Santee State Park & Lake Marion
Trip Start Nov 19, 2007
217Trip End Ongoing
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
So we found a Pet Smart on the Internet and took off to get it. Luckily, we located a couple of brands with "mature" cat blends that match up pretty closely. We put them out for her and she went for them right away. Then we "watered" her and took off for South Carolina and hopefully warmer weather.
Arrived at Santee this evening, decided to stop at a nice restaurant for dinner and then headed over here to the campground to wind down. Maudie's looking good and Jodie and I are ready for some shut-eye so we can hit the bikes in the morning.
Got a picture of a sign in a liquor store window that I'll load tomorrow. First time I've seen one like this.
Thursday December 6, 2007
We have had two fabulous days here at Santee State Park. The park is on many acres around Lake Marion which is a reservoir for many towns nearby. There has been a 6 month drought throughout the south and has made a rather dramatic impact on the lake, especially in the last 6 weeks. For us this has been a good thing as it uncovers long beautiful expanses of white sandy beach! Usually all this beach is under 8-10 feet of water!!!
Then to home again to get warm and get ready for some great biking for us while miss Maudie took a cat nap.
The bike trail here is 6 and a half miles long through woods that ring the lake then loop back again. The trail is a walking trail as well and is natural with dips and roots and sand and challenges for newcomers to the biking world. We loved the workout! We did the whole loop in about an hour and a half and were glad to get off the bikes with numb butts!! but...once back on the pavement we were ready to do some more, so we explored the cabins. There are quite a few cabins here that are all octagonal and many sit on piers above the water! They seem pretty sweet.
After a lunch of green salad and roasted chicken with nuts and seeds and raisins we were ready to hit the beach again for our evening walk. We met two fishermen who told us many wondrous things. They explained about the water level and how they have heard of 109 lb cat fish coming out of Lake Marion although they themselves have not caught bigger than 60 pounders!!! They had about 7 poles held firm by plastic tubed stuck into the sand. There were these very cool gadgets that attached tot he reel and screamed and lit up when a tug came on the line! These men were ready for a long night of slow talk and waiting for cats!
One of them told me all about the Santee Indians and how where we were standing used to be a salt river in the 1500's. He said with his eyes to the sand, that if you looked carefully you would invariably find pottery from those days. Then sure enough he found three pieces of broken pottery with designs on them. He even identified one as being an upper edge of the pot. He gave them to me!
Then today after doing our house cleaning the RV way we decided to treat ourselves to a long walk on the beach while picking up drift wood for a cook fire. I had a mess of chicken marinating getting ready for the grill. We again bumped into the same two fishermen who already had caught a big cat and three Mud Fish. When we went over to look at the Mud Fish, Andy recognized them as Bow Fin Fish. Good eating they all said and with that the men offered all three for us to take!! We accepted one! Andy and I gathered up a bunch of wood and got that fish onto a string and took it on home!
Andy killed the poor thing by splitting its spine and I filleted it into these two gorgeous fillets.
Andy made a great fire and all our efforts were highly rewarded with one fantastic supper!!! We used Darcy's lantern, Billy and Fern's candle lantern and Betsy's Hawaiian Red salt!! Thanks everybody for all your thoughtfulness!!
Life is sweet in South Carolina with my honey and Maudie in our little 'ole RV!!
Time for a long sleep and new adventures tomorrow.
Sat. Dec. 8, 2007
Walked over the to bait shop that's out on the pier to see what was going on and met the man and boy who were running it. We started talking about fishing, swimming and alligators and heard some tales that made us glad we weren't swimming. While the standard line is "Oh they (alligators) don't ever botha ya", if you keep asking questions you get the true meaning of "botha ya". "Botha ya", actually means "kill you" and by the way, that also happens, but only some of the time. "Botha ya", apparently doesn't include tearing your arm off completely. The same man who said "they don't ever botha ya" went on to tell us about the man who went swimming last year and ended up having the gator tear his arm off. What saved his life was the fact that a gathering of nurses was picknicing at the lake when this poor dude walked out of the water in shock, missing his appendage. With their quick response, he was airlifted out of the park and managed to survive.
South Carolina yes, living with gators no. Our ultimate search to find a warm weather home goes on.
Sunday December 9, 2007
Woke up to a beautiful day that untimately hit the mid 70s. One odd and at times annoying thing was the Lady Bug hatch that took place. First dozens, then hundreds of lady bugs started showing up. At first it was endearing, then "enough already", then "get the f*!k outta here. They seemed to love the color white and all we are is white, one big white Lady Bug magnet. They were everywhere, inside and out.
We decided to flee the area and went out for a long bike ride to do some exploring. We found a hickory tree and gathered a bunch of nuts. We broke up about a dozen and put them on yogurt with banannas...............deeeeelicious!
Took a long slow bike ride and then a wonderful walk on the beach at dusk. Without the drought we would never be able to be taking these great beach walks. So there is a plus side to the dreadfully low lake level!
Friday and Saturday evenings we went to the BBQ house that Chuck our fisherman friend recommended. It is on the road driving right into the State Park. It is three small antique buildings that a young man picked up from all over the place and brought here. He attached them together by smaller walk throughs. He created a BBQ house and mercantile, and two dining rooms out of the other buildings. He filled the walls with all manner of antiques some for sale and others not. On Friday they serve up BBQed pork...ribs and pulled. On Saturday the special is Shrimp and grits and Sunday is Corned Beef and Cabbage. The special is only an addition to the already magnificent display of buffet delights. Some usuals are: Fried chicken, Rutabagas, collard greens, limas, green beans, hash and rice, macaroni and cheese, sweet potato with raisins, cheese biscuits and that is not to mention all the desserts and salads!!!!! We chose a large 'to go' plate of one meat choice and three sides with sauces and drinks....too much to eat for $4.95!! Not a bad deal! Delicious! I still had so much pork left over from Friday, I just got more sides on Saturday and still I have extra in the fridge.
Today after our long gorgeous bike ride we were just getting back to the RV when a young man with a Weimeriner (spelling) came running by. He stopped and recognized us as folks he noticed coming twice in two days to his restaurant!! He went to the Culinary Institute in Red Hook while living in Tivoli! Cooked in Cold Spring for a few years and then came on down here to try his hand at this inspired idea!! He had been at school while Ferdinand Metz was president and attributed Ferdinand with the excellence and reputation of the CIA! He also remembered the story of Ferdinand leaving as President due to a marriage!! Our beautiful Susanne!!! could the world be any smaller?
Maybe it could! I bought a pound of ground coffee here at the small bait and tackle shop at the park. I got it home and for some reason was looking at the label to notice that the coffee is roasted and packed and distributed in Sleepy Hollow!!!!! Can you imagine us traveling to South Carolina to learn and experience some Tarrytown coffee!! How gourmet can it get??
Time for some leftovers and then listen to a book on tape! We are loving our life on the road and in the parks! Tomorrow we start out toward Georgia for a visit with Louise and Sass!! How sweet it is!!