Sunday, May 29, 2016

Foot Trip

I spent a restless night in South Carolina. But the first night always is. I'm not sure if it's the excitement or the unfamiliar mattress. But I was awake about every hour on the hour. I finally gave up and went downstairs for a cup of coffee and to read my book.

About 6:30 a.m., Carla joined me. She took the dog out and then we watched the Weather Channel. The is a yet unnamed tropical depression that will come ashore in South Carolina this weekend.

Sidebar: With the rain and rip currents, that kinda sucks for all the people flocking to Myrtle Beach this holiday weekend!

Jake had a cup of coffee and then went out to cut the back yard grass. I went and shaved, showered and dressed for our morning adventure: A hike through the Congaree Nation Park.

Sidebar: Congaree National Park preserves the largest tract of old growth bottomland hardwood forest left in the United States. It is in a floodplain (read that as swamp, lol). The lush trees growing in this floodplain forest are some of the tallest in the Eastern U.S., forming one of the highest temperate deciduous forest canopies remaining in the world.

Large animals possibly seen in the park include bobcats, deer, feral pigs, feral dogs, coyotes, armadillos, turkeys, and otters. Its waters contain interesting creatures like amphibians, turtles, snakes, alligators, and many types of fish, including bowfin, alligator gar, and catfish.

Sidebar: We saw a heron, some squirrels and three lizards.

In the higher elevations, there are dirt paths, some originally made by escaped slaves and moonshiners. But, we took the boardwalk through the flood plain, itself, after stopping at the Visitor's Center for a much needed bathroom break.

The Mosquito Meter looked favorable (hey, it's a swamp, right?).

Actually, I never saw a mosquito. It was the flies that annoyed me!

Anyway, I'll let the photos do the talking for a while.

These are cypress knees

More cypress knees.

Heron in the backwater of Weston Lake
Weston Lake was once a bend in the Congaree River. Now it's what's called an oxbow lake.  The river changed direction, leaving it behind. The lake is slowly filling in with clay and organic debris. When I learned that, I felt bad for mocking it.

Sidebar: In my defense, coming from the Great Lakes, it wasn't much of a "lake."

Weston Lake

Heron, who put his head down just at the wrong moment!

Weston Lake overlook (closed at the moment)

Last shot of Weston Lake

Dwarf palmetto

You are about 30 feet up along this stretch of walkway, so it's fenced in better.

All in all, we walked for 2.4 miles. I was entranced with the park, but happy to see the Visitor's Center (and the bathroom) at the end!

Then we headed out on the long ride home. We stopped on the post, so Jacob could show me the lake (the one where the damn had broken, if you remember). The damn still has not been repaired and the fertile lake bottom now has grasses and weeds growing some three to four feet high!

We also stopped and picked up some barbecue for tonight's dinner.

Back at home, we found it still hadn't rained here yet. Post was wet when we drove through it. I changed out of my sweaty clothes and had a light lunch.

I spent most of the afternoon on the couch with my feet up (resting them).

Carla warmed up the take out and we ate from a buffet of ribs, pulled pork, chicken gizzards, french fries, potato salad and coleslaw. Excellent!!!

We watched a little TV, but I went to bed early. I was tired!!!

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