Thursday, November 5, 2009

Warm at last

We are at Huntington Beach State Park near Murrells Inlet, South Carolina (map). It was around 70° when we arrived yesterday afternoon, and about that again this afternoon. We've taken the electric blanket off the bed, I'm back in short sleeves, and we can finally open all the vents and windows and air the bus out fully.

We've been here before, on our very first circuit around the country five years ago. Back then, I was not in the habit of blogging from almost every stop, and I only mentioned the place a few days later; no map links then, either. We only spent one night then, and it was very much off-season although only a month later in the year than this visit.

What I also did not mention back then was that the park was basically the grounds of Atalaya, the summer home of Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington and today a feature of the park, which, together with the adjacent Brookgreen Gardens, the Huntingtons left to the state. I feel distantly connected to Anna Hyatt Huntington, who was a sculptor. One of the several castings of her famous sculpture "The Torch-Bearers" holds a prominent central position on the campus of my alma mater, Stevens Institute of Technology; up until my class year, it had been a tradition for the freshman class to paint their class year on the horse's, umm, behind, but the administration put a stop to it as the incessant cleanings were thinning the aluminum too much. It is actually a very moving sculpture, and I often stopped to admire it on my travels around campus.

Since it was still in the high 60s even after sunset, we rode the scooters to Nico's Italian Restaurant, halfway back to Myrtle Beach, for dinner. All the towns along this stretch of coast have a high tourist factor, but this place got good reviews, and Louise found a coupon on for it. While it's tempting to ride into town again tonight, it's lovely here and I will grill a steak instead.

We really needed the downtime afforded by spending a couple of nights here. I had a deadline to get an article submitted to Bus Conversions Magazine, basically a re-run of the centerfold we did five years ago, and spent the morning getting that done. I also pulled the dip tube out of the fresh water tank, and reseated all the seals on the intake system -- we've been getting air in the lines as the water level drops. And the spare computer printer that my dad palmed off on me when we visited last week sold today on eBay, so I got that packed and labeled for drop-off at UPS tomorrow morning.

All told, a productive day. We could only get this spot for two nights -- the shoulder season is still busy on the weekends here -- so tomorrow I will run the printer into town on the scooter, and we will pack up before the noon checkout. We've made a date to visit our friends in Savannah on Saturday, so I expect we'll land someplace about halfway there tomorrow night. The rest of my project list, including getting the old computers ready for sale, and refurbishing the satellite dish, will have to wait until after the weekend.

Photo by brungrrl, used under a Creative Commons license.

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