– Savannah, Georgia to Charleston, South Carolina –

It rained a lot today. And our run was lame because the park we picked turned out not to allow dogs on the running path. With this, the lack of sidewalks, and the fatty and sweet foods at Whole Foods last night, my opinion of Savannah couldn’t be any lower. It’s not high on my list of cities to return to. I say this sitting in my hotel room in Charleston, of course, which is a lovely city, so it can’t just be something about the area. It’s just Savannah that’s so bad.

Our run was to be in a nice park. It was a small loop around a little pond, so not perfect, but better than everything else the exercise-unfriendly city of Savannah had to offer. Instead, we were forced to run on the .6 mile stretch of sidewalk that began and ended outside the running park on the road. Why didn’t it continue anywhere else, you might be wondering? I couldn’t say. Poor planning? I definitely think that must be the case. A drunk monkey with a head cold designed this city.

Weird dog…

Now that we all know my feelings on Savannah, we can talk about how we got out of it. After we’d showered and packed up, we drove over to Panera for a quick breakfast sandwich. Have you tried the egg and cheese on brioche they have at the moment? The egg is over easy, so when you bite the yolk, the yolk spills over the rest of the sandwich, and it is just the best breakfast thing ever, in case you were curious. It does need a little black pepper, though.

Breakfast done, we left Savannah (yay!) and headed north once again toward South Carolina, which is really just across the river. Both of today’s parks were in the Charleston area, so we spent most of the morning doing our driving up to Charleston.

Rain, rain, go away

It started to rain shortly after we left Savannah and did so on and off for most of the day. The rain was pretty heavy at times, and traffic was Charleston was heavy as well, making the drive a slow and careful affair. We stopped a few times to try to look around or visit a gas station. One stop had us cruising through the trees alongside a wildlife refuge, looking for the wildlife viewing area the signs promised us. We never found it, and we never viewed any wildlife either. Maybe they were hiding from the rain?

It’s strange, but even though the road is busy, it isn’t I-95 that takes you to Charleston, you have to take a smaller road to get over to it, whether you come in from the north or the south. The south road into town is only sparsely populated, which surprised me a little. I would’ve expected such a busy road to have a little more going on along the way, but it mostly felt pretty rural.

The visitor center for Fort Sumter

We rolled into Charleston just after 1pm (we were really taking our day slowly) and stopped at a Whole Foods for lunch. this one had chicken-fried tofu, which has been Mark’s white whale since the last time we found it in several Whole Foods in the south on a previous trip. He hasn’t seen it a long time, and was very excited to spot it today. I was more excited to find food that wasn’t all sweetened with something like last night’s Whole Foods adventure, myself.

We had to drive all the way through Charleston and off to the coast on the other side to get to the visitor center to Fort Sumter National Monument, which was closed, as we knew it would be. Still, we wanted to visit the area. We knew we weren’t going out to Fort Sumter, seeing as how the fort is on an island that requires a ferry, and dogs aren’t allowed. Still, it would’ve been nice to make it into the visitor center for a little information and a stamp. Today was the day I dreamed the government shutdown would’ve ended, but it is starting to look like we are really in this for the long haul.

Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge in Charleston

Across the river from Charleston is a satellite portion of Fort Sumter National Monument called Fort Moultrie. It has its own visitor center and everything, and is an intact fort, unlike some of the ruins we’ve been seeing at other parks on this trip. It’s closed, of course, but we were able to walk around outside, which is pretty cool.

In addition, Fort Moultrie is just across the water from the island where Fort Sumter is located, so we took our zoom lens out to get some photos of Fort Sumter, too. The rain had slackened a bit by the time we arrived at Fort Moultrie, so we unpacked the puppy and walked over to have a look around.

This is the biggest mortar I’ve ever seen

They had out quite a few huge cannons, many from the Civil War but some from the Revolutionary War as well. My favorite was the largest mortar I’ve ever seen, which had a 13-inch barrel and weighed in at a staggering 17,196 pounds. It wasn’t even the heaviest cannon there- one weighed 26,900 pounds. Isn’t that wild? Still, it looked pretty normal next to the mortar. Fort Sumter claims to house some of the rarest cannons and artillery in the world.

As I said, Fort Moultrie is just across the water from Fort Sumter, so it has its own beach, and the coast is protected from the water by a huge mound of old rocks and concrete blocks and pieces. It’s pretty cool, in fact. The beach is lovely as well. In the picture below, you can see the Arthur J. Ravenel Jr. Bridge, which is where we are planning to run tomorrow. I think running across the bridge might be the coolest thing we do for the whole trip. I hope they don’t ban dogs or something crazy.

Rain clouds on the beach

When we finished our tour of the outside of Fort Moultrie, we hopped in the truck and drove about a mile back into the little town where the park is on Sullivan’s Island and dropped down to the little public beach, where Mark had a look around and picked up more sand for his collection.

By the time he had finished, the rain was picking up again, and it rained pretty steadily as we drove the 15 or 20 minutes further north toward our next and final stop of the day at Charles Pinckney National Historic Site. That one is the site of an old plantation.

Fort Sumter in the distance

The man who built the plantation, Mr. Charles Pinckney, fought in the Revolutionary War and served as a delegate at the constitutional convention. He was also governor of South Carolina, among other things. I had actually never heard the man’s name before, but it turns out that he was quite important in U.S. history.

From what I can tell, the main house that exists now on the farm is not the original main house, but one built later by a new owner. Pinckney died in 1824, so it isn’t surprising that the home isn’t that old. This sparked me to look up what the oldest buildings in the U.S. are, so if you are curious, Wikipedia has a link. Pre-16th century buildings are all ancestral pueblos and native dwellings, and then those that date to the 16th century can all be found in Puerto Rico. In the 17th century, the first that are on the mainland are in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Mark and I have seen them both, and visited one. I’m having a hard time finishing my blog post because the list is so interesting. You guys should definitely finish the blog before you go read it.

Fort Moultrie

Anyway, Charles Pinckney National Historic Site was gated, so we had to park the truck in a little nook next to the entrance and walk back to see the buildings without Miss Ripley. She wasn’t particularly pleased, but it was still raining, so we didn’t want to spend too much time there, and thus she wasn’t invited.

We made a quick tour of the little park and got some photos of the plantation and the gorgeous trees around it. You really can’t beat this area for gorgeous trees, I have to say. The farmhouse looks too new to be particularly interesting, but the grounds are beautiful, and we had a good time despite the light rain. Mark had to sprint around for his pictures, since the camera battery was dying and he didn’t want to have to go back to the truck again for the spare.

Front view of Fort Moultrie

After Fort Pinckney, we started back towards Charleston, but not before stopping at a Marble Slab in Mt. Pleasant. Don’t tell our moms, but we had ice cream for dinner. I don’t know how people decide what to get in those places. You can get so many ice creams and so many toppings. It’s insane. Mark ended up with cinnamon ice cream with pecans, and I had cheesecake ice cream with brownie pieces. It’s it cool to be an adult and get to decide when ice cream is an appropriate dinner? Okay, maybe it is never an appropriate dinner, but it worked out okay.

From Mt. Pleasant we drove back down to our hotel in Charleston, which is right on the river. When you walk out the front door, you are only 100 yards from moored boats, and there’s a huge boat storage place next door to us, with rows of boats stacked 5 or 6 levels high in the air. It’s a neat spot, and our room is very nice.

Snee Farm House at Charles Pinckney National Historic Site

Tomorrow is a longer day with at least 2 parks on the menu, and up to 4 total, depending on how much time we have and how we are feeling. We’re going to go run across the huge bridge in the morning, which I think will be a blast. It looks like it is still pretty cold back home, and tomorrow will be the last day of our trip that it is warm enough to wear shorts. That makes me a little sad. I briefly considered begging to be taken back to Florida to spend the rest of winter.

– Trip Total : 1,750 miles

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