The End of our First Leg

Day 78

     In order to attend our granddaughter’s graduation from George Mason University, we return to our driveway on Placid Drive. This is the 78th day on the road counting from February 20, 2016.

     We have pulled the Sphinx for 3,112 miles, with sightseeing in the truck for an additional 2,073 miles.

     We plan to be back on the road by June 28, 2016. There is a week between Barbara’s family get-together in Alabama and the Fireman’s Convention in Ocean City, Maryland. We might take a trip to western Maryland and go over the Allegheny Mountains to prepare for crossing the Rockies.

     Until then: chocolate cures everything, and eat ice cream every day, you can’t go wrong.

Technical Stuff:

Chesterfield, Va. to Baldwin Md.    226.2 miles

5 hours  42  minutes

11.0 MPG

Diesel: $1.86 gallon

Say goodnight, Gracie


Civilian Conservation Museum, Virginia

Day 76

     It is pouring down rain, and our moat is filling nicely. Pocahontas State Park, Virginia, where we are staying for 3 days, consists of 8,000 acres and dozens of hiking trails. Since we cannot hike today, we decided to go to the Civilian Conservation Corps Museum which is on the park grounds (since the CCC built the park). Then we would go to Pamplin Historic Park, which consists of various museums. If the weather should clear by then, we would go to the Blandford Church and Cemetery, which has the second oldest grave yard (I believe the oldest grave yard in the Country is in Salem, Massachusetts, which we had visited on a previous trip.)

     The CCC Museum is a one room building containing the history of the Corp and facts on the building of this and other parks. We were fortunate, that because of the weather no one else was visiting. The curator was a vastly knowledgeable gentleman who captivated us for quite some time. Day 76 (5) Day 76 (1)

The Pamplin Park and Church will have to wait till another day.

     Because of the tremendous thunder storms, we spent the rest of our time in the park resting in the Sphinx. Day 76 (4)


Pocahontas State Park, Virginia

Day 75

     We are now meandering our way back to Maryland for our Granddaughter’s graduation from college.

     We decide to spend a few days at Pocahontas State Park in Virginia. Because their season is Memorial Day to Labor Day, there were over a dozen spots for the Sphinx. We walked around looking at the various available spots. We found one perfectly level, in a treed secluded area. Perfect. No sooner had we set ourselves up, when a thunderstorm hit the area. After it was over, we looked out and found we were surrounded by a moat.

Day 75 (8) Day 75 (4) Day 75 (2) Day 75 (6) Day 75 (5) Day 75 (3)

     Because the spot was so level, the water did not drain. No problem, we used our leveling blocks to build a boardwalk.

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      Later, we walked around the park and saw we were the only ones underwater. Boy, can we pick em?

Technical Stuff:

Wilson, NC to Chester, VA   136.9 miles

2 hours 42 minutes

11.5 MPG

Diesel 2.06 gallon


Wilson, North Carolina

Day 73

      Day 73 (13)Wilson North Carolina is the most depressing city I have ever been. Although it is the County Seat (which means the Circuit Court and Government buildings are located here) and it is lunch time on a Monday, the streets are deserted with 80% of the buildings boarded up. Another 10% of the business closed. It would be a great place to film a disaster or zombie movie.

Day 73 (12)

 It did have a couple of antebellum houses, like this one. Day 73 (2)


           Barbara was impressed with the rose garden, which was in a most unlikely place, the Public Library grounds.

Day 73 (4)



 Maybe the town was once a seaport, and the waters receded

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     I was so astonished with the condition of the County Seat, (being a lawyer I have been to all 22 County Seats in the State of Maryland, all of which were bustling places) that I went back to the visitor center to ask the hostess, who is a life long resident. She informed me that when tobacco died, the town died. Although they still grow tobacco here, it is shipped to other parts of the State for processing.

Technical Stuff:

Dillon, SC to Wilson, NC   132.8 miles

2 hours 39 minutes

11.9 miles to gallon

Diesel $1.98 gallon


Dillon, South Carolina

Day 71

     Dillon, South Carolina, is a train whistle stop. In 1882 the Florence Railroad Company was building it’s line from Florence, South Carolina to the North Carolina State line. It had right-of-way problems when it reached the land owned by J.W. Dillon. The issue was resolved with Mr. Dillon granting the railroad a one half interest in 65 acres of his land on the condition that the railroad build a depot on the land, and lay out a town. The boundaries of the town are 1/2 mile around the train station.

     When we visited the town they were having their annual “Dillon Celebrates Main Street” festival. It included lots of food, displays, and a car show.

     The Courthouse did not display a tribute to the Confederacy, but the stars and bars and the Sons of the Confederacy were well represented.

day 69-70 (37) day 69-70 (40)

day 69-70 (43)

Barbara could not resist adjusting the carburetor day 69-70 (47)







Technical Stuff:

Charleston SC to Dillon SC: 170.9 miles

3 hours 29 minutes

11.7 MPG

Diesel $1.97

Charles Towne Landing, South Carolina

Day 69

     Carolina began as a grant to 8 men by King Charles to set up a commercial operation in the New World. Charles Towne Landing is where, in 1670, the new colonists set up their first settlement. The idea was to grow crops, ship that and wood to Barbados in exchange for sugar and then ship that back to England for sale and profit. Charles Towne Landing is actually inland, off the main ocean trade route because the settlers were afraid of attacks by the Spanish, who had declared this land as theirs, and Indians. After 10 years, they moved the settlement to what is now Charleston, on the ocean trade route.

     Charles Towne Landing is now a State Park to preserve the site of the first settlement of what would end up being the State of South Carolina.

     The actual site is nothing but a field with markers indicating where archaeologists think things, like a fort, might have been build. Little evidence has been found to support their findings. Actually they can say anything they want, and who would know.

     Here is a replica of a small trading ship that moved supplies from the colony to Barbados and back.

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I caught one of the residents change color from green to brown as I photographed him:day 69-70 (22) day 69-70 (23) day 69-70 (24) day 69-70 (25)


The turtles were having a convention at the water’s edge:day 69-70 (34)

Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

Day 68

 Camper (11)

     Now that we have more experience backing into sites, and more comfort traveling off the main expressways, we are venturing out. Our last 3 campsites have been on lakes. At Savannah South, KOA, we were actually on the waterfront. This was our view from The Sphinx:

These sites are more spacious.

Camper (12)

Camper (14)

Richmond Hill, GA. to Mt. Pleasant, SC.  141.7 miles

11.5 MPG

3 hours 10 minutes

Diesel $2.38


Savannah, Georgia

Day 66

     Although we have been to Savannah in the past, Barbara wanted to tour some of the homes, this is the Davenport House:

Day 66 (13)

     We also toured Andrew Low’s house, whose nephew married Juliette Gordon Low, who was the founder of the girl scout movement.  All these house look alike to me.

     She also wanted to see the flowers in the squares:

Day 66 (22)

    We took the trolley tour of Old Savannah:

Day 66 (16)

Then back to our campsite to relax Day 66 (1)And contend with our neighbor

Day 66 (2)


Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia

Day 64

Walked through the Okefenokee Swamp. Day 64 (46) Day 64 (132)


Then took a boat Day 64 (119)ride through the Swamp.




 And, this is what we saw:Day 64 (115) Day 64 (43) Day 64 (6) Day 64 (26)









Every 20 years or so the swamp has a drought and dries up allowing lightning to start a fire that will burn through the swamp. The last such fire was in 2011:Day 64 (128) Day 64 (92) Day 64 (134)









Evidently this is needed to rebuild the swamp as these tree seeds need the fire heat to germinate.

Lots of lily pads, not one frog on them. However, they were flowering today.Day 64 (65) Day 64 (64) Day 64 (72)










We did see a frog as we walked through the swamp.Day 64 (148)

     Also went to Chesser Island, which is a home of a swamp family. The dossier was also a swamp person, but since the Swamp is now a National Wildlife Refuge, all the Swamp people have been booted out.

     We had our own wildlife at the campsite as there were free roaming guinea birds. Day 64 (3)


St. Marys, Georgia

Day 63

     We followed the rabbit down the holeDay 63 (2)

    St. Marys, Georgia, was established in 1787.  We went to the grave yard, we love graveyards, but the oldest we could find was 1815. All other older ones had their markings eroded.Day 63 (16)

     We walked the town, which had the usual old homes of the South. This was before the Church denied it was making money:Day 63 (3) Day 63 (4)

     Went to their radio museum. Saw peg leg, again.Day 63 (1)

     Their submarine museum was underwhelming. 

     I really did not know a missile was loaded when I pushed the periscope fire button.Day 63 (6)

Is that a rat in our drawer?Day 63 (5)




Just kidding.