Edisto Island, South Carolina

Marshlands at Edisto Beach area
May 4 2012         Moving toward the South Carolina coast, we stopped for an overnight stay at the Sesquicentennial State Park east of Columbia.  This 1400-acre park includes a large lake that provides fishing and kayaking opportunities.  On a previous stop at this park, we had enjoyed peaceful walks on the trails.  For this visit, the park was full to capacity.  The campsite and picnic areas were both crowded and a large group of Cub Scouts were in the primitive camp area.  Obviously, the park functions as a convenient and popular get away for the nearby city.

Bike trail at Edisto State Park
Wanting to explore a couple of the fingerlings that jut out into the Atlantic along the South Carolina coast, we stopped first at Edisto Island.  Camping at Edisto Beach State Park, we were sandwiched between the marshlands to the west and the ocean to the east.  This popular seaside town consists primarily of short-term rental housing with a grocery store and a handful of restaurants and small businesses.  The park, though, provides delightful chances for beach walks, shell collecting, birding, fishing and biking.

Painted Bunting
Biking on one of the trails through the park, we spotted a male Painted Bunting singing his lovely song to perhaps lure a mate.  The distinctive purple, red and yellow-green bird is threatened due to a loss of habitat but, over the days we spent in the park, we spotted 3. 

A nearby bike rental business was able to change out the flat tire I acquired on the trail.  He marveled, “I’ve been in this business a long time but I’ve never seen a bike tire flattened by a shark’s tooth!” 
I was just grateful, that even though we were prepared with mosquito repellant, the tire went flat after we had left the palm and oak tree forest that is home to a substantial number of the insects.
The "Bone Yard" at Botany Beach

Botany Beach, a few miles from the park, has one of the highest densities of loggerhead turtle nesting on the Eastern Seaboard.  We enjoyed walking through the “Bone Yard.”   Though the eerie stumps of trees has been a noted part of this beach for quite some time, Hurricane Irene (summer of 2011) was responsible for a substantial expansion.  We were told that 50-75 feet of beach had been washed away by the storm.  This is the same hurricane that created flooding in Vermont as we were trying to cross that state last summer.

Learning about the Gullah culture and food on our visit to Charleston, last year, we were on the lookout for the chance to indulge in some Gullah style cuisine.  Main’s Market had a limited menu and a funky atmosphere, but offered a good selection for our lunch one day.  Okra stew, squash casserole, mac and cheese, pork ribs and creamed corn were among the items listed on the menu.

The salt-water marshlands of South Carolina contain around 3500 hammock islands that provide habitat for a number of species.  The marshlands are also incredibly beautiful and serene, but now we are ready to move further south.
Drive to Botany Beach

Bone Yard at Botany Beach

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