Author Topic: My Quest To Visit All 47 South Carolina State Parks  (Read 904 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Uncle Vern

  • Street Cruiser
  • ****
  • Posts: 613
  • CDA# 0440
  • AREA: Southeast Area
  • COG#: 10851
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: My Quest To Visit All 47 South Carolina State Parks
« Reply #25 on: July 16, 2020, 12:02:45 am »
Exploring A Carolina Bay


What's a Carolina Bay? I'm glad I asked that question, because it is way easier to reply to my own questions than someone else's, since I already know the question and the answer. ;D

A Carolina Bay is a geological/geographical feature unique to the Carolinas, as far as I know. The bays, named for the bay trees that grow in almost all of them, are mysterious elliptical depressions of varying sizes, all oriented in a nothwest-southeast direction with the fat end toward the northwest. Scientists do not know what created them, although glacial action, meteor showers, and a giant meteor exploding on the frozen Great Lakes have all been proposed as explanations.

They all have an elevated sand rim, more pronounced toward the southern end, and most of them hold water at least part of the year. Of the thousands that originally existed, only a few hundred remain unaltered. Many have been drained and/or filled in for agriculture. A whole bunch were filled in during the creation of the Carolina Forest community and Carolina Bays Parkway in Horry County, where I live. Lucas Bay, near Bucksport, has a "ghost light" that many have seen -- I even saw a Youtube video.

On the border of Florence and Sumter Counties near Olanta lies Woods Bay State Park, which I visited today.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2020, 12:19:54 am by Uncle Vern, Reason: spelling error »
Life is a contest between engineers and God.  Engineers keep making things more idiot-proof and God keeps making bigger idiots.😊
2019 C14 "Miss Traveller"/1999 C10 "Consuela"(hydrolocked)/1972 Ironhead Sportster "Jeri" (awaiting resto)/1978 550 Suzuki "Miss Ruby" (gone-but-not forgotten First Bike)/1960 Triumph Trophy basket case (retirement project)

Offline Uncle Vern

  • Street Cruiser
  • ****
  • Posts: 613
  • CDA# 0440
  • AREA: Southeast Area
  • COG#: 10851
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: My Quest To Visit All 47 South Carolina State Parks
« Reply #26 on: July 16, 2020, 12:55:36 am »
Woods Bay


Got my usual late start. This time I finally caught my barber open and got a much-needed haircut. Made the ride a lot cooler and will do the same at the factory where I start work next week.

I took 378 West out of Conway and immediately ran into a big delay because of road work on the much-needed widening of this road. The dolts handling this particular section finally let me through but then held up everyone behind me while another truckload of dirt got dumped. So I had the road to myself for a while. Road quality deteriorated thru Marion County but then improved when I hit Florence County, where the widening was completed a few years back.

The tiny town of Olanta seems to be dying -- I passed a couple of shut-down mills and the two blocks of downtown was mostly boarded up. I guess whatever they made here is now made somewhere else. They have a new water tower and the schools and government buildings were in great shape, so I guess their tax base now derives from being a bedroom community of Florence. There was a small grocery and a few dinky restaurants, plus a few car-repair places. If you need anything else I guess you drive to Florence or Lake City.

Still plenty of pulpwood logging going on nearby, and the fields of mostly corn and soybeans were thriving after the recent regular rains.

The park was deserted and I was at first perplexed that the stamp I needed was locked in a box. Then I found a finger-slot in the front and a hole in the bottom that let me stamp my booklet. I guess they got tired of people stealing their stamp.

There's a boardwalk that extends about a thousand feet into the bay itself, with plans for more. It starts off as a cypress-tupelo swamp, then morphs into a flooded sandhills pine area. There is treeless freshwater marsh further in, but the boardwalk hasn't gotten there yet. I saw lots of aquatic turtles and one small gator. Then I backtracked to the picnic shelter and had a spot of lunch. After that I washed off the bug spray and sweat under a nice cold spigot, toweled off, put on the gear and headed home. A round trip of 126 miles and a fun way to kill an afternoon.

There is a nature trail that circles a marshy old mill pond, and a short canoe/kayak trail that goes into the bay itself. You can also fish, with the proper license. Restrooms, of course. No camping, but it would make a good lunch stop on a longer trip or a good day-trip like mine.

Just Don't Forget The Bug Spray! I realized partway I had done this again, but I stopped at a Wal-Mart and now the bike kit has its own supply!

Till next time......Ride Safe, Ya'll!!!!

 :) :) :)
Life is a contest between engineers and God.  Engineers keep making things more idiot-proof and God keeps making bigger idiots.😊
2019 C14 "Miss Traveller"/1999 C10 "Consuela"(hydrolocked)/1972 Ironhead Sportster "Jeri" (awaiting resto)/1978 550 Suzuki "Miss Ruby" (gone-but-not forgotten First Bike)/1960 Triumph Trophy basket case (retirement project)

Offline Uncle Vern

  • Street Cruiser
  • ****
  • Posts: 613
  • CDA# 0440
  • AREA: Southeast Area
  • COG#: 10851
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: My Quest To Visit All 47 South Carolina State PTwoarks
« Reply #27 on: July 20, 2020, 12:06:56 am »
Little Pee Dee State Park

 
A great park for those who just want to get away for the weekend. Despite what the net says, the dike has been fixed and the lake is full of water. Not sure about the fish, but they will come back, via the ducks I saw today. No boat rentals yet but the rangers are working on it.

You can bring your own canoe, kayak or johnboat with elecric motor only. Saw two famiies bank-fishing. There is a launch ramp and plenty of parking. Restrooms and playground nearby.

I checked out the campground since this park is close to me and could be a staging area for weekend rides. The office is only open 11-12 daily but the ranger says you can rent a site (as available) from the volunteer campground hosts (2 sites). There doesn't appear to be a lot of demand for camping, but that may change once folks find out the lake is full.

My main deal is finding a site with grass or leaf padding so I don't have to lie on a packed-gravel pad. Water-only sites from 33- up fit that bill nicely, althought the last few are too close to the RV dump site for me.
Life is a contest between engineers and God.  Engineers keep making things more idiot-proof and God keeps making bigger idiots.😊
2019 C14 "Miss Traveller"/1999 C10 "Consuela"(hydrolocked)/1972 Ironhead Sportster "Jeri" (awaiting resto)/1978 550 Suzuki "Miss Ruby" (gone-but-not forgotten First Bike)/1960 Triumph Trophy basket case (retirement project)

Offline Uncle Vern

  • Street Cruiser
  • ****
  • Posts: 613
  • CDA# 0440
  • AREA: Southeast Area
  • COG#: 10851
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: My Quest To Visit All 47 South( Carolina State Parks
« Reply #28 on: July 20, 2020, 12:45:13 am »
Little Pee Dee


I started early today (for me), gassing up in North Conway at 8:30 am after a little tire-pressure issue. Took 319 thru the aptly-named Cool Springs community, a farming center nestled in a hollow with creeks and swamps. Weird to not see crowds at the numerous churches on a Sunday morning. Dash gauge dropped two degrees. Right on Nichols Hwy thru Ketchuptown, then left on 917, which takes you thru Mullins, home of the Auctioneers (a reference to the way tobacco was sold when it was the cash crop around here not long ago). Due to covid, the old train station that houses the SC Tobacco Museum was closed. Cool building, though...another time...These days Mullins hosts a lot of cool antique stores, of one sort or another.

A short drive thru farms and swamps (and a big sand-hill area left over from the last ice age when this was the coast of North America) brings you to the park entrance. Now for some real fun. It's paved...sorta. I'm guessing circa 1955. Once again, remove sunglasses, go slow, avoid mine-field craters and exiting RVs, and you'll be fine.!! :))

Thought about cutting over to 501 on the way home to save some time, but decided back roads were safer. Saw a few more vehicles on the way home, but only a couple big trucks. Missed one turn; no biggie on a back road... :) :) :)


I'm thinking this will make a great first stop on my way inland on future trips. I can get here from my house in a bit over an hour, bed down in my tent on spongy-soft turf or leaf-litter, grab a shower and be on my way in the morn.. ..
Life is a contest between engineers and God.  Engineers keep making things more idiot-proof and God keeps making bigger idiots.😊
2019 C14 "Miss Traveller"/1999 C10 "Consuela"(hydrolocked)/1972 Ironhead Sportster "Jeri" (awaiting resto)/1978 550 Suzuki "Miss Ruby" (gone-but-not forgotten First Bike)/1960 Triumph Trophy basket case (retirement project)

Offline ron203

  • Officer
  • I Need a Life
  • ****
  • Posts: 5005
  • AREA: Southeast Area
  • COG#: 9847
  • Membership Level: Area Director
Re: My Quest To Visit All 47 South Carolina State Parks
« Reply #29 on: July 20, 2020, 10:35:24 am »
I'm liking this travelogue. Go Uncle Vern!
2014 C-14
2008 Goldwing

Offline Uncle Vern

  • Street Cruiser
  • ****
  • Posts: 613
  • CDA# 0440
  • AREA: Southeast Area
  • COG#: 10851
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: My Quest To Visit All 47 South Carolina State Parks
« Reply #30 on: August 01, 2020, 01:07:00 am »
"Spanish Moss," epiphytes, etcetera...
[/b][/font]


I didn't hit the road last weekend due to an erroneous rain forecast, plus stuff needed doing at the house. My first weekend off in forever, but a regular deal with the new job. Paid off the loan on Miss Traveller, too! :) :) :beerchug:

I'm still waiting to try posting pics, but photos of the SC Lowcountry parks I have visited so far will inevitably feature southern trees draped in that grey stuff called Spanish Moss. Many people know that it is neither Spanish nor moss, but what is it?

It is an epiphyte -- a type of plant that draws all of its moisture and nutrients from the air. Not a parasite, the only thing it depends on its host for is support. It must prefer clean air, because it grows abundantly on trees a block from my house, but won't grow in my yard adjacent to heavily-trafficked Main Street/US 501 Business.

Another epiphyte commonly seen on our local Live Oak (evergreen) trees is Resurrection Fern. This stuff will dry up between rains and appear dead. The next time it rains, it turns green and lively again.

A signboard at Woods Bay indicated pineapple was related, but that plant has to grow in soil, takes 48 months to produce one fruit, and can spread over 3' (nine sq ft) per plant! I won't be adding that to my garden unless I inherit a tropical estate! :))

Not sure why the first plant is called "moss," but the "Spanish" stems from an old insult. Early French explorers called the plant "Spanish beard," evidently feeling that their Iberian counterparts lacked something in the manscaping department.

Stay tuned for the next park visit or How Grandaddy Raised Quail For Rich Yankees.


Life is a contest between engineers and God.  Engineers keep making things more idiot-proof and God keeps making bigger idiots.😊
2019 C14 "Miss Traveller"/1999 C10 "Consuela"(hydrolocked)/1972 Ironhead Sportster "Jeri" (awaiting resto)/1978 550 Suzuki "Miss Ruby" (gone-but-not forgotten First Bike)/1960 Triumph Trophy basket case (retirement project)

Offline Bruce_Reafsnider_TN

  • Street Cruiser
  • ****
  • Posts: 664
  • AREA: Southeast Area
  • COG#: forum
  • Membership Level: Forum Subscriber
Re: My Quest To Visit All 47 South Carolina State Parks
« Reply #31 on: August 01, 2020, 10:30:21 pm »
So you inspired me.  Picked off park # 3 of 54 in Tennessee.  Good times.

Offline ron203

  • Officer
  • I Need a Life
  • ****
  • Posts: 5005
  • AREA: Southeast Area
  • COG#: 9847
  • Membership Level: Area Director
Re: My Quest To Visit All 47 South Carolina State Parks
« Reply #32 on: August 03, 2020, 09:49:58 pm »
(slight hijack) Spanish moss grows on all the Georgia sea islands, too. Henry Ford had a mansion on one of  the Georgia coastal islands and  thought the Spanish moss would make good seat stuffing in Model T's. Turned out, Spanish moss harbors some sort of red bug/mites that bit the crap  out of customers. Short lived  experiment.

Enjoying the narrative.   :popcorncouple:  Keep it up!!
2014 C-14
2008 Goldwing