Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Biker scum

We are at Edisto Beach State Park (map), in the town of that name on the South Carolina Coast, and across the marsh from Edisto Island. If the map is to believed, the barrier island we are on is actually Edings Island, but the state park spans the marsh. We are in the older beachfront campground, but there is also a campground across the marsh under tree cover and appropriately named Live Oak.

While Live Oak has 50-amp pedestals (and more availability), the beach campground has pedestals with one 30-amp and one 20-amp circuit. Today in the high 90s the 30-amp is struggling to keep up, and we are calling on our new batteries occasionally to keep us cool. The air compressor is plugged in to the 20-amp, which helps. Still, it is nice to walk right to the beach, and we'd never get on line under the tree cover at the other campground.

It's a bit pricey here, at around $30 a night with tax, but it's still a lot better than the $48 we paid at James Island. Plus it is right on the beach, and there are a Piggly Wiggly supermarket and three restaurants in walking distance. Nevertheless, we took the scooters out right away, and we had burgers for dinner across the street at McConkey's Jungle Shack Sunday night. We wanted a glass of wine with dinner, but the blue laws got us again; we cooked in yesterday, but, had we known, we would have done it the other way around.

Edisto Beach is much more laid back than either the mega tourist destinations of Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand, or the upscale enclaves of Kiawah Island to our north or Hilton Head to our south. It's a 20-mile trip here from US-17, the main route along the coast, and it is a small island. There is one resort on the island, the Wyndham, which also sports the island's lone "fine dining" restaurant, a term I use loosely here, Grover's. Our plan was to eat there tonight.

Yesterday morning we rode the eight mile loop around the island to check out the sights, and we decided to do a drive-by of the restaurant. No dice: the Wyndham is one of those vacation-ownership affairs operated by a Homeowners' Association, and they ban motorcycles from the property. So with no way to get to Grover's, and also not wishing to reward this sort of discriminatory behavior by spending money, we'll eat instead tonight at one of the half dozen other, more casual, restaurants on the island. Not a one of those is a chain, by the way, unless you want to count the Subway inside the lone gas station on-island.

The Wyndham appears to be the only motorcycle-unfriendly place on the island, and it does not even front the beach or marsh, so Edisto Beach remains in our good graces. The state park is lovely and the relaxed feel of the whole island suits us, so we are likely to return here someday. In marked contrast to, for example, Hilton Head, where it's impossible to go anywhere by either motorcycle or RV, and to which we have sworn never to return.

The beach here is clean and pristine, and we've been swimming in the ocean every day. We wear our river shoes, because there is a continuous line of broken shells along the foreshore, the only obstacle between the luxurious sand of the beach and the smooth sandy bottom starting at the low tide mark. It is said that Edisto Beach is one of the best for shelling in of South Carolina. Because the beach is the nesting ground for loggerhead turtles, lights are banned on or near the beach from May to September, making it also blissfully dark here; even the Piggly Wiggly keeps its sign unlit.

I had originally booked three nights here, to make it worth the 40-mile round trip detour. We like it so much, though, that today I rode over to the office and extended for another night. We have no real plan for where to head next, and we are keeping a wary eye on Tropical Storm Emily, what became of Investigation 91. If the Red Cross does not send us anywhere for Emily, we'll continue to head south from here. We have friends in Savannah and it would be nice to see them if we do not get deployed.


  1. Thanks for the HH heads up. This is/was one of our destination spots when we head down that way with our new RV. Edisto sounds like the better place to be anyways.

  2. As a native South Carolinian, I think you have found the "sweet spot" of SC's coast. The first time I took Sandra there she filled the back of my pickup with seashells she picked up. She said that she couldn't believe they weren't marked made in Japan (it was a long time ago). Have fun and make sure you get some local shrimp while you're there.

  3. Sure got a grin on my face thinking about you "bikers" in your full leather outfits "blasting" down the highway.

    Jim and Pat


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