Hunting Island Beach - just you and your footsteps
It’s the crunch of sand under your feet, the feel of fine grains running through your toes, the smell of salt and the melody of the ocean in your ears. It can soothe you to the deepest sleep, lull you into a silent meditation or send you bounding like a wild, happy kangaroo down the shore. It’s the beach, and here is South Carolina it’s oh-so-baby-beautiful.
Hunting Island is one of the hundreds of Sea Islands on the Carolina coast. This little 5,000 acre paradise sits ~15 miles east of Beaufort, SC and was once a popular hunting preserve. It boasts 4 miles of pristine beach, a deep forest, a cool 19th century lighthouse (only $2 to climb), and endless hours of romance with your honey.
Funky low-tide striations
I haven’t seen beach this nice, this dog-friendly (pooch is welcome everywhere) or this deserted in years. There’s a few folks out, but most mornings and we have the place entirely to ourselves. We’ve spent a sublime week walking the shore, playing in the water and absorbing the beauty of the ever-changing sea and sand.
It just goes to show, you never know what kind of hidden treasures you’ll unwrap on the road. Can’t wait to see what our wheels bring us next…
- Hunting Island Lighthouse
So much sand, so much blue....
Wild and wonderful
- Happy hubby, happy doggie
De Wey Wi Speak, Duh De Wey Wi Lib”
(The way we speak is the way we live – Lowcountry Gullah)
Gorgeous Hunting Island. The dunes protect the sea turtle eggs.
We’re in deep Lowcountry and the center of the Gullah culture. It’s a region entrenched with history and racial tensions intermingled with stunning beach’s and virgin coastline. These are the Sea Islands of the Carolinas they’re a totally unique experience.
The broad, flat “Low Country” is a tide-influenced coastal area extending from ~70 miles inland through swampy inlets, marshes and rivers to hundreds of islands speckled along the coast of South Carolina. With its rich soils it’s one of the epicenters of North American plantation history, from large rice plantations in the early 1700′s to cotton in the 1800′s. During the boom-time thousands of African slaves were bought in to labor the fields, and on the isolated coast they preserved their Gullah culture, a combination of Creole language and West African cultural heritage.
Lowcountry wilderness; inlets, marsh and forest
It took until 1960 to see the end of segregation in the region, and you still see a lot of the history in the region. The local population clearly remember the days of past, and many areas still show a stark separation between the poorer and richer communities. Much of the coastal wilderness stands apart and pristine and has kept a strong link to Gullah culture. It’s one of the last developed frontiers of the Atlantic with broad, stunning white beach’s set against a thick interior forest brimming with deer, racoon and wildlife.
The Gullah Grub Restaurant on St Helena Island serving old-fashioned shrimp and grits
We’ve spent the past week roaming the wild beach’s, exploring the coastal towns and talking to the locals. We’ve been amazed at the beauty of the area, as well as the warm Southern welcome we’ve been given by everyone we’ve met.
As the locals would say “you don’t come here to hide away, you come here to hear, feel and touch our story”, and it’s a story worth touching, indeed!
Posted in General Musings & Travel Tales, SC
Tagged beach, coast, Gullah, Hunting Island, inlets, Low Country, marsh, SC, sea island, South Carolina, St Helena, wilderness
Strolling on the Atlantic...even better than we imagined!
Well, I’m jumping ahead a bit here but I’m just so darn excited I can’t help it! After ~4,700 miles, open desert, high mountains, deep woods, grassy plains and what seems like a lifetime of experiences we’ve reached the East Coast and dipped our feet in the Atlantic Ocean. Whoo hooo!
It’s been one thumper of a ride. There’s been moments of deep awe, moments of doubt and cursing bugs, and moments of profound beauty, but I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.
When we made the plan to go East we envisioned ourselves arriving on a huge white beach and running in the ocean with Polly. Little did we know that our vision would be so potent. So, here we are…coast to coast, sand in our feet, stunning beach stretching to the horizon, the wind in our hair…and already planning how we’ll go West next year.
All I can say is this life is really addicting….
The whole journey...coast to coast
Posted in General Musings & Travel Tales, SC
Tagged beach, Camping, East Coast, Hunting Island, roadmap, RV, SC, South Carolina, travel, USA, West Coast, West to East