Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A Little to the Right, Just a Little More

Today is a very limited travel day. We have been to the Charleston 2 times before, got the INK we needed and blew out of town. We are going to take a break, spend a day and see some stuff in the historic city. Our plans are to catch the 11am boat over to Fort Sumter and then head into the city. Since we got time to spare no need to rush out of the motel room at the wee hours of the morn.

First stop before Sumter is Charles Pinckney National Historic Site consisting mainly of the Snee Farm House. Before we get there, since Red Roof has no breakfast stuff, we stop at Waffle House. I love Waffle House and can remember my visit visit. Someplace in North Carolina at 11pm at night on the way into Fontana Village, Tail of the Dragon country. Not that the food is all the great but it has the same ambiance as a White Castle, which I grew up on in Joisey. I love em both.

Breakfast over, INK in the passport book, I realize there is no way were are going to make the 11am boat. Where did the time go, instead we head into Charleston for picture taking of National Historic Landmarks. Once in downtown, which has very little traffic, I do something way of character, take my helmet off, put it in the frunk and don my camera. Crystal left hers on, she is on the right side of risk taking. This was a great way to slowly travel thru all the streets visiting the historic homes and places, easily taking pictures. On a two wheeler this would be impossible. Get to a spot, hit the emergency brake, stand up on the floor boards, snap away. Given I have an ankle not worth a damn (if I was a race horse I would have been shot long ago), I would have never seen as much of Charleston walking. Love this SPYDER.

One of the places we visited was the Old City Jail. This place has some great history. Built in 1802 and operated until 1939. Among the regular mix of thieves, murderers and other criminal types, Lavinia Fisher perhaps is the most infamous prisoner. Many legends and tales has evolved about her, a lot of heresay and some facts. She was convicted of highway robbery, which was a capital crime at the time, but the stories are so much more interesting. Her and her husband, John, were part of gang of highwaymen and one of the hideouts was used as a hotel. It has been said she would crush the guests between her legs, or serve them poison tea while trying to find out if they had any money and then John would kill them by stabbing them to death in their sleep. There is even a story about how the guests after having their potion, go to bed and the bed would drop them thru the floor into a pit stakes. Nevertheless she was convicted, tried to escape and was hanged on Feb 18,1820. Mary Surratt is credited to be the first woman hanged in the US, however Lavinia was hanged 40 years before her. These stories would make a great series for American Horror Stories.

Right around the corner from the jail is Old Marine Hospital, which is a National Historic Landmark. Built between the years of 1831 and 1833, it was designed by Robert Mills. It was built as a public facility for the treatment of sailors and other transient persons. It is landmark not for who it served, but due to its association with Robert Mills. He is best known for designing the Washington Monument and the first native born American to be professionally trained as an architect. Of course this is somewhat disputed given Charles Bulfinch's history. It is a great example of Gothic Revival architecture.

As we were driving around, it is obvious that Charleston is a haven for trades people specializing in antique home restoration. It is going on everywhere and I am sure it is not cheap to do these restorations. We were blocked from passing while this driver maneuvered his truck and trailer in the oh so cramped of spaces. The finesse the driver exercised was astonishing, and I certainly didn't mind watching. The slightest error on his part would be very very expensive I am sure.

Couple other folks were touring around Charleston, they just decided on a different mode of transportation.

When the houses are fully restored they add a lot of color to the cityscape.

Stepping stone for the carriages of years gone by.

We ran out of time and had to head back to Mt Pleasant, across the Arthur Revenel Jr. Bridge to get ready for the boat to Fort Sumter.

Charleston is really a great place to visit and as I was writing this, I decided we will have to go back again for another visit. Next up is our boat trip to Fort Sumter and the visit.

Todays map

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