Wake up, Little Susie, Wake up! The story wasn’t so hot, it didn’t have much of a plot! Haha! This song just popped in my head as I am trying to figure out how to tell about our trip last fall from South Dakota to South Carolina. As you may remember from Larry’s exciting episode on the Dakotas, we spent a fun summer in North and South Dakota. After that, we took 10 days to get to South Carolina to help out while our daughter, son-in-law, and grandson moved into their new home in Warrenville, near Aiken, South Carolina.
Actually, not having much to say can be a good thing. It means that we had no problems or disasters along the way and I am happy for that! Once again, it is just great to travel and to see this great country of ours.
Our first stop was at Thedford City Park And Campground in Nebraska. It was really little more than a parking lot and so small that we drove passed it two times before were found it. But, it was good for our purposes. We got to listen to the whistle of referees and thud of football players colliding as two high school teams had a scrimmage just down the way. We fell asleep to to the distant rumble of trains. Larry was introduced to an awful variety of burrs that took an hour to extract! When we woke in the morning,there was a car parked right next to us and a woman was sleeping in the car! I guess everybody wants to be near Shiny!
We had a quiet stay in Hebron, Nebraska at Riverside Park. The park orignally was built by the Civilian Conservation Corp and was subsequently used as a German POW camp. I had no idea that German prisoners of war were housed in the heartland of America. I have to say that these midwestern parks are really amazing with their size and the variety of activities you can do at them from walking to frisbee golf to swimming. They seem like true community centers.
There are people who let you stay for free in their driveways through a program called Boondockers Welcome. This spot was nice and cozy with the smell of Chinese food wafting through the air in Seymour, Missouri. I left a package of my photography note cards in the garage as a gift for our hosts. Larry got an email later from the man who said that his wife had declared that they were hers and not his! We had 30 amp service no charge. People are so kind.
Boomland in Charleston, Missouri wasn’t much to look at but we got a good night’s sleep. Blue, the truck, had his first encounter with a locust storm. It took us a while to figure out what the noise was as we headed down the highway. We saw great swarms of grasshoppers and heard very loud “thump thump” noises. We thought something was wrong with the truck until we realized it was the sound of the grass hoppers hitting Blue and Shiny.
When we went to set up for the night, our surge protector read ‘reverse polarity’. Yikes! What do you expect for $15 a night? We were able to move to a site that was properly wired. Good thing I travel with Larry. I wouldn’t have any idea that this was a potentially dangerous situation.
We had a nice three day rest at Davy Crockett State Park in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. We were parked right along a beautiful stream and got to watch this Green Heron hunt for his lunch.
We went way out of our way to avoid driving through the Atlanta area and spent the night at River Forks Park in Gainesville, Georgia. Thanks to help from our Facebook friends, we believe that the sea creature shown below is a Caiman.
At long last we arrived in South Carolina. Oh, be still my heart, there’s Connor!!! (Oh, yes, and his Mom and Dad and the new house).
So, we arrived at Betty’s RV Park in Beech Island, SC in the last week of September. We almost filed for divorce after setting up Shiny in the 93 degree, 60% humidity weather. Neither Larry or I are made for that kind of weather. It was, however, a perfect climate for mushrooms and fungi of all types. Every morning we would step outside of the camper and see new growth. By the afternoon, it would be reduced to slime and be feasted on by large flies!
Betty’s RV Park is a lovely small, family owned park with minimal ammenities. It was quiet and was only 20 minutes down a back road to Connor’s house (I mean Brooke and Dan’s house). There were about 5 very old pecan trees there and a few black walnut trees. Every evening we shelled pecans and we sent many to friends and family. We were informed that the right way to pronounce pecans is “pee cans” So there you have it! Jack, our neighbor, collected all the black walnuts for his pet squirrel, Goober.
Connor could eat the pecans as fast a Larry shelled them!
Our days soon took on a regular rhythm with going over to Brooke’s house in the morning and then coming back to Shiny in the afternoon. Connor would be waiting patiently for us on the porch, excited to explore the ‘Blue Vroom Vroom’ with Grampy. What fun to honk the horn! Once Connor got used to us, he loved to go the ‘Grammy and Grampy Home’. He sure loved exploring inside Shiny and walking around the campground.
We had fun at Connor’s house and got to play all the way into the fall and Christmas
We spent a lot of time at Silver Bluff NaturePreserve which is along the Savannah River.
We did have one scary event. We were sitting in the camper when we smelled burning plastic. On investigation, we discovered that after nearly 4 months of being connected to power the connection to Shiny decided to just burn up! We probably would have lost Shiny if we hadn’t be there when this happened. Luckily, Shiny has another connector at the front that we could use to power up while Larry ordered new Smart Plugs connectors and power cord. Larry says the Smart Plug is a much better design and that if you own an RV and still use the twist on power cords to, by all means, check into the Smart Plug.
We toured the nearby Redcliffe Plantation Historic Site. The setting and the mansion were beautiful with many big, old trees. The slave quarters were chilling. There was a copy of an advertisement for a slave auction posted on the wall. Each slave was listed by age, gender and characteristics such as “strong worker”, “picks 50 pounds per day”, and “good breeder”. As group, the slaves were referred to as “stock”. It was very upsetting to see. We couldn’t imagine what it would feel like if we knew our family had been the “stock”.
Well, before we knew it, it was February. And, even though we were in the Deep South, it was winter. It was rainy and in the 40’s and that’s not much fun when you live in a trailer. So, we decided to head west. We made a photo book all about Shiny for Connor. We hoped he understood that Shiny has wheels and would be going, “Down the Road” as he says. We can’t wait until we see him again.
It sure was a treat to spend so much time with Connor, Brooke and Dan. We look forward to spending time with them again later this year. For now, “Westward Ho!”
Awesome story and images
Thanks, Bennett. Hope all is well with you. Will you be hitting the road any time soon?
Great catch-up post! Your grandson is absolutely darling and it looks like you had a wonderful several months together. And seriously, I don’t think anyone is made for high humidity and high temps, LOL.
Thanks, Laurel. Glad that we are pretty much caught up and that you enjoyed the story! Look forward to seeing you in December.
Quite the trip. Thanks for sharing it. I wonder what the German POWs did after they were released? I read a fascinating story about the camp in Maine, their relationship with the townspeople etc. Isn’t history fascinating?
I was trying to figure out at what point did you come up here when Dad died. Obviously, you were still in SC.
And…you’ve written 100 of these stories? Wow.