try and bridge the gap between Muslims and Christians in America.

He still wasn’t having it.

I didn't want to press it too much - we were at their campsite - so I replied with something inocuous like, "It's a small planet."

Later of course, I wished that I’d thought to reply that a lot of Canadians refuse to travel to the US because they think that all Americans are a bunch of gun-toting, war-mongering rednecks. Of course it’s not the truth, but the sentiment is born from the same kind of thinking.

On the other hand, on our last night at Myrtle Beach, we invited our female neighbour from Massachusetts over. She’s a retired school teacher who’s been married for years but is traveling alone because her husband is working as a tug boat captain and is away for extended periods. She was interesting, open minded and funny. Just like she described her grown sons, she was a polar opposite to the people from North Carolina.

Myrtle Beach stretches for miles and we walked a good deal of it. We also toured The Strip where everything is garish, outlandish and over the top. You might see a massive man made jungle dedicated to Mini Golf, a volcano spewing smoke and coloured water dedicated to the same thing, two or three twenty-thousand square foot buildings dedicated to nothing but beach wear, all surrounded by numerous restaurants and bars - each of them loudly proclaiming to be the best, the biggest, the cheapest, or the most unbelievable.

I think I may also have mentioned that Janice is now throwing the football around at the beach, which is not something she’d normally partake in. I, on the other hand, don’t like to just sit much, so I entice her by making it into a game of Donkey. That way I can ignite her competitive spirit and she gets involved. So much so that I thought I'd introduce the Frisbee the other day for the same purpose. She beat me the first game.

We also checked out North Myrtle Beach - you'll want to know that it's the home town of Vanna White - and historic Georgetown, which we quickly departed due to the stinky pulp mill. Man I’m glad they got rid of that stink in Kamloops. It’s easy to forget how bad it used to be.

We decided we'd seen enough of Myrtle Beach and so we moved to Lake Aerie Campsite just outside of Charleston. It’s still really hot but there’s a shimmering kidney shaped pool here that takes the heat off nicely.

In the evening we were invited to share S’mores with our new neighbours, Wayne and Kathy. Wayne is an ex Vietnam Vet who is exceptionally upbeat. He declined all the Armed Forces benefits and pensions that had been offered to him over the years because he was still able-bodied. He just retired though and is now able and willing to take advantage of some of those benefits he had refused over the years.

Downtown Charleston is very charming, made up almost entirely of grand, gracious old homes that all carry some kind of historical significance. Did I mention that Charleston is where the Civil war started when the Confedrates attacked Fort Sumner. They took it in 36 hours and it took The North more than four years to get it back.

Pictured are some of the grand old homes and businesses of Charleston, as well as me with what must be the only modern home in Charleston.


  1. Another nice treat. I have been in that area just once and it was lovely to see the charming homes again. Thanks for reporting on your inter-action with your fellow travelers. So neat.
    Take good care of each other. hugs, Cuz ljc

  2. Glad to see Tim is really with you. Are the Mansions single family or have they been made into condos ?
    Did you get into the hammock?