A Travellerspoint blog

Day 14 - Charleston walkbout

Historic houses, city market, brew pub lunch, walking, walking

overcast 55 °F

We arrived at the Visitor Centre in downtown Charleston, SC at 10:00am on a cold and rainy Sunday morning. Now leave it to us to do things the hard way. We own about 15 umbrellas, some really really good ones too. It was only about 4-5 days ago we realized they are all sitting in our house in Nova Scotia. Our first half hour downtown was in pretty good rain. We walked about 8 blocks and it was steady, cold rain. We saw a Walgreens Pharmacy and decided we had better bite the bullet and get an umbrella. Sure enough, $16.81 later we were the proud owners of a green and black golf sized umbrella. We walked out of the store and that umbrella has still not been opened. Just buying it was enough to stop the rain. :)

This bit of urban art caught our eyes as we passed on King Street


We headed for the City Market, which has been in existence for over 200 years and is open every day. In reality it is a tourist trap. Some nice stuff, but the locals don't go there, just tourists. It is a lovely building and nice to walk through. I think the only authentic American items for sale and sweetgrass baskets, weaved by locals.

We stopped for coffee and a treat before heading on to the Waterfront Park.


The walk through the park leads you to The Battery, historic houses dating back as much as 250 years. The pictures speak volumes about what you see here. You could easily fill a memory card as they keep coming on every street in the area.




After a few hours of walking we headed off to a brew pub for lunch. We each had a pint of stout and shared a beef brisket sandwich. Delicious and satisfying. As I write this blog entry 4 hours later we are still not hungry for supper.



A interesting Charleston oddity is the Single House. The title refers to homes that are built one-room wide, with a covered porch running along the side. The narrow part of the house faces the street. An example:


There are numerous houses of this design throughout the downtown area. They can vary is size and number of floors, but they all have the same open porch along the side of the house. You enter the property through a door into the porch area.

Our impression of Charleston is very favourable, although the city thrives on tourism and is set up to extract the maximum $ from its visitors. Boat tours, house tours, horse drawn carriage rides through the historic districts, and so on. March is a busy season here with the gardens in early, but full bloom.

Posted by Rooseboom-Scott 15:23 Comments (2)

Day 13 - Hemingway bbq/ on to Charleston

If you are keeping track, no we have not missed a day, just my rush to update missed including Days 11/12 in the title on our last post :)

semi-overcast 75 °F

We headed out from Lumberton NC later in the morning that we usually start out. Firstly, we only have 150 miles to go to get to Charleston, SC, and secondly, we are going to stop in Hemingway, SC for some world-famous BBQ and we would like to have lunch, well, at lunch time. The drive started out a bit weird, our GPS would not accept an alternate route that did not include the fricking I-95. We dislike these expressways with a passion...there is little or nothing to see as you blaze by at 65 miles per hour.

Anyway, we finally got that straightened out, and off we went to Hemingway. On the drive over, on backroads at 55 mph max, we had time to stop when we came upon this cypress grove. Beautiful calm lake with giant trees.



We arrived at Scott's BBQ at precisely Noon! I've made pulled pork myself and thought it pretty good, but today I learned I don't know pulled pork. Scott's BBQ is amazing, and lined up out the door at this time of year, open only on Wednesday and Saturday. There were about 20 people ahead of us in line but it moves fast. You can buy a whole BBQ pig for $500 and they will BBQ your own pig for $120. But pulled pork with beans and colerslaw is $7.00 and we ordered ours and were served in a flash.




We headed on towards Charleston on highway 41, about 40 miles of the straightest road I have driven on in a long time. During the drive Jenny fell asleep and I amused myself by taking pictures of her as she slept, none of which she would let me post in the blog. I did get a good selfie of myself though:


We arrived at our campground around 2:30pm and got set up. This is the first time we have put up the canopy over the picnic table. We will be here for three days and we like to cook outside and there is a good chance of rain.


We will spend the next two days exploring downtown and historic Charleston and visiting the 500 acre Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. The forecast is for temperatures in the mid 60's and that should be nice for our time here.

Posted by Rooseboom-Scott 17:00 Tagged bbq hemingway nc charleston scott's Comments (2)

Days 8, 9, 10. Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel & more

Cape Hatteras, Rodanthe, Oracoke Island and the very slow ferry :)

sunny 75 °F

It was a long day behind the wheel, from Maryland, along the Delmarva peninsula and across the spectacular Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel to Norfolk Virginia. The bridge opened in 1964 and is truly a marvel to cross and to see. We saw a flock of about a dozen pelicans riding the air current, just a few feet above the rail of the bridge as we drove along. We paused at the second tunnel to take a peek around and met Paul, a fellow traveler who told us much about the birds passing by us. The toll for the tunnel was a very reasonable $18.

We paused to shop in Norfolk, Virginia before heading for Cape Hatteras. The road was stop and go and very busy, not a freeway and at one point we almost rear ended a pickup truck. It was a very distracting piece of road and it just goes to show how quickly things could go wrong. Anyway we managed to stop in time and the rest of the trip was uneventful.

Cape Hatteras is a barrier island, over 100 miles long from one end to the other and our plan is to explore as much of the length of it that has roads. We arrived at our campground just at dusk and found our spot and got settled in the night. Once again, a bit chilly at 45 degrees, but we have our little heater to keep us toasty warm. Sadly, the internet was not working.


We did pick up this southern delicacy at the grocery store. After trying it, I would have to say it is an acquired taste...wet, salty, soggy!


On Day 9 we planned to explore the southern part of Cape Hatteras, which involved a ferry ride to Oracoke Island. The ferry is free and the ride is about an hour each way. We caught the Noon sailing, and as luck would have it we were the second last car to get on. We spent a very pleasant 2 hours exploring Oracoke and having lunch and the day went horribly wrong from a time point of view. We wanted to explore the lighthouse on Cape Hatteras once we got back on the ferry. We arrived at the ferry terminal at 3:00pm, expecting to make the 3:30pm sailing. Unfortunately, the ferry gives priority to residents and service vehicles, so we cooled our heels for two full sailings until the 5:30pm boat which pretty well wasted 3 hours of our exploring time.

We finally got back on the Cape at 6:45pm and found a restaurant in the fading gloom. It was going to be far too late to cook supper back at the campground. The seafood platter we ordered was just barely OK, and virtually none of it local...the mussels came all the way from New Zealand for crying out loud. Anyway, our day was just OK, but the Cape is really marvellous as these pictures attest:



Day 10 was the exploration of the northern half of Cape Hatteras. We drove all the way to Duck, near the end of the road. Overall the Cape is 120 miles long and must be the summer home of thousands, judging by the number of summer homes and condos there are along the shore. There is no one favourite beach, you simply go to the one closest to your house and there you are, in ocean front heaven.


We did take in the Wright Brothers National Historical Site. In 1903 they successfully flew 852 in their fourth test flight on Kill Devil Hill.


If you ever come here this is a must see.

Day 11 was the transition day. We left our campground at 8:30am, with the intention of getting as far south as we felt comfortable doing. We did this with not one mile of travel on an expressway, all on secondary roads. The traffic is much lighter and you can actually see some of the countryside. We arrived in Lumberton, North Carolina around 4:00pm, booked into a motel for the night, did our laundry, had supper and are now getting this blog up to date.

Tomorrow we are stopping in Hemingway, South Carolina (about 90 minutes away from here) for our first experience with authentic barbeque before heading in to Charleston SC for a three night stay and an exploration of that city.

We hear a Nor'easter is set to come in for the folks back in Nova Scotia and all we can say is, tough :)

Posted by Rooseboom-Scott 16:45 Comments (0)

Once again, poor internet restricts the posting of the blog

Hey folks, we are a few days behind with the blog at this point, but with campgrounds either open with minimal services or closed altogether we have been unable to write this blog as we go. So, Days 9, 10, and 11 will be coming up in a few days. We are still on Cape Hatteras for today (March 17) but will be heading inland and generally south tomorrow.

Posted by Rooseboom-Scott 07:16 Comments (1)

Day 7 & 8 - Assateague National Seashore to Chesapeake Bay

wild horses, wind swept beaches, oysters, great campground

overcast 50 °F

We left our campground on the Delaware shore bright and early, stopped at Starbucks in Ocean City for a bit of on the road coffee. We bought really good travel mugs that will hold the temperature pretty well for a couple of hours so no need to gulp it down while it is still hot. Our first stop for the day was Assateague National Seashore, home of 91 (at last count) wild horses. Several were along the road to greet us as we drove i.



We spent about two hours exploring this area of the park before heading on to find a campground for the night. We had planned on going as far south as Cape Charles, but came upon a great camground just a few miles into Maryland. We stopped at the Maryland State campground at Shad Landing campground, near Pocomoke. The place was virtually vacant, but open. We picked a site and were surprised to see that Maryland offers a seniors discount, so we got our campground for $17 a night. We set up camp and headed off the Chincoteague Island, where the south side of Assateague National Seashore is...this is about 40 miles south of where we had been earlier in the day.

It was good to connect the two parts of the park and Chinoteague was a bit of a bonus. We found our first seafood here...oysters. We shared a dozen along with a beer each.


This is what the beach looks like in Assateague:


We got back to the campground around 5 pm and discovered, to our great pleasure that they had a laundry room. So we spent the evening getting our clothes clean and reading. The campsite was marvleous, wooded and extremely quiet.


We headed out the next morning for a look around the Chesapeake Bay side of the Delmarva Peninsula. We were headed over to take a look at Berlin when we came across this sight:


There were at least 2000 snow geese foraging in a farmer's field. As we were stopped alongside the road, a local stopped to see if we were having car problems and he filled us in on the geese. Every year on the migration north they stop in this field. Pretty interesting stuff. We are travelling along the eastern flyway and expect to see many more migrating birds as we travel south.

The town of Berlin burned to the ground in the 1820's and was rebuild with all the buildings having a similar look. It was voted the prettiest small town.


After Berlin we headed for Dean Island, a wildlife preserve along the Chesapeake Bay. Out on Dean Island we came upon this fixer-upper:


We stopped for lunch at a seafood restaurant that looked a little rugged, but the food was excellent. We had our first soft shell blue crab at this place. If you are ever down this way, this is a guaranteed good choice for local seafood.


We finished the day planning the next section of our adventure, which will be Hatteras Island. On to the next!

Posted by Rooseboom-Scott 06:46 Comments (1)

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