August in Charleston—our last stop in South Carolina Lowcountry

From Hilton Head, we head north to begin our next RV adventure.  Yes, we’ve been in our RV for a week at a great resort in Hilton Head, but now we’re starting our month-long journey.  We really like being on the road with changing scenes, new people and places.  We’ll make one last stop as we leave South Carolina–Charleston–to visit with family and tour another beautiful old city.

Then we’re off to a stop in Massachusetts then on to Canada. 

Our drive to Charleston was beautiful.  I think the marshes are one of the things I like the best about the area.

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When we got to Charleston, I wanted to check out the intricate sweetgrass coiled basketry I had heard about.  These have been made by generations of Gullah women and we met Geneva Monroe weaving at a roadside stand in Mount Pleasant.  Ms. Monroe said her family was brought here from west Africa and has made the intricate baskets for generations.  She said she is the last in the line to make them.  Her sisters and children have rejected this art.   The baskets aren’t cheap, but they are amazing–each is unique.

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Inside historic Charleston, we walked streets cloaked in Spanish moss.  We were quite drawn to this place—the original “Charles Towne” dates back to 1670!  The city is a mosaic of islands (Sullivan’s Island, Daniel Island, Isle of Palms, Dewees Island, Wadmalaw island, Edisti Island, Kiawah Island, James Island, Johns Island, etc.) at the confluence of the Ashley and Cooper Rivers.  And, oh yes, there’s another beautiful bridge, the Ravenel.

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The bridge gave us a great vantage point to view Fort Sumter.  This is a small island in the harbor, seen here behind a docked Navy ship.  We knew this place had an important place in history so we did some homework…after Lincoln’s election in 1860, South Carolina voted to secede from the Union.  In April 1861, SC troops took the Union-held Fort Sumter.  This was the start of the Civil War.

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The town has a rich history, beginning with an English settlement in 1670, as a center of activity in the American Revolution, an important port and a hub of the slave trade.  

 The cranes in the modern port look like the AT-AT walkers in Star Wars—and there is a story that George Lucas was inspired by the cranes at the Port of Oakland when creating his movie….

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The city is a treasure trove of great parks

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And wonderful old houses

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Some with alleys leading to secret gardens.

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Rainbow Row was a must-see.  It was once a run-down area of town—but Baby, look at you now!

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In 1886 a 7.5 earthquake hit 25 miles from Charleston.   It was felt from Cuba to Boston and destroyed many houses.  Steel rods were placed in those left standing—the earthquake bolts are now famous history icons.

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Down at The Battery we found more old cannons and the statue of Col. Moultrie, credited with saving Charleston from British occupation in the Revolutionary War (1780).

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As we were leaving the old town we walked the Arthur Ravenel Bridge.

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Leaving downtown, we toured Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms on the way back to the RV and a great dinner at SeeWee Diner in Awendaw—best seafood EVER! 

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 Put this place on your to do list if you’re in Charleston!  It’s been featured in Southern Living magazine so it’s rep is building.  It was a general store back in the ‘20s and still has shelves filled with cans you saw in your grandma’s kitchen.  The restaurant is in the back and even has an open area with a live band.  Spectacular on all fronts!

From Charleston, we headed north the next day…one night in Fancy Gap, Virginia (it felt like a spot right out of Justified), then two nights in Hagerstown…one was planned.  And the other?  Well, stuff happens. 

We had a RV issue and stopped at the Freightliner repair center just off the highway.   Does the day August 23rd ring a bell?  We were in the waiting room when the Virginia earthquake hit.  Definitely felt it there.  I went to the window to see what huge truck was rolling by.   It caused no real problems, except it slowed our repair—all the workmen were caught up in the chatter!  So we stayed the night in our RV at the truck center (luckily, we can be totally self-sufficient).

Check back as we head to our next stop outside Boston where I went back to my childhood haunts on Massachusetts’ South Shore.  And Mother Nature throws us another curve….

Alberta

 

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