Sunday, April 1, 2012

IN THE LOW COUNTRY AGAIN!

End of Day Palm Sunday

(End of day – Palm Sunday, Folly Beach, SC)

Rain, miserable driving conditions, dangerous idiot drivers, wrecks, speed up, slow down, She-crab soup, sun breaking through, smooth Atlantic waters, crowds, more crowds, Bro Dave, leg loosening spin, double parking, young adults, public urination, the smell of Shrimp Boil in the air, Chef Richard at his best, Lyle Lovett easing the way…

What an interesting 48 hours it has been! Our annual adventure to Folly Beach, SC, the Edge of the World, is now 36 hours or so underway. The Navigator and I , along with our close friends in the Magic Circle, left our beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina on Saturday morning and headed southeast for 4.5 hours to the site of our annual spring rites. The trip down was started with a $3.99 per gallon gas fill-up with hopes of lower gas prices in South Carolina. Before even dropping off the escarpment of the Blue Ridge, we felt ourselves lucky to be alive or at least not being pulled from the crushed metal of a multi-vehicle wreck. An absolute IDIOT driver in a van, saving perhaps 5 seconds pulled into a gap between me and Il Plummer traveling at 70 mph on I-26. No more than one second separated us from taking the van out as it came into the space between us. I managed to brake just enough to keep from clipping her rear quarter panel as she tried to slip the van in between us. Of course, the vehicle behind me had to bow up as I bowed up, etc., etc. It was all I could do not to follow her off the interstate some five miles later as she exited the highway. I’m fully aware that nothing good would have come from that confrontation!

Unfortunately, that incident set the tone for the rest of our trip to the beach. It was, without doubt, the most stressful trip I’ve made to Folly in the many years we’ve been coming to this slice of paradise. We resembled an accordion throughout the trip as traffic responded to the speed up, speed down associated with wrecks, congestion, and construction. The Navigator and I were absolutely ready to see the Crab Shack roll into view as we hit Center Street. This weekend is both the beginning of Spring Break and the Cooper River Bridge Run so the entire area of Charleston, S.C. was packed.

We were very happy to get seated quickly and served some She-Crab soup as is our tradition upon arrival on Folly. The great soup and a cold libation took the edge off of the stressful trip and we made our way to our week-long rental along the beach. The rainy weather stayed with us through the evening but the promise of improved conditions became our reality this beautiful Palm Sunday morning.

The beach was packed as was to be expected on such a beautiful spring day during Spring Break. I ventured out for a short, leg loosening ride mid-afternoon.

East Arctic Ave

(The end of East Arctic Ave)

My ride astride my Salsa Fargo was pleasant and of short duration. The two lane road was bumper to bumper parking for the 2.5 miles up to the lighthouse road. Staying out of the “door zone” was definitely on my mind today. At the end of Arctic, the road is blocked by a gate leading to the lighthouse. I passed a number of folks as I pedaled past them to the end of the pavement.

Lighthouse Road

(Two walkers along the approach to the lighthouse)

At one point, I was approaching a couple walking down the middle of the road. I couldn’t pass on the left because of an approaching pedestrian so I announced myself and said I was coming around on the right to which, one of the two folks responded by stepping immediately to their right dead into my path. The companion pulled them back and said “I realized what was happening just a moment too late.” I had anticipated the possibility so there really wasn’t a close call. I laughed and said, “well, I did mean the other right.” We all had a good laugh and shared best wishes.

Shortly, thereafter, a young woman came out of the woods to my right and walked dead in front of me without even looking up. She was very lucky I wasn’t a car moving at any speed whatsoever or she would have been a hood ornament. It was after that near interaction that I decided this wasn’t the best day to be riding given the traffic and people seemingly oblivious to their space in the physical world.

This sort of leads to the public urination aspect of the story… Upon returning to our rental, we spent the rest of the daylight hours watching young adults and possibly teenagers getting intoxicated on the beach. At some point, it seemed as if their collective bladders had reached a level of fullness to which they responded by climbing over the dunes and urinating in front of us. Yep, a great Sunday afternoon at Folly sans law enforcement officers…

Fortunately, Chef Richard is hard at work in the kitchen preparing his famous (to us anyway) Shrimp Boil.

Chef Richard Babb in his element

(Chef Richard in his element!)

My olfactory sense is kicking in as the smells of shrimp, garlic, Andouille sausage, potatoes and corn mix and rise to the top level of our abode. Lyle Lovett is serenading us thanks to the musical selection of Il Plummer and his playlist for the week. Bro Dave has arrived from Los Angeles and we have plans to connect tomorrow. In the words of the T-shirt “Life is Good!”

From the Edge of the World,

-Zeke

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