About a year ago my brother told us about a great time he and friends had at a cabin in Edisto Beach State Park, SC over Valentine’s Day. Why don[t we join them next year and bring the motorhome? Ok, we made the reservations for about a week’s stay and as the date neared we planned out how to de-winterize things and pack for our earliest camping of the season.
As it happened, we needed to spend a few days taking care of some things for Dad, who recently moved from his apartment into a longer term facility, so an extra few days were spent at Hilton Head Island. I managed a window visit with Dad and found him to be in darn good spirits for someone just a month past 94! Cheers to you, Dad (the mug was a birthday present reminder of the fun of our many cruises together).
A discovery in Bluffton was a new whiskey and vodka distillery that will be opening in a month! Can’t wait to check out Burnt Church Distillery.
After that brief visit we drove along the coastal marshes and over rivers that make up coastal South Carolina, from Beaufort to Edisto Island, just south of Charleston. Roadways with canopies of live oak and Spanish moss; small country churches and old post offices felt like a step back in time. The campground was pretty empty when we arrived mid-week, so it was pretty easy to park, level and set camp. Very reminiscent of Anastasia State Park in St. Augustine with the fern and moss covered trees and sandy ground. Even though it was in the 40’s and grey skies, we were set to enjoy the week and since it wasn’t actually raining yet, we unhooked the bikes and rode around. There are a lot of hard-packed sandy trails around the park, weaving through the woods, over marsh boardwalks and along the creeks. We were also close enough to bike to the beach and explore.
Edisto Island is pretty much a quiet community of homes with very little of the typical beach scene. No mini golf, only one t-shirt shop and maybe 6 places to eat, one marina, one gas station and a small grocery. So if you enjoy a quiet beach getaway, Edisto is your spot.
Shelling seems to be a big activity, along with searching for shark’s teeth. The state park section of the beach was loaded with oyster and other shells. On the other side of the jetty there was a lot of dune repair with lots of sand being trucked in to build back what storms have washed away. I was told by a local that they had a hugely successful turtle nesting season just this year and they hoped to continue that trend.
We were determined to enjoy the local food scene, so had dinner at McConkey’s Jungle Shack. Back porch dining seemed pretty popular with the locals, although it was maybe 6 tables. The fried flounder we ordered was generous, nicely battered and cooked – tacos for me, fish and chips for Jackie – but was on the mild side. Needed some malt vinegar or something salty to perk it up.
Next day my brother and his friends were set to arrive at the cabin so Jackie and I took a drive out to the beach campground section and a loop around the island. Unfortunately, the weather got worse: colder and wetter. Fog enveloped the area and drizzle turned to rain. We met up with the cabin gang later that night for a campfire during a dry spell (but that came to an abrupt end with more rain).
The guys headed out for a bike-around the next day while the rain held off and later there were board games and beer at the cabin. Splitting up for dinner, our foursome went to Coots Bar and Grill on the ocean and had some pizza that was piled high with toppings. Jackie and I turned in early but the next day we all tried a repeat of board games, beer and bonfire, only to have the rain shut down the fire ring early. I tried to pre-pack most of our stuff (that had been taken out, but not really used) and grilled burgers, but the next morning it was obvious that it was time to go. It was officially Valentine’s Day, so we exchanged cards and finished packing up.
The ground was so soaked that large puddles filled many of the campsites and anything left outside was soaked. We hit the dump station right behind fellow campers Brian and Sharon and then it was 6 1/2 hours back home. Long, wet drive but traffic was light at least.
Back home we unpacked the fridge, brought in the clothes, dog and cat and crashed. Next day we learned it was going to drop below freezing, so quickly drained any remaining water in the motorhome pipes, plugged in to run the heater and crossed our fingers. Overnight and next day it stayed in low 20’s, so it was a smart move to “winterize” quickly again.
Not every camping adventure turns out to be sunshine and sparkling weather, but that doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy the trip. It was nice to discover a new spot and spend some time with family and new friends, safely and masked up as needed. We were able to combine it with a trip to see Dad, even though a window visit, which is something that has been nearly impossible to do under COVID restrictions. We can put another pin in our map of places stayed and look forward to our next adventure. A working weekend in NC with John (this time parked at his not-yet-finished cabin) and a Gulf camping trip later this spring … two family weddings and a graduation coming up, too. Oh, and probably a lot more bread (you really should check out the videos).
Thankful that we can continue our adventures! Stay safe, stay healthy.