Charleston has been a nice stay, although I really didn’t check out the city proper much – I guess I didn’t want to mess with the van in traffic. Instead, I found a few nice places to park, including spending my days at the lovely James Island County Park – their fees for overnight camping were exorbitant (designed for RV use, dumping and hookups and whatnot), but their day use fee of $2 was an excellent deal. There’s a very large dog park fronting on a large pond with geese and small alligators in it, that Ritchey would have LOVED (ashes, check), although Hops of course has no use for water. We did enjoy the free range, though.
I grabbed a shower and used their coin-op laundry while I was there, too. I also spent some time parked down on the water (Wappoo Creek), and drove up and down the main drag in Folly Beach – I’m sure it’s a nice little beach town, but I couldn’t so much as pull over and see the water for less than $10 parking, so I didn’t. On my way out of Charleston, I did drive through the old city center, which is gorgeous – old trees, old buildings, that charming ornate architecture like New Orleans’s French Quarter – but also thick with Confederate monuments and museums. The air around here is perfect (temperature, humidity), and with that soft scent of the sea, I really liked being here. But I also felt fine moving on.
On our way north up the coast we stopped at a camping area in the Francis Marion National Forest and checked out a fire lookout.
And then really appreciated pulling into Garden City on our way into Myrtle Beach: a town with free parking and beach access! Hooray!
Our first night and most of the next day in Myrtle Beach we sat in the van during a downpour as the waters rose around us. But no matter, the sun comes out again…