Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Battleships, Forts and Plantations - Day Four

It’s Tuesday, a beautiful day for traveling, and MeAsWe and Me are getting into the swing of quickly packing the bike up and getting underway. Today’s first stop is the USS North Carolina, a National Landmark. The NC was the most decorated warship of WWII with 15 battle stars. We arrived at the NC early and opted to head for Moores Creek before the boat was allowing land lubbers aboard.

Moores Creek National Battlefield was a Revolutionary war site between North Carolinian Patriots and Scottish Loyalists (British). We grabbed oru INK and walked to the first monument, to which I said, my knees are killing me. The paths we made of dyed chopped up rubber pieces that looked very natural and were cushy to walk on. They actually looked nice.

Next stop was Fort Fisher, a Confederate Fort located on one of the outlets of the Cape Fear River to the Atlantic Ocean. I managed to walk around the fort, even if it was slow and painful.

We found ourselves waiting for a ferry at Fort Fisher. This ferry was unscheduled, since MapSource allowed the Connie to cross water on its air tires. I knew were getting further and further south by the frequent sightings of Pelicans.

The week we choose to head south also coincided with Bike Week in Myrtle Beach. MB essentially squashed the traditional bike week, by enforcing a helmet law, noise ordinance and not issuing permits to the various vendors that showed up year to year. The town leaders did an effective job, since the town looked relatively dead. We found out later when we were in New Orleans that NOrleans welcomed bikers the week before and they had well over 20,000 visitors, which they were more than happy to take their money. Myrtle Beach claims to be the Golf capital of the world and also claims to be the Minature Golf Capital as well. I believe it, there were a ton of themed based mini golf places

Arriving in Georgetown, SC we picked up a couple of Landmarks, with the most notable being the Rainey – Camlin House. Joseph Rainey was the first black US Congressman elected. He was a former slave until his father bought his freedom. He served in Congress from 1868 to 1879.

We have fallen behind our schedule and since we were not going to make our next scheduled stop we backed off on our urgency and floated down the road. Sometimes the missed moments create new opportunities which was the case here. Traveling down RT 17, I see some Treasure Chests popping up on the radar screen (GPS waymarks), I stop the current runnng route and punch up the waymark I see. We find ourselves making a right turn, heading for Hampton Plantation.

What a gem of a place. It is after 6pm and all visitors have left the park, and we didn’t even see any park personnel. We had the place to ourselves. We park the bike and begin the walk to the mansion. It was not silent by any means but the sounds of birds and the bugs are far different than the sound of tires against asphalt. This place was serene. I think of all the places we visited on our trip, this was MeAsWe’s favorite place.

The road to Hampton

The actual mansion

The plantation has quite few of these enormous trees. MeAsWe is standing in front of it. This particular tree was saved by George Washington according to the plaque. The pictures really do not do them justice.

MeAsWe is standing to the left of the main trunk. A little further to the left is a telephone pole that is supporting one of the branches coming off the trunk. Unreal huh ??

Back on the bike and heading for Charleston SC, another Landmark pops up and we head off the beaten path again into the little town of McClennanville. We stop and take pictures of St James Sanatee Episcopal Church to find out this was not the National Landmark site we were seeking. The Landmark was across the way, however was affiliated with St James. Google revealed it was on a soft sandy road. It is just as well that we didn’t venture down that road.

Our last stop of the day is complete and we high tailed it to Charleston, SC for the night.

We traveled somewhere in the neighborhood of 240 miles. Not a long day but a fulfilling one.

1 comment:

Runner said...

Really nice report and photos!