Sunday, December 2, 2007

Storybook South

Monday, November 26th to Monday, December 3rd, 2007
Springfield, Virginia to Townsend, Georgia

I’ve been shamefully lazy this week. I’ve driven five legs of my journey, and haven’t recorded a word. Excuses abound, of course, but none of them really matter. Weather went from nasty to much, much better. Scenery went from depressing to much more appealing. So I’m going to lump it all together, and be on my way!


Monday, November 26th, 2007
Springfield, Virginia to Williamsburg

166.6 miles

I left the hustle and bustle of the Washington D.C. area, and of Candy’s home renovations. It was overcast, cold and rainy. All I wanted to do was get someplace warmer!

Had an absolutely delightful time with my old pal, and was really pleased to see the youngster I knew way back when, now way grown up, and to meet the two babies she made with the man I introduced her to so long ago, Chris and Kate – nice young people, in their 20s, for gawd sake. I’m happy to now count them as family! Plus all the dogs of the house – Berkeley, Cody and Sophie and visiting Shamus. Great personalities, all!

Made it to lovely historic Williamsburg, Virginia. I had intended to rent a car and do the tourist thing, but apparently ate something that didn’t like me, and spent the next day in bed. Oh well.

American Heritage RV  Park
146 Maxton Lane
Williamsburg, VA 23188


Wednesday, November 28th, 2007
Williamsburg, Virginia to Washington, North Carolina

220.2 miles

I made the drive to Washington, North Carolina. It was clear and cold. I’m reminded again of why winter is not my favorite season. After a couple mornings below freezing, all the lovely colorful leaves have turned brown and are falling everywhere. Trees are going naked. This time of year is very depressing to me.

As I head south, I’m heading into more history – into the storybook South . . . plantations, horse country, cotton fields. Passed through the Sherwood Forest Plantation, the 1670 home of President John Tyler. This was one of many James River Plantations.

Tranter's Creek Resort & Campground
6573 Clark's Neck Road
Washington, NC 27889

Thursday, November 29th, 2007
Washington to Wilmington, North Carolina

173.1 miles

Today, it was mostly sunny but still cold. As I left town, I saw a sign saying I was leaving the “original Washington”, and in looking it up on the web, it does indeed claim to be the first city in America named after the first President of our United States!

A rather depressed area – abandoned homes and businesses being beaten back into the ground by weather, time and vandalism.

Many big logging trucks on the road, but no sign of tree trimming. And then I had one of those ‘aha’ moments – my next turn was onto Weyerhauser Rd. Now that’s a name I know from Hawaii and elsewhere. Major timber company…began operating in North Carolina in 1957! They have a huge mill here in Craven County.

Passing through Jacksonville, I recognized it as a military town. There’s no mistaking the look! Lots of sports cars, hot rods, strip malls, motorcycles, clean cut young men! The next turn proved me correct – Camp Lejeune! “Camp Lejeune is the home of "Expeditionary Forces in Readiness" for the past 65 years, and throughout the years, it has become the home base for the II Marine Expeditionary Force, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, one Navy command, and other combat units and support commands, and the naval hospital.”

Maybe it’s the Marines, but it’s sunnier now! And there’s more to the storybook – moss in the trees! Just like in every ‘proper’ southern movie.

Shallotte/Brunswick Beaches KOA RV Park
7200 KOA Drive
Sunset Beach, NC 28468

Saturday, December 1st, 2007

Wilmington, North Carolina to Hollywood, just outside Charleston, South Carolina

146.1 miles

Left the Wilmington, North Carolina area and crossed into South Carolina. Mostly clear this morning, windy and cold. Crossing the state line brought a totally different feel to the countryside. I’m sure it’s only my imagination, but it’s immediately greener and warmer, and certainly more affluent. And gas is 15-20 cents less a gallon!

Magnificent elegant Brunswick Plantation and Golf Resort. Stunning landscapes. Lovely gardens. Ducks on the ponds and waterways. Myrtle Beach – big, glitzy, pricy. Reminds me of Palm Springs, except not as many palm trees. Fancy cars. New development with homes ‘from the hi $600s’! Little too pricy for me, but lovely to look at!

A couple fun names – ‘Pack Rat Storage’ – ‘Puperazzi Grooming and Photos’

Crossed over a gorgeous bridge into Charleston, only to find myself in a rather shabby part of town – first sign I saw was for a bail bondsman! Another couple bridges and I was out into the countryside again.

Lake Aire RV Park & Campground
4375 Hwy 162
Hollywood, SC 29449
December 3rd, 2007

Hollywood, South Carolina to Townsend, Georgia

186.8 miles

Cloudy, drizzly, windy

A relatively poor area, home parks, decades old, many abandoned homes and businesses.

Roadside stands selling hand-crafted "sweetgrass baskets" - as lovely as many of the Indian baskets out West.

A shop boasting "Bad Antiques" - a small ranch calling itself "Back Ache Acres" - a road leading to "Cuckold Landing" (now there must be an interesting tale leading to that name!!)

Passed by Parris Island - Marine Corps Air Station - with handsome young men and women in uniform all around!

Headed over to Hilton Head - lots of palm trees meaning wealth is at hand. Another Palm Springs - spectacular golf communities, Jaguars and Beamers and Mercedes - shopping centers that obviously must meet certain building criteria - fountains in all the water features - no RV Parks here, they're called 'Motorcoach Resorts". And one entire part of town that is gated and doesn't even allow RVs to tour. Regular vehicles can take the tour, for $5, but there is a special turn-around for RVs!

Ended the day with a spectacular sunset!

McIntosh Lake RV Park, Inc.
Rte. 3, Box 3112
Townsend, GA 31331

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