South Carolina

March 12

The RV made it known that it was in need of an oil change, so we found a shop that could handle the “beast” and took care of that before going for a visit with my niece, Emma, and her partner AJ. They drove us into downtown Savannah for lunch at Treylor Park, an eclectic little restaurant not far from the river. Afterwards we walked around the riverfront then got a short driving tour.

After catching up with the girls we headed back to our campsite, stopping by Fat Jacks for dinner.

March 13

Another lazy morning and a breakfast of donuts before we headed out to Ernest F. Hollings ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge located south of Charleston, SC. The refuge visitor center and access to drive to it were closed as they are only open Monday through Friday, but we were able to park just outside of the fence and take a one-mile hike up one of the refuge access roads. While we heard loads of birds along the hike, we didn’t see much and photographed even less. A disappointment for sure, but a pleasant little hike nonetheless.

I looked for a Diners Drive-ins & Dives restaurant in Charleston and we settled on the Tattooed Moose for lunch. It is an eclectic place designed to look like a backwater hunting lodge. The food was slightly upscale though, and one of the delicacies was duck fat fries, which were delicious served up with a homemade aioli. Our main meal was the Tattooed Moose burger for Alan, and the southern fried chicken sandwich made with pimento cheese for me.

Back at camp we relaxed, spotted some common loons that I’d been hearing out on the river, and walked around the perimeter of the campground. I cooked up a skillet nacho meal with cheese. It proved such a messy meal that we moved from inside the van to the picnic table outside, dipping the mess out with tortilla chips.

March 14

Our first stop this morning was Congaree National Park located east of Columbia, SC. I wasn’t feeling so hot this morning – probably the nachos – so we scrubbed a hike and left for Columbia.

In Columbia we visited the Tunnel Vision art display and Alan played along and “splatted” himself on the tunnel entrance like Wile E. Coyote from the Warner Brothers cartoons. In that same area was the world’s largest fire hydrant, so naturally I got a picture of that.

Lunch was at a hole-in-the-wall Honduran restaurant, Cabanas Restaurant & Bar. We had baleadas. This dish is made with a large thick tortilla as the envelope stuffed with refried beans, Cotija cheese, shredded chicken (our choice), avocado, and a special sauce, Very tasty!

Next up was the UFO Welcome Center located in Bowman. This, and the Tunnel Vision in Columbia, are listed in the Atlas Obscura. At one time in the past this display might have been a little more than what we saw, but it was still fun to see it. Once I’d gotten a picture, we headed back to camp to relax some more. Since it was Sunday, about two-thirds of the campers from the weekend had already bugged out. The campground (see previous post) was a bit quieter than before.

March 15

We tried to go to Santee NWR but they are closed on Mondays, so we decided to go home a day early. We dumped our tanks back at the campground, dumped trash, then explored the other campground in this same state park (nicer roads), then headed home.