Monday, April 18, 2011

SUN SETS ON ANOTHER LOW COUNTRY TRIP

The sun has again set on another trip to the Low Country of S.C.  The Navigator and I are back home and back to work digging out from the pile of duties that built up during our absence from work. The week long excursion to Folly was a fine gastronomical event with a smattering of cycling included.

Sunset at Folly!

(Pretty memories of this year’s Folly Beach excursion are all that remain…)

My final ride in the Low Country was on Thursday when I ventured off of Folly Island and utilized the bike lanes connecting James Island and Folly. The bike lanes are now in pretty poor condition where treaded heavy equipment has ridden across the lanes cutting grooves into the pavement. The signage indicating bike lanes has faded and grit and gunk were more plentiful on the road surface than I’ve seen in the past.

I wanted to ride over to Fort Lamar on James Island to see if there were any Civil War (The War of Northern Aggression to us Southerners) commemorations at the site as this was the 150th anniversary of the beginning of what remains the most costly war in terms of U.S. deaths in our history.

I took the western entrance to Fort Lamar Rd. from Folly Road. The entrance begins right at the end of the bike lanes to and from Folly. This is a residential area and initially runs along the marshes of the intracoastal waterway. Spring was quite evident as I cruised along the road. Azaleas were still in bloom and many folk had been doing their spring yard work. I passed a couple of residents working in their yard and received friendly welcoming waves from them.

I had visited this site on a previous Low Country trip so knew where to find it and generally what to expect. As before, I came into the gravel entrance of the area and discovered that there were no new monuments or plaques in place.

Secessionville Battle Monument

(Summary of the Secessionville Battle of June 1862)

Battle of Secessionville June 1862

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Stone marking site of the battle)

The area had been spruced up and a path cleared to one of the earthen bunkers that served to thwart the Federal troop advance in 1862. This time I noted a number of small signs affixed to trees and took a moment to read them. One warned that using metal detectors in the area is prohibited and the other banned bicycles. While the ban was not specific, I’m going to guess that the intent was to keep bicycles from riding around on the hallowed ground.

Having finished my reconnoiter of the area, I began my ride back home and enjoyed some of the residential roads that I had not previously ridden. The roads are named to fit the area. I pedaled along Garrison St., Battalion Dr., and Pickett St. Along this road, homes flew the American flag, the Confederate flag, and the State of S.C. flag. While stopping at a stop sign to check for incoming traffic, I received the only negative response from an automobile operator of the entire week. A “gentleman” looking to be somewhat my senior, blew his horn at me to get me out of his way while I was checking out the traffic before proceeding into another road of travel. I resolutely did not salute him with any number of fingers figuring that only one negative interaction out of an entire week wasn’t so bad.

Friday brought LOTS of incoming traffic along with more Spring Breakers. After watching numerous under age (appearing) youth drinking along the beach, on the way to the beach, parking their vehicles to go to the beach, I decided that it might not be the safest day to be enjoying cycling. We stayed at our rental and just enjoyed the last day of vacation.

Our trip home on Saturday turned out to be uneventful for the most part. We were keeping an eye on the skies as major league bad weather was predicted along the route we would be travelling. Tornado watches were out all across the piedmont of S.C. and N.C. We had awakened to rain and gray skies but the gods took mercy on us and let us travel home under bright blue skies. We managed to miss the terrible weather which really did turn out to be devastating especially in Eastern North Carolina.

So, we’re back, mostly rested, well fed, and ready to hit he ground again at home. Tomorrow brings a Basic First Aid training course for BicycleHaywoodNC and Thursday is our sponsored group ride for new and newly returning riders.

Gr8SmokiesZeke cap rides the LA River…

Gr8SmokiesZeke Cap

Bro Dave dropped me some images of my new Gr8SmokesZeke cap by Walz Caps along the L.A. River. Seen above on Bro Dave’s Salsa Fargo, he reports that he did not overheat while wearing it and got nary a drop of sweat in his eyes while riding. That is consistent with feedback that I’ve received locally from riders, who have purchased the cap. Yes, YOU too can be the proud owner of one of these 3 panel moisture wicking caps! Just click on the PayPal link on the right side of the blog and drop me $20.00 into my account (plus a minor s/h fee) and I’ll get one right out to you!

The caps really have a distinctive look separate and apart from all of the ball caps and cowboy hats that get worn around my home town.

Until later,

- Zeke

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