Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Days 14 - 15: Hunting Island, South Carolina

So, after the detour south to Savannah, we headed north back into South Carolina.
We'll definitely be heading back to Savannah. It was one of the highlights of the trip so far even though the meal at Mrs Wilkes nearly killed me.

We camped for the night at Tuck in the Wood campground.  A nice little private place with wifi and really nice bathrooms.  This is where we got caught up on all our blog entries.  We also met a really nice Canadian couple that we traded travel tips with, more on them later.

After a nice night at Tuck in the Wood, we headed over to check out Hunting Island State Park and passed the ruins of an old cathedral, built in the 1700's.  It was just the shell of the building, which is kind of a pun because seashells were used in the construction of the walls!

The campground at Hunting Island State Park is really popular and we'd been told the day before that it was full.  We went there anyway and asked in person and lucked out and got a spot!  Once we set up camp, we unloaded the bikes and rode a mountain bike trail over to the nearby lighthouse.  I bought us a couple of used cruiser-style bikes for the trip and was pleasantly surprised at how well they did since they're not really intended for trail riding.

The Hunting Island Lighthouse has quite a history.  The original lighthouse was built in 1859 and destroyed by the Confederate Army in 1862 so that the Union wouldn't get it.  A new one was built in 1873 and a design was used that allowed the structure to be disassembled and moved later if necessary.

Well, sure enough, in 1889, the original site eroded to the point that the lighthouse had to be dismantled and moved about a mile south.  The lighthouse also withstood a 7.3 magnitude earthquake in 1886 that lasted for nearly five minutes!

The cast iron staircase is really beautiful.

As is the view from the top. 

That's some quote!  We know from the lighthouses that we visited on the Pacific coast that it's not the idyllic existence we think.  The work of a lighthouse keeper was hard, stressful, and incredibly remote and lonely.  Some of the keepers even went insane from the loneliness!  

Remember that Canadian couple that we met at Tuck in the Wood?  We ran into them again at the lighthouse.  Issac and Louise are from New Brunswick and invited us to come by their place when we get up that way.
Canadians are so nice!

I love their camper van.  It's a "Safari Condo," converted in Canada.

After visiting with Issac and Louise at the lighthouse, we took a short cut back to the campsite via the beach.

And took another beach cruise after dinner.

We liked Hunting Beach State Park so much we stayed another night.  After our french toast breakfast the next morning (with grilled bananas, raisins, and honey), we moved to a better campsite right by the beach.

Angie and Kipper looooooovvvve the beach.  Kipper's fetching his orange frisbee toy.
He played so hard he sprained his tail... no joke.  

Wet salty dog + roll in sand = extremely filthy dog.
Luckily there was a beach shower to rinse off so we could give him a bath.

Beach side campsite...

View from beach side campsite...

View out LeTigre's window after sunset. Heaven.

Next: Charleston, SC