Monday, September 30, 2013

Touring South Carolina State Parks Part Two

Finally made it into North Carolina on Sunday the 29th of September. It took us only 7 days to make 432 miles.

I am super lucky to have my friend aboard who is 12 years older than me but in superb health. By the time we reached Little Pee Dee State Park we slowed down for a 4 day, 3 night stay because my body was putting up a fuss being cantankerous in spite of my sunny outlook.

So far I had been doing all the driving but Sunday after about an hour, I felt too weak to go on, so my friend took over the wheel while I snoozed in the passenger seat with a puppy in my lap.

mermaid the body found

Harley dog has been thrilled to have company aboard, because this means he has a comfy cozy lap to enjoy while we travel down the scenic routes. We made stops at gas stations and grocery stores, which bored his tiny brain. Upon surveying the parking lot, he lets out a long sigh, then gives us his saddest face as we lock him inside the motorhome to go shop.

He loves the brief walk I take him on while filling up the gas (petrol) tank. At grocery stores, when I come back outside, I always have a cart to push. This is because my motorhome is typically parked at the far end of the lot or in the shade or both on a good day. Due to prior injuries, the physical therapist suggested I always balance weights equally in both hands. This can be rather hard to do with groceries. I was also taught to walk upright with the aid of a cart, so I guess I am a grocery cart person, even when just picking up odds and ends.

While many RV-ers travel straight to the campground, then launch their car to backtrack running errands or sightseeing, we do all this along the way. Once we arrive in the campground, we tour on foot, paw and bicycle. Since many campers are out running around in their cars by day, we often have the campground blissfully quiet and to ourselves for much of the day.

Since this is a money efficient trip, we only do the free sightseeing but there is so much free to see and do!

Harley dog has learned to do cart return. We often walk it back to the store front, sometimes briefly going inside to leave the empty cart. This little jaunt never ceases to thrill my funny little pooch. One day when my friend was going to return the cart by himself, Harley barked at him then put on his sad puppy face. He was amused when I explained that it was a great way for Harley to get some speedy exercise before we drove off again in his rolling dog house.

The first few times I tried this, Harley was scared of the wheels on the cart. A few times I let him ride in the cart. Finally he got used to walking on a leash while I pushed the cart back to the store front. It's a little reward for him waiting quietly in the RV while I shop. Now he looks forward to this treat.

If you are traveling with a pet, I encourage you to take them on a walk at every stop, even if it's just a one or two minute splurge. This gives the pet a chance to relieve himself, sniff a few things and exercise his legs. It sure makes for a happy traveler. Harley is thrilled just to stand on his leash at the gas pump while I fiddle around with the purchase. Once I get the hose set on auto-fill I can take him for a brief walk. Even if I have to manually fill the tank, he waits with me. Afterwards I take him on a walk.

Harley has a great nose for sniffing out campgrounds he has never been to before. Let us get within a mile or two of a campground and the little dog is going wild with excitement. He seems to sense we are about to set up camp. It's uncanny how he picks up on this.

Having an enthusiastic canine is hilariously fun. Every campground is the absolute best one ever to him. He begs and whines while we are trying to situate the camper on the lot, because he can't wait to get outside, dragging one or both of us around the campground or out hiking the trails. He loves to meet and greet the other campers, sniff up the new smells, water the bushes and occasionally eat some wild salad.

Many of the places we camped last week were so far out in the boonies, I couldn't get my internet to work. That left more time to soak up nature, and hence my erratic postings here.

One way to travel efficiently, is to home cook all our food.
This is a million dollar view at Cheraw State Park where we had several beautiful meals at our picnic table, overlooking the lake. On our first dinner, I had just carried out all the food, plates, utensils, drinks and napkins when it started to sprinkle rain. My friend helped me pop out the awning, then we dragged the table underneath it, where we still had a fabulous view while we dined in spite of the brief rains.

I must admit, I have thoroughly enjoyed every place we have camped. I read park reviews where others fuss about a place, but I end up feeling sorry for them, that they can't enjoy the good things about fabulous places.

My campground reviews must sound so boring because I love every place we stay, it's beautiful, the lot is lovely, the nature is awesome, the people are wonderful, the weather is perfect.

At Chester State Park, there was just us, the workampers in their RV and one other camper that showed up. Our lot came with this rolling lawn that meandered down to the lake's fishing dock.

We continue to pick up random litter as anonymous volunteers serving the beautiful lands. If anything, we can say we leave every park cleaner than we found it. Mother Nature needs a little help and relief from the  idiots that continue to scatter their garbage around rather than properly dispose of it. It's mind boggling what we find. A wadded up used diaper thrown in the bushes makes me wonder about the IQ of the parents raising that child. Sometimes we find good stuff like stainless steel hardware that fell off something or recently a nearly new bungee cord which we quickly put to good use on my rig.

Mostly we pick up loads of beer cans, twist off caps, little juice straws, fast food wrappers, cigarette butts, fishing lures, candy wrappers, plastic grocery bags and so on. I just don't understand the mindset of some people; "Let's go somewhere beautiful and trash it!"

OK, let me get off my soap box about that... no need to qwack up here.
Ducks at Little Pee Dee State Park in South Carolina would quack rapidly like they were giggling about a private joke. I found myself laughing along with them. They qwacked me up!

1 comment:

  1. Nice you are on the road...I love hearing about your
    adventures...I am going to Silver Spring ST Park the
    end of Oct. cant wait...have a great day and stay safe..donna


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