• Dateline Toledo Bend

    We finally arrived at Byrd’s Nest RVP but not without excitement.

    All started out well. We rattled and bounced along Texas State Roads and a few pieces of US Highways and got to Lufkin. The roads were actually pretty good, I’d call it “light chop.”

    Somewhere in Lufkin sitting at a long traffic light the toad air brake took a dump. As in no more air brake. Fortunately the Barge has a pretty good anchor and can stop this menagerie right smartly. So we tootled along with the toad brake working every now and then.

    But that’s not all….

    The GPS…Bitchin Betty….decided it would be shorter to route us the long way around; I knew we were off track when we got to Nacogdoches. Say that three times fast. I reprogrammed the GPS while sitting in the middle of the road and Mom got her Google Map and after a little pointed discussion we agreed that our routes agreed and we set off. We only fiddle-farted around an extra hour.

    And we’re here.

    It appears that the toad brake may have only wanted a squirt of WD-40. It’s working now.

  • T-30 or so

    Rolling stones gather no moss!

    We’re about to push off from The Grove by September 30 bound for parts unknown. Well, they’re sorta known; we’re heading south, then southwest, and we’re going to do the family thing.

    I’m sure in a very short time we’ll be full up with the family thing.

    The plan is to stop at FDR SP with maybe a stop at Little Tallapoosa CG, then on to Opp, Ala. and to Gulf Shores, Ala. With of course more to come. Plot a course, Mr. Sulu!


  • James Island (Charleston) to Huntington Beach (Pawley’s Island)

    The is just a little short bleep about the drive up the coast. I was never here in the past so I can only imagine how it was; what I imagine and see the occasional ruins of is so far different from the here and now that it might be a different planet. So it goes.

    The first trick is getting across the peninsula. Take Folly Road to US-17, hang a right and stay on it. If you have a good GPS it’ll help but otherwise the turns and ramps are clearly marked well in advance. You’re going to be on city streets and expressways. The bridge over the Ashley River is just a preliminary; the Ravenel Bridge is plain spectacular. It’s probably good that it was misty and rainy otherwise Mom would’ve had four cats and two cows. It’s that high.

    Down off the bridge and a few blocks further and we come to Houston Northcutt Boulevard, where we find Melvin’s Legendary and pig out.

    Fortified, we waddle back onto US-17 whereupon we enjoy traffic and traffic lights for another 12 miles. It’s not heavy traffic at noon and the traffic lights don’t catch us too often, but it does exist and our average speed was around 40 mph.

    Once into the Francis Marion National Forest it’s smooth sailing for 30+ miles. We’re on a US highway and there’s no traffic. Eventually we come to Georgetown, which is an unremarkable little mill town boasting a paper mill and a steel mill and we don’t care that it dates to 1734, we just want to get across the Pee Dee and Waccamaw Rivers and get out of town.

    And all of a sudden we’re onto Pawley’s Island and plowing through housing development after housing development, strip mall after strip mall. The good side is that there’s a grocery store, liquor store, Walgreens and CVS on every corner; the bad sideĀ  is that there’s a grocery store, liquor store, Walgreens and CVS on every corner. For miles. These developments are all “The Something or Other Plantation” and they’re all just beachfont and coastal McMansions.

    Chirrens, the Grand Strand ain’t so grand any more. Nothing that a Hugo-level hurricane wouldn’t fix.

    Editorial aside, we passed out of purgatory into Huntington Beach SP land. For about two miles on one side of the road is the state park and on the other side is Brookgreen Gardens. Peace!