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

Henry David Thoreau

ANOTHER Thanksgiving??

Thursday November 22, 2012
Site 83 Hunting Island State Park



I go out running on the beach this morning. I have it pretty much to myself.  It’s a great wide running beach at low tide.


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David comes out looking for me, camera in hand, just in time to catch me doing my stretches at my favorite gym.

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I thought only the military and hospitals had chaplains.

Hunting Island is the only park I’ve ever been to that has its own chaplain.  He has a water front site that I covet.  I know coveting something of a chaplain’s is a no-no but it’s a fabulous site.

Anyway, at Thanksgiving, he and his missionary ministry put on a Thanksgiving dinner for the folks in the park.   They smoke 18 turkeys and provide everything.  Not sure who pays for this or why they don’t do it for folks who really need it since those of us here can clearly afford RVs and the park fees.  But it seems it’s a tradition.

Since we had moved our Thanksgiving up to Tuesday in order for Carrie to help out with the leftovers, we decide to have lunch with the chaplain and crew.


We have a front row seat for all the preparations and decorating of the picnic tables in his side yard which is right in front of us.  He’s the rig in the far right.  That’s Winnona on the left.


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Long lines going through the serving tent

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the line wraps around the outside 

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Including us and the guy behind David with his plate going back for seconds.

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Lots of people and plenty of food.  Don’t know how they pull this off.  But apparently they feed 200 or so people each year..

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We bring our “potluck” plates so we will not have to throw away paper or styrofoam.

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Time to go walking off our second or is it third thanksgiving dinner?

Carrie plans the route


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She takes us down the Lagoon Trail about a mile and a half

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We then take the Nature Center Scenic Trail so we can cross over the lagoon.


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We stop on the bridge for this shadow picture.

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We are so grateful for that David is looking and feeling so strong coming off the bridge.  However long it lasts, right now it feels like a miracle.

looking strong


Because it is the “official” Thanksgiving day, the nature center is closed.  And because it is Carrie’s final day with us, she will have to return to see it.

But also because it is “official” Thanksgiving we saw almost no one else walking off their feast and have the trails to ourselves.

We turn up the Maritime Trail and hike another 2 or so miles back to our starting point.  It really is wonderful having so many varied habitats so close together to experience.


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We think we might be able to get to the marsh boardwalk in order to see the sunset but not quite.  We just barely see it slide down out of sight.

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Still it is beautiful.


CCB best sunset


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The light disappears quickly and we use the flash to get these pictures of us.


D and C Sunset



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Busy day and by the time it is over this is how many steps I’ve taken.
This is a very good thing considering this is our 3rd or 4th day of Thanksgiving food.

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The End!

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Hunting Island Hiking

Wednesday November 21, 2012
Site 83 Hunting Island State Park
Hunting Island, SC


I really dislike having to make reservations. It takes away the footloose and fancy free feel of full timing.

But if you want to be along the coast on a holiday, you pretty much have to make reservations in advance.  Especially if you are picky about your campsite.  I wanted to spend 3 of our 5 winter holidays on the water so I made reservations for 2 weeks which included Thanksgiving here at Hunting Island one of my very favorite parks.

It turns out that Carrie could get a much less expensive air fare from Baltimore to Savannah by coming two days before our reservation starts.  I try to extend our site back two days.  No dice.  So I pick another site, #59 which was equally close to the water and also very nice.  But today is the day to change sites.  We pack up and move into Site 83 after breakfast.


83 is an even nicer site and we can get the park internet here which is a bonus.


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How about this view of the ocean right out our front window.
Not quite a front row seat but plenty fine.


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After the move and lunch we set off to hike the Magnolia and Lighthouse trails.


This is a map of the trails at Hunting Island.  We, of course, hope to hike them all and should be able to with no problem in our two weeks here.

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The Maritime Forest trail leaves from just outside the campground.  It is in white.  The lighthouse trail connects to it just before it ends.  We’ll take that over to the lighthouse and then walk the beach back to the campground.   Sorry for the photo glare.

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The trail starts off up hill which surprises us since we have become pretty used to the flat lands of Florida.  But these are the dunes of low country South Carolina.  It is a nice change.


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Beautiful sights everywhere we look in this predominately pine forest.


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On a long flat stretch Carrie starts skipping so then David skips.
You have to be having a fine time to go skipping along.
And we definitely are.


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We’re a family that loves to hike together. 

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Caution!  Tree huggers and kissers at work!!

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The Magnolia Trail takes us to the Lighthouse connector trail and then, of course, to the Lighthouse. 


Carrie has never seen it and I am doubly sorry we can not go up and get the great view.  But that just means we’ll all have to come back.

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The original lighthouse was brick and constructed in 1859 to guide ships along the coast between Charleston and Savannah.  During the Civil War the confederate troops destroyed the light to keep the Union troops from using it for navigation.  It was reconstructed in 1875 and designed to be moved in case of barrier island erosion.  Not sure what they did for a light in the mean time but it was good planning to make it “portable”.  It was moved to its present location in 1889 and shone until 1933 when it was decommissioned.  It is the only lighthouse on the South Carolina Coast open to the public.
EXCEPT of course when they are working on it.  L

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We are able to look around the grounds and go into what were two storage sheds.  They are now used for historical displays about the lighthouse, the Lighthouse Keepers, their jobs and equipment.

We see the outline of the lighthouse keepers house which burned down in 1938 during a fire which also destroyed 2/3rds of the maritime forest.  Marines assisted the CCC for 3 days in putting out the fire.

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Now it’s off to the beach.  I love a totally natural beach.

The last part of the hike will be back along the ocean front. I think I’ve mentioned before that this beach is left perfectly natural.   I love this!  All the fallen trees, detritus, everything is left just as it is.  So wonderful to be on an undisturbed beach.


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We are walking up the beach toward the campground.

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We’re heading North toward the campground when we come to what we affectionately now call the River Jordan. 

The tide is up and this little inlet is full.


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Wouldn’t you know that none of us, not one of us, could think of one song about crossing the River Jordan. 

We weren’t crazy about the idea of walking back the 3 miles we’d come over the trails when we could practically see the campground on the other side.   It’s there in the distance among the trees on the left.


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So we take some advice from the permanent residents and decide to cross over in the shallows.  It doesn’t look too deep on them.  Does it?

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We’re going around that top edge since when the water drops off it is half way up my calves.

Carrie blazes the trail. 

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I follow her lead.  David’s getting prepared to bring up the rear.

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Jordan Crossing SLB



Here he comes.

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Oops a little adjustment mid stream.

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Now what in the world is he looking at?

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We all make it across safely.  This is the other end we
decided not to wade through.


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Cold feet.

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We don’t make it back in time to get over to the marsh to see the full sunset.

But we do get some colors as we close in on the campground.

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The lighthouse looks lovely in the distance.

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After wading through the Jordan, we find we have a lot of gray mud that needs to be cleaned off. 

No need for a shower I say and demonstrate how to clean your feet in a basin in the kitchen sink.

Carrie finds this hilarious.
She has apparently forgotten some of her farm girl ways now that she lives in the suburbs.  :-)


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But she remembers pretty quickly.

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While David is making dinner,  it’s time for a little canasta.


Let’s see….she’s winning

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I’m winning…….

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Actually everybody wins. 

It’s a Great day!  Great hike! Great river crossing! Great card game!

The End!!!!

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