Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Great Morning Birds & Atalaya

Huntington Beach State Park
Site #31
Murrells Inlet, South Carolina

We were up and took the short walk over to the nature center and its Marsh Boardwalk as some pre-breakfast exercise.  Felt good to get out relatively early. We did the boardwalk first since the center itself doesn't open until 9:00.   The Nature Center is hidden here behind the trees and the boardwalk is off to the right by the sign.

Tide was out and this turned out to be a great place to see birds close up.

The oysters were exposed at low tide and there was an information sign about the oyster restoration that had been done here by the park volunteers.  I think I mentioned previously that one oyster can filter 50 gallons of water a day.  They sure do provide a great free service to us all.

Near the end of the boardwalk this little blue heron was entertaining us. First with his one legged stands.  Great balance.  Have you tried standing for a few minutes on one leg lately?  Try just 30 seconds and see how it works for you.

Not sure what high stepping maneuver this was but it looked great.

Here we have your basic wing stretch

And finally the "see ya" move.

About this time the pelican flew in to sit on a contraption just off the side of the boardwalk.

Shortly after that he flew right over my head, I could feel the breeze from his wings, and sat about 5 feet in front of me on the boardwalk rail.  I love pelicans and I was nearly beside myself.  Although clearly the feeling wasn't mutual since he gave me his back.

And shortly the "see ya" move.

What a thrill to be so close to a wild bird that I just love.  This boardwalk is the place to go just after sun up I'd say.

We went into the Nature Center for a bit and I took a couple of pictures of a great stingray they had in one of their tanks but none of the shots turned out well enough to use.  Sorry about that.  He was very cool.  Swimming around and up the sides of the tank and poking his head out of the water.

But we had to get back and have some breakfast and pack up and move into site #31 so we could stay an extra two days to see our friends.  The pack up wasn't bad except that the current occupants of Site #31 stayed their full allotment so we couldn't move until just after noon.  When we saw them pull out, we went to get things fired up and as we started over we saw that some folks had moved in across the way and parked their car "temporarily" in the site we needed to move into.  Stop, walk over, explain, ask them to move it. 

But we got it all done before tooooo long after the deadline and here's a shot of the "new" site.  Looks pretty much like the old one except it is nearly dead level, even nearer the beach path (YEA) and is wide and deep at the back.  It's my favorite "open/sunshine" spot here.

Once that was done I wanted more beach time so out I went to just sit on the beach.  Again I was nearly the only one out there.  It was so relaxing just sitting by the sea watching and listening to the waves and sometimes reading my book.  I could do this for hours and do as often as I can.

While I was there a couple of folks went by on bikes.  Two or three walking but this beach bum hung around most of the time I was there just busily checking out the area.

David came down and had decided it was worth a buck and the time to see the inside of the Atalaya ruin here at the park, but I was tired of being a tourist so I didn’t go.  I just stayed where I was basking in the sun and dressed warmly enough for the wind.  But you get the benefit of his decision and here is what he had to say about it.
Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington, for whom the park is named,  built this estate during the depression using only local labor. . The house is modeled after a Spanish coastal fortress.

 Here's the floor plan.  Click the image to make it larger

 They later donated Atalaya, the land the park is on and the now public Brookgreen Gardens across the road from the park

Archer was not an architect but a poet, a Spanish historian and philanthropist, and his wife Anna was an artist – well known for her sculpture.  The layout is basically a simple square outer wall a single story high with approximately 50 rooms around the perimeter and two large courtyards inside.   Here is one of those courtyards.

The courtyards are split by a shaded archway with a three story tower in the center.   The tower not only provided an excellent viewpoint but also housed a large water tank which provided water to all parts of the house – a novelty at the time. 

The Archers occupied one wing with most of that space given over to two large studios for Anna – one indoor and one outdoor (ceiling open to the sky).  The housestaff, including a cook, a housekeeper, laundry man and perhaps as many as eight other servants (staff?) lived in the opposite wing.  The wing between that faced the ocean front housed the kitchen, dining and visiting area as well as patios facing the ocean.  The landside entry wall was given over to various functional spaces including a garage for their 1937 RV, stables, kennel space, an oyster shucking room and an open paved entry courtyard.  LOVE that they had an RV!

As it turned out, they only lived there a couple of years and later gave it over to the Army during WWII to use for radio communications and guarding the coast.  They returned in the 50’s for a couple of years before leaving it forever.  Apparently it was left unattended for too long a time, and everything that was not nailed down ‘disappeared’.  It was very interesting.

We got back to the rig about the same  time for about the same reason.  HUNGRY.  David whipped up another great dinner.  I LOVE having a cook.  I resigned as chief chef after about 20 years and  we found that David is a fabulous chef.  Lucky me!!

I spent the evening getting the blog together and posted and taking care of a viral backdoor trojan attack on my laptop.  Fortunately Symantec recognized it but I spent over 3 hours following their directions to clean and remove it.  Or so I thought.  I went through all their steps down to the fine details of altering the registry and upon reboot found it was still there.  I was disgusted and it was after 9:00 so I was over done on laptop gazing.

David was still trying to slog through all the information necessary to determine the best course to take regarding medical coverage on the road.  Even on ehealthinsurance.com, there are a mind boggling number of possibilities all of which put a huge financial burden on the insured if anything more than wellness visits occurs.  We may have to choose a different state as our domicile since nearly all of the policies in our state and town have a $750 to $1500 a person per year deductible and then beyond that the insured pays 20% to 50%.  Having worked in a medical center for the past 20 years, I know the costs of being in the hospital even for something minor or an emergency room visit.  We are very wary of a plan which requires us to pay 20 to 50% of the costs for any catastrophic event.  With those costs it will take a pretty big health savings account if anything happens accidental or otherwise.  No wonder people make their life’s decisions based on having health insurance and so many lose everything when the unexpected happens.     I know a lot of people who are hesitant to follow their dreams because they worry about health care.

I will admit to being one of those who does not understand this country’s opposition to Universal Health Care.  We already have government health coverage in Medicare and Medicaid and everyone I’ve talked to who uses those programs including my father any many of my friends is more than happy with what they get and the price.  Perhaps I don’t know enough people who have such bad experiences  but I get mighty tired of hearing how we don’t want the government running our health care.  I’m tired of big business running my health care and choosing my physicians for me based on their networks and still charging me a fortune.  We sure are pretty ADD on this issue making it a #1 presidential election concern and then complaining constantly about the changes that are being made that we really haven’t had any experience with yet.  Better take a look at who is sponsoring that fear based ad about what you are going to lose and how awful the health care changes are.  I asked my president to do something about health care and he at least tried.  Ok enough of my soap box.

Tomorrow is shaping up to be a GREAT day.  We are having dinner with our RV Dreams friends Bill and Nancy and Gin and Syl.   So glad we stayed two extra days here so that could happen.  All the fun starts as soon as they all get here around 2:00.   Hope to get out and see what I did wrong on the Sandpiper Trail in the morning before that.

1 comment:

  1. That heron was quite the actor, hammin' it up for ya.

    Most of us with decent insurance are still only one serious accident or illness away from being broke. It is unfortunate.



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