We left the busy, hectic, congested Myrtle Beach area and the huge campground for a bucolic spot an hour’s drive south in a national forest campground. There are only twenty campsites here and the park is full. We are using our Golden Age Passport to pay $10/night for a water/electric site, a considerable savings over the prime beach real estate in Myrtle. All the sites have a great view of the inland waterway. Barrier islands on the other side separate us from the sea and there are no beaches here. Probably that’s why things are so much quieter. There are large facilities for putting in a boat and we hear that things are much busier here during shrimping season, whenever that is. We read that it is fun to watch boats sailing up and down the inland waterway, but there really haven’t been any.
The campsite is on the former grounds of a rice plantation. Major fortunes were made around here before the Civil War growing rice with slaves doing all the heavy lifting. Nearby Hampton Plantation was a planter’s home during these times and today belongs to the state, which is struggling to preserve the enormous home which started as a farm house. The state park has decided not to bother furnishing the place and highlights the architectural details that show how the house was added on to over time. Camellias were blooming on the grounds; spring is definitely here.
Motor cycles are allowed at this campground, so our friend Mike finally got to take his off the rack and go for a ride. Although he took the training our state provides when he bought it, it’s all new to him and this quiet spot is a good place to practice. Because he doesn’t want to tow a car behind his small rig, the bike is supposed to be his transportation for running errands and buying groceries. But since he wasn’t allowed to ride in Myrtle, he’s had to rely on us.
After being surrounded by restaurants, stores, and traffic, the metropolis of McClellanville with 500 residents is a shock to the system. However, it has the quaint factor that was missing in Myrtle Beach. We wandered around the town taking photos and were pleased to see some new home construction. A friendly local lady stopped to ask why we were there and to recommend local restaurants. The one restaurant downtown features seafood and we were there for Mexican night. My bacon and shrimp quesadillas were great. A fleet of shrimp boats bobbed in the harbor, but there was no one around. This must not be the season.