Posted by: wheelsandfeet | January 24, 2011

Deeper into the Southeast

(at the time I wrote this post…)  It’s January 18th.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. day was yesterday.  Still need to hear the speech.  I had the intention of listening to it yesterday when I was interrupted by a small drip in the ceiling of the van.  Usually, not a big deal.  There’s always been a small drip here and/or a small drip there depending on the angle of how the van is sitting.  These VW Eurovans (and Westies and Buses, I presume) are infamous for having a leak or two.  This model, the 1995 Eurovan for a drip specifically in the front near the driver’s seat.  And, I’m sure there’s some water that gets into the lid above through where I installed the roof rack.  I need to silicone the outside of the tracks of the roof rack before the whole van decides to short out.  The drip that interrupted me this time is dripping through a light in the ceiling…nerve wracking…and the nagging feeling that something always needs to be fixed.  Well, gotta stay on top of it.  There are a few things that need to be taken care of…or, is it written, “of which need to be taken care?”  I think I prefer “need to be taken care of” even though, in which case, the sentence ends in a preposition.    What’s the big deal.  And, no, not with a question mark because I’m really not asking.  I’m saying “What” is the big deal…because a sentence ending in a preposition really isn’t “what”…that’s for sure.  So, you can imagine how a drip through a ceiling light in the van interrupted the plan of watching the “I Have A Dream” speech especially now that you’ve seen how much even sentence structure can throw me for a loop.


So where are we??? 😀


Hunting Island State Park, South Carolina.  Beautiful.  No hotels.  No developments on this island, anyway.  There’s one more island in this string of several that has it’s own bridge at the beginning of which states, “Security gate at end of bridge.”  Yep.  It’s the old ‘gated community that is an island’ trick.  Saw the houses on the shore of that island a couple days ago from the Hunting Island Nature Center and fishing pier.  Fripp Island has some pretty impressive real estate from what we could see.


Where was I at the end of the last post…I can’t remember.  I’m not online at the moment.  I think Dahlonega, GA.  Ah.  Right.  Nicole and I ended up getting our bikes all set to ride…all repairs done…Jon at Cycleworks in Dahlonega set us up.  Great shop with the full gamut of bikes from used bikes to mosey around in to bikes that could be used in the Tour de France or World Cup Mountain Biking competition.  He had all the parts we needed used and on hand.  Perfect.  Now we’ll have to see if it’s worth it for Nicole to make an insurance claim.


The hills of northern Georgia are fantastic.  The two lane roads are well kept and easily drivable but dip and dive like kiddie roller coaster at the county fair.  Perfect for a nice sunny afternoon drive.  We need to get back there to do some biking on those roads.  It seems they were made for bikes, not cars.  We drove through the western tip of North Carolina headed for The Rose Hill Plantation in South Carolina.  We had a travel center stop off the highway near the plantation in mind  to stop and get a good night’s rest similar to a Flying J.  All the travel centers around here are Pilot gas station/truck stops that tolerate overnighters.  It’s definitely worth it to them.  As we’ve been staying at them, we’ve been buying gas, coffee, DVDs, books on tape, you name it!  We woke up ready to get a tour of a plantation. finally, after all these years…


Rose Hill Plantation was a relatively humble plantation.  We were lucky enough to get a personal tour by the State Park Ranger/Architectural Historian himself.  He was a very inquisitive fellow not interested in the State Park Ranger part of his job at all.  He was very much an Architectural Historian who was in the middle of rewriting history as it pertains to The Rose Hill Plantation.  He was also restoring the house back to its original state.  An overwhelming mission.  The plantation dates back to 1811.  It was built by the father of William H. Gist who took over the house and later became the governor of South Carolina.The most interesting aspect about this place is that Governor William H. Gist known as the secessionist governor was instrumental in starting The Civil War.  As you may or may not know, the first shot of The Civil War is credited to happening at Fort Sumter just out from Charleston, South Carolina.  Well, as the plantation website explains, “In the days following the election of Abraham Lincoln, South Carolina Gov. William H. Gist was characteristically blunt ‘The only alternative left, in my judgment, is the secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union.’”  This meant that Gist needed to compose a letter to The President requesting to secede from the union and that he did!…one week before another governor took office.  Gist basically left this letter on the desk of the oncoming governor so as to avoid being credited with its implications.  As it turns out, Governor Gist had to sign the secession letter (incidentally, the smallest signature) since it was he who was politically instigated the movement.  Hence, ultimately, The Confederacy was born and shortly thereafter, The Civil War ensued. Plantations were and are a way of life in the south.  The economy was built on them.  At one time, the plantation owned and operated upwards of 9000 acres including a blacksmith shop, a wood shop, a boat works, rye, oats, cotton, mutton, and several other things is now a beautiful 44 acre state historic site surrounded by an amazing array of birds and woodland (and snakes, most notably Frank, the 9 foot rat snake!) held together basically by the park ranger who lives on site and gives tours while he pursues his dream of making history himself by restoring this beautiful little slice of American History.




  1. Hey guys! Is your adventure taking you through North Cackalacky? We’d love to see you, and if you need to stay a few days and fix that drip it would be just fine 🙂

    • Dude! I should’ve got in touch with you sooner. we were fricken plannin on it but we were up there right when the big storm that shut down atlanta was cruisin through. we got laid up in Dahlonega, GA for 4 days. was a good mellow deal though…and were plannin on swinging through after that but the f’n weather just made the decision for us to try to get further south. stayed with Hamm for a few days in Cocoa Beach. so now we’re in tampa for the Gasparilla Festival and we’re headin to Key Largo and Key West for the next week…off to the Everglades for a few days of backcountry everglades campin. should be pretty neat…so bummed we weren’t able to stay with ya, dude!

      there’s always gonna be a drip to fix! 😀

      talk to ya soon, dude. if you’re headin out of town somewhere south and west let us know! there’s room for four! 😀 (have to leave the kids at the grandparents…)

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