Monday, April 27, 2009

Campout 2009! Edisto Beach, SC- Days 1 & 2

Every year, I plan and implement a large reunion-style campout for our near and extended family. Besides myself and Billy with our children, usual attendees are Aunts, Uncles, cousins, "adopted" cousins, and close family friends, with cameo appearances by Grandma, Grandpa and "Aunt P". It's car camping in established campgrounds. I alternate years: going to a mountain destination in the summer one year, and to a coastal destination in the spring the next year. So far, we've been to Cades Cove TN/NC (in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park), Jekyll Island GA (my photos here), Pisgah National Forest NC, and now Edisto Island, SC.
From Edisto Island Campout 2009


I was delighted with this year's campout! Edisto Island State Park was a gem of a place. I was particularly thrilled with our campsites, which were the walk-in sites located in the marsh-side campground loop.

The views were beautiful, there was a constant breeze from the marsh that kept all the gnats and mosquitoes away, and we had gorgeous (if chilly) weather the whole week!

We arrived a day early, along with Billy's lowcountry-resident sis and her party. We had cousin Dashi with us, whom my boys idolize.
From Edisto Island Campout 2009


It had been a long drive. The kids were excited! I loved the campsites. Ours had the perfect climbing tree for the boys (which Billy tied a rope swing to for even more fun)!
From Edisto Island Campout 2009

(Isn't that a GREAT tree?)

First order of business: hurry and set up camp. Setting up camp is always a flurry of activity, especially with a toddler around to get in the way!
From Edisto Island Campout 2009

But we managed, with Billy setting up our tents while I got dinner going. (Note to self: next year, pick up some take-out for the first night's meal!!)


Day 1 closed cold (lows in the 30s F that night!) and full of promise for the week to come!

Day 2 we donned our bike helmets, hooked the kids' trailer and bike seat to Billy's bike, and rode out to explore the network of paths running through the State Park. Billy was pulling quite a load!



From Edisto Island Campout 2009

(My bike's design makes it difficult to attach the bike seat or trailer. Lucky me!) ;)

The paths were wonderful- pretty flat, well-maintained, of packed sandy dirt alternating with boardwalks to cross the marshy places.
From Edisto Island Campout 2009


We rode out to the Edisto Beach Interpretive Center, which has some neat natural artifacts and interactive environmental displays. (If that link didn't work, go to http://www.dnr.sc.gov/video/misc_tv/videoEdisto.html for a cool video about the interpretive Center.) After exploring the building, we took the path out to the pier (my last Skywatch Friday photo was also taken here).
From Edisto Island Campout 2009

It was windy! Littleman's hair was going wild.
From Edisto Island Campout 2009

Afterwards, we enjoyed a picnic lunch before heading back to camp. By the time we got there, the rest of the group had begun arriving. Time to get dinner on and lend a helping hand!

Late that evening Billy towed the boys to and from the bath house to get them ready for bed. The moon was rising full and silvery, and though the air was chilly it felt fresh and invigorating. As soon as Littleman and Sweetcheeks were all tucked in (Babyman had gone to sleep some time before), Billy announced he was going for a bike ride. I had to stay with the kids, but my brother went along. When they returned, it was with wide eyes and breathless excitement over the experience. They had turned off their flashlights and let their eyes adjust to the night. The moon was high and bright, and the light sandy path seemed to glow before them in the dancing shadows. With such good visibility (and no other people around), they'd been able to zoom along at a fast clip, watching the palmettos whip by in the darker periphery, moving in and out of moonlight like minnows darting through sunlight-dappled shallows. Hitting the long boardwalk through the marsh, they'd felt like they were flying through the salty, windy night under that pearly moon.

We went to sleep that night happy.
From Edisto Island Campout 2009


(To read my account of Day 3, go here.)

2 comments:

Bird said...

Having now read all your Edisto beach trip posts, even if backwards, I'm really blown away by what you organised here. And the place is just so... beautiful. You really do live in a most gorgeous country.

Kit said...

Isn't it amazing? And I've only seen such a tiny percentage of it. . . I am so blessed that even within my little region of the country, there are so many different landscapes to explore. I hope we get to explore much, much more of it with our boys as well.

Of course, you live closer to some of the most beautiful countryside I've EVER seen- but you know of my love for Skye. ;) And besides, you have a remarkable and blessed talent for finding beauty around you, no matter where you are. :)