Sculpted From History

Once home to a rambling rice plantation, 2500+ acre Huntington Beach State Park transformed into a beautiful seaside getaway when the when the state of South Carolina took over in 1960. Our week here was filled with exploration; walking the sandy beach, hiking through the woodlands and searching the marshes for a glimpse of the dreaded alligator.

The park is also home to Atalaya Castle, built as an escape from the cold winter months by successful businessman Archer Huntington and his renowned, sculptor wife Anna Hyatt Huntington. Soon after the couple purchased the land in 1930, work began on the castle and the adjacent Brookgreen Gardens. The 30-room home was built around two courtyards, separated by a central corridor. For a small fee, curious folks, like us, can tour the interior, a few outbuildings and a small historical display.

Brookgreen Gardens is part botanical gardens and part indoor/outdoor sculpture garden. We were lucky to catch the Rodin exhibit featuring many of his bronze works.

Fortunately for you all, my camera battery died, otherwise I’d probably have even more photos to share. Here are just a few of the 2700 sculptures, by 425 artists, displayed among the grounds.

This may be the most beautiful state park we’ve ever stayed in…certainly one of the top five. However, we have miles to go and many more places to see before we’re home. Where to next?

Categories: Road Trips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Miles and Miles of Sandy Beach

Not quite barefoot weather, but with the Atlantic Ocean in our backyard, we couldn’t resist beginning our week’s stay at Huntington Beach State Park with a nice long walk. We gawked at all the waterfront “cottages” just out of reach (usually) of the high tide line, although there must have been a recent storm with rough seas. Many of the private deck stairs had been, or were in the process of being rebuilt.

Categories: Road Trips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Somewhere in North Carolina

Today we picked up Minnie, our little vacation home on wheels. After 10 days on the road, we are more than happy to to leave hotel life behind.

Reg directed the truck toward the blue sky and we were off.

It took awhile to clean and organize our space, but we’re already feeling pretty much at home. Reg and I have always battled over the thermostat, so while the wind howled outside, I bundled up to keep warm. Reg poured a cold drink and celebrated our return to traveling with Minnie, anticipating the adventures that await.

Categories: Road Trips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Gateway to the West

The day was gloomy, but we set our sites on exploring the National Historic Landmark known as the Gateway to the West. The Gateway Arch stands on the banks of the Mississippi River and towers 630 feet over the city of St. Louis, Missouri. It’s the world’s tallest arch and Missouri’s tallest accessible building.

The arch stands as a monument to the United States’ 19th century westward expansion. The Missouri-based routes, the Oregon, Mormon and California trails together are known as the Emigrant Trails. It’s estimated that between 350,000 and 500,000 men, women and children traveled west between 1843 and 1869 on these three trails.

The museum at the arch covers over 200 years of westward expansion history and is free for all visitors. We had purchased tram tickets, so we saved the museum for after our ride to the top.

Arch construction began in 1963 and was completed in 1965. As a nod to the times, we were asked to stand on this spot of far-out looking Love Bug daisies while we watched a short video. Neither Reg nor I had any idea what to expect as we waited for the tram. Heeding the warning not to bump our heads climbing through the four-foot steel-framed door, we were off on our rickety ride.

We had our five-seater tram pod all to ourselves. Looking through the door window, it appeared that there was just enough room to squeeze between the walls. The four-minute ascent was over right about the time I began to worry about the “what ifs.” What if we get stuck…how will we ever get out of here? What if the cable snaps? When was the last safety inspection?

Ducking out of our tram pod, we climbed a few steps to the top of the arch. Looking out to the west the view took in the city of St. Louis. The green dome you see in the first slide show photo (above) is the Old Courthouse, the site of the Dred Scott case, first brought to trial in 1847. To the east, in the third photo, the Mississippi River creates the border between Missouri and Illinois.

Soon our time was up and we headed back down the stairs to catch our ride to the bottom. Shouts from above directed us to stand on the yellow bars, allowing incoming passengers to disembark. A speedy three-minute ride down returned us to where we began. After a look through the museum, it was time for coffee and a snack.

Categories: Road Trips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

We Found OurThrill…

Taking a rest from our mad dash across the country, we planned two nights in St. Louis, looking forward to a day for stretching our legs and seeing the sites. We eventually realized we had landed in a special place; The Delmar Loop.
Reg was skeptical as we set out to find dinner. Our little stretch of Delmar Boulevard felt, shall we say, a little rough around the edges.

It didn’t take long for Blueberry Hill Restaurant and Music Club to crush any misgivings either of us had. The St. Louis Landmark is part restaurant, part concert venue and part museum.

The most incredible tidbit of history we learned was a connection the legendary Chuck Berry had to Blueberry Hill. As a native of St. Louis and friend to owner Joe Edwards, he played over 200 monthly concerts at the venue from 1997 – 2014. We were told they were always on a Wednesday, and always a packed house.

In the 1970s businessman and developer Joe Edwards spearheaded a movement to revitalize the stretch of street known at the Delmar Loop. He opened BlueberryHill in 1972. His accomplishments since that time have been remarkable.


After finishing dinner, we were surprised to see the neighborhood had come alive with crowds spilling out of bars and restaurants. That was the vibrant, eclectic neighborhood we were expecting.

Shining above Delmar Loop is the Moonrise Hotel, and it was our home for two nights. I should have taken more photos. While the lobby sports some pretty groovy mid-century modern furniture, it’s the glowing, psychedelic staircase that steals the show. Multiple display cases are chock full of space-themed memorabilia…all in all, very 1960-ish.
It’s been quite an evening and we have an entire day tomorrow to rest up for. It’s going to take something pretty spectacular to compete with all this!

Categories: Road Trips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

OKC Is Okay With Us

Canal rides are available along the Bricktown Canal.

I’ve always loved Oklahoma (the musical that is) but Reg and I had never given much thought to visiting the Sooner State…until this trip. Oklahoma City happened to be in the right place, at the right time for an overnight stop on our eastward journey.

Our reservation at the Hyatt Place in the Bricktown entertainment district was the perfect blend of comfort and fun. Just steps outside the door an entire neighborhood of shops and restaurants awaited. Bricktown is also the site of Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, home of the Oklahoma City Dodgers – the city’s minor league baseball team.

Dinner was another high point of our short stay. Pearl’s Crabtown wasn’t fancy, but we had been assured the seafood was top notch. Even on a Monday night the place was hopping.

So, at the end of the day, Oklahoma City soared to the top of favorite city of the trip…so far.

Next stop: The Moonrise Hotel which promises to “bring us out of our world for an unforgettable experience!” I hope you can join us!

Categories: family travels, Road Trips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Saving Minnie

Minnie has been parked in Virginia since last June, patiently waiting for us to decide her fate.

If you’ve followed our adventures, you may remember that we left Minnie in a storage yard in Virginia last June. At the time, we thought we might sell our Ashland home and move east, but when our sale fell through and the housing market followed down the hole, we decided to stay put. At least for now.

It was a long summer spent waiting for potential buyers to make an offer, all the while missing our portable coastal summer home. Rather than spend January stuck under dreary, cold overcast skies, we made the decision to head east to retrieve Minnie and bring her home by way of the warmer southern states.

But first, we had to drive through California during one of the rainiest winters on record.

Once we reached the Central Valley (and the torrential rain cleared) we could enjoy what weeks of drenching had left behind. Acres of gorgeous green grasses covered the normally parched fields and hills from Sacramento to Bakersfield.

The storms were not finished with the West Coast, but keeping a close eye on the weather it appeared we could safely reach Flagstaff, Arizona on Interstate 40, saving us at least a day and a half of driving farther south to Interstate 10.

Peanut butter and jelly from the ice chest, enjoyed at a roadside stop.

After an uneventful drive to Flagstaff, where hotels were not only booked up, but out of this world expensive, I madly scrambled to find a room, booking a hotel that had a restaurant so meals would be close by…just in case the 1-3 inches of snow that was predicted arrived overnight.

What a surprise we woke up to. The Flagstaff airport reported 17 inches of snow. Pretty close to a foot greeted us, creating a giant snowball of anxiety. Fortunately, Reg had a pair of gloves in the truck and the hotel staff loaned him a shovel and assured him the roads ahead were clear. I like to think I did my share, packing up our room and loading our bags on the luggage cart…then pushing the luggage cart down the snow-lined path to load into the truck. What an adventure as we forged on ahead to Albuquerque where we had plans to have dinner with friends.

Clear skies ahead!

After just two days of driving, we’re off to quite start. What could possibly happen next?

Categories: Road Trips, Travels With Minnie, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Maine or Bust 2022: Around The Country Roundup

The state of Nevada stretches out ahead of us on our marathon drive home.

It’s been nearly a week since we arrived home, enough time to feel as though we never left. Funny how that works. Although we’ve made two other trailer trips across the country, this was by far our most ambitious, spreading from as far south as Sedona, Arizona and north into the state of Maine.

For years Reg and I discussed the wisdom of a truck and trailer purchase. It’s nearly impossible to justify the cost, so when we finally decided to take the plunge, we promised each other we would use it…a lot.
In the 6 years we’ve been trailer owners, we’ve done a pretty good job of keeping that promise. Thinking back through all our trips we figure we’ve spent the equivalent of 14 months worth of nights snuggling in a bed that is really just a little too small to be truly comfortable.

So, how did we fare on our 2022 road trip? Not bad considering all the doom and gloom reports of high gas prices (they were) and limited campground availability (they weren’t).

March 9 – First day on the road.


● Number of days on the road – 107

● Number of nights spent in campgrounds – 84

● Average cost per night – $58.00

● Miles traveled – 13,000

● Number of gas fill-ups – 45

● Total gallons purchased – 925+/-


Our cheapest gas was in Amarillo, Texas where we filled up for $3.40 per gallon on April 5.
Our most expensive gas was at Stove Pipe Wells in Death Valley where we paid a whopping $6.09 per gallon. Needless to say, we added just 6 gallons, enough to get us back to civilization and a somewhat more palatable gallon price of $4.69.

Our most affordable campsite was in Ozark, Arkansas, an Army Corp of Engineers site that set us back $9.00 a night. We spent two nights.
The biggest campsite splurge was in Williamsburg, Virginia where we were promised a lovely, large, quiet campsite for $108.00 (!) per night. When it turned out to be an equally short distance from a busy highway and a train track that ran commuter trains at all hours, Reg complained and got us a bit of a refund. This is all part of the fun…

53 days of hikes or walks for a total of 222 miles.

5 days of bike riding for a total of 79 miles…We had hoped to do more.

In the 6 years we’ve been trailer camping, we’ve visited 44 of our 50 states. It’s not likely we will add Hawaii to our list. Will we ever add North Dakota, Florida, Delaware, Rhode Island and Alaska? It’s hard to say. For now, Minnie is taking a well-earned rest, parked in Ashland, Virginia where she awaits our return to take her on another tour of the eastern seaboard.

Categories: Maine or Bust 2022 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Maine or Bust 2022: I’m Tired and Ugly

After several marathon days along the road home I decided to hold a little pity party. “I’m tired and ugly,” I complained as we crossed yet another state line. ”My hair needs cutting, my bum is sore from all this sitting and I’m bored!”

The road home is a long one.

Not that I’m complaining about our trip. It’s been a great trip. We’ve seen so much of this big, beautiful country of ours and we’ve visited with family and friends, so I know how fortunate Reg and I are.

It won’t be long now…but if only we could just blink and be home.

Categories: Maine or Bust 2022 | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Maine or Bust 2022: The End or the Beginning?

Tomorrow we pack up our memories and say goodbye to Maine, a state we’ve dreamed of visiting for years. How lucky we were to visit beautiful Acadia National Park before the real crowds of summer arrive.

Acadia National Park – Ocean Path

Friends Jeannie and Jeff came up to spend our last day with us at our cozy cabin. After a short walk, we lunched, laughed and enjoyed the view from the porch as a rain shower passed over. All too soon it was time to say goodbye…or should I say, until we meet again.

While this feels like the end of our trip, we still have over 3,000 miles to drive before reaching home. I think we’re both ready!

Categories: Maine or Bust 2022 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: