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.

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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

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     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.

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

11.5 MPG

3 hours 10 minutes

Diesel $2.38


Port Royal, South Carolina

Day 15

     On our way to Port Royal, we stopped at Fort Fremont on St. Helena Island, South Carolina. It was built at the beginning of the Spanish-American War to protect the U.S. Naval Station in Port Royal.

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    Since no part of the Spanish-American War took place in the States, the fort never engaged in battle.

    Port Royal was a disappointment, as I expected stories of Pirates and Swashbucklers.

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     Being the first settlement on the continent, I also expected elegant homes.

Day 15 (4) They did a poor job of upkeep.




 However, there was an oyster festival going on, and I got to shuck my first oyster. A skill omitted in my traditional upbringing. Day 15 (6)





On our way back home, it is weird calling a trailer home,  we stopped at The Cypress Wetlands of Port Royal.

Day 15 (8) Day 15 (10) Day 15 (17)It was a green goo, but had some neat birds. Click on a picture for an up close and personal view.

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Beaufort, South Carolina

Day 14

      In our travels south this is the first place we encountered Spanish Moss, an air feeding plant or epiphyteIt, that grows hanging from tree branches. It absorbs nutrients from the air and rain. It use to be called an air plant.

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     Where did Spanish Moss come from you ask? Well, I am glad to tell you:

     We are in the Beaufort area of South Carolina, where, according to legend, is where Spanish moss originated way before the English settlers arrived in the 1600’s.

     In an Indian village, not far from where I am standing,  a Spanish soldier fell in love at first sight with an Indian chief’s favorite daughter. Though the chieftain forbade the couple to see each other, the Spaniard was too love struck to stop meeting the maiden in secret. The father found them out and ordered his braves to tie the Spaniard high up in the top of an ancient oak tree. The Spaniard had only to disavow his love to be freed, but he steadfastly refused. Guards were posted to keep anyone — the chief’s daughter above all — from giving food or water to the poor Spaniard.

     The Spaniard grew weaker and weaker, but he still would not renounce his love for the girl. Near the end, the Chief tried to persuade him once more to stay away from his daughter. The Spaniard answered that not only would he refuse to disavow his love, but that his love would continue to grow even after death. When at last the Spaniard died, the chief kept the body tied up in the tree as a warning to any other would-be suitors.

     Before long, the Indians began to notice that the Spaniard’s beard continued to grow. The Indian maiden refused ever to take a husband — unless the Spaniard’s beard died and vanished from the tree. As the years went by, the beard only grew stronger and longer, covering trees far from the Indian maiden’s village. Legend says that when the Spanish Moss is gone, the Spaniard’s love will have finally died with it.

     And now you know the rest of the story.

Hunting Island, South Carolina

Day 13

Finally, we are South enough that flowers are blooming.

     Another beautiful day. Actually every day is a beautiful day when you’re retired, even when it is windy and raining. Although it was a sunny, clear, cloudless sky day; as I write this at 2 in the morning, it is pouring. What a beautiful day.

     Exploring the Islands, we went to Hunting Island State Park for some hiking. Plenty of wildlife. Day 13 (18)Don’t step on the alligator.

Do you recognize the diamond back turtle?Day 13 (2)

We went out on the pier, then into the woods for a hike across the river to the Atlantic Ocean.

It was so windy the red flag warning was displayed.Day 13 (17)

     Down by the ocean was the graveyard of all the debris of the previous storms. It was neat.

We next went to the lighthouse of Hunting Island.Day 13 (20) Day 13 (19) Day 13 (22) Day 13 (21)

     We rounded out the day with a leisurely dinner on Lady’s Island, where we ate seafood that slept the previous night in the Beaufort River. The view from our table was exquisite.Day 13 (1)

St. Helena Island, South Carolina

Day 12


     Each day brings new challenges. Most RVs have what is referred to as an RV refrigerator. It is a small 9 cu. ft. refrigerator that is run by the batteries of the RV (commonly referred to as “house batteries” to distinguish them from the car or truck batteries), and propane. Yes, propane. The RV fridge does not use a compressor, like your home fridge, but a method of cooling called “absorption”. This uses the heat of the propane flame to cause a chemical reaction that absorbs heat from the refrigerator box, leaving cold.

     The advantages of this type of box is it weighs less, uses 12 volts and propane to run, which means you do not have to be hooked up to electricity. The disadvantage is that they are small, and propane has trouble running a flame at high altitude because less oxygen.

     We decided that we wanted a full size “residential” refrigerator for both size and the ability to use a compressor to cool, rather than absorption. No problem at altitude. The disadvantage is they weigh a lot, and only run on 110 volts. This means I need to be hooked up to power. For traveling down the road, or camping without power (called boon-docking) I need electricity. This is achieved by installing an inverter. This device transfers 12 volts from the house batteries to 110 current. I also can use my 5.5 kilowatt generator to power the refrigerator._DSC0508

This is 20 cu. ft. My one at home is 18 cu. ft.

     The point of this rambling (after all, I am retired with nothing to do for the next 5 years) is to describe to you the following:

     Our fridge comes with an ice maker and filter cooled water. We have now exhausted the ice we brought and decided to hook up the ice maker. First, I went to the water dispenser to prime it. Pushed button. Nothing. I figured the dealer probably did not want to turn on the water to the fridge until delivered. No problem. Went to turn water on, can’t find valve. Looked behind unit, where it is on my house fridge. Not there. Looked under sink, where most of the water connections enter the coach. Not there. Is this beginning to sound like the cable/antenna switch? After a day and a half of searching, I found the turn on valve OUTSIDE the coach, by the rear spare tire. Why I did not think to look there first is beyond me.

     St. Helena Island is one of 200 islands, collectively known as the “Sea Islands”, off the main cost of South Carolina. They include Port Royal, of pirate fame, and Parris Island, close to the heart of all marines. Not far from us is the US Marine Corps Air Station. Fighter jets were constantly flying overhead. At first I thought they were just doing maneuvers, then I realized, one flew over our RV site and went back and told the others of our attempts to set up camp. The others then came to see and laugh for themselves.

Technical Stuff:

Florence to St. Helena Island 171.2 miles

10.9 mpg

3 hours 37 minutes