Posts Tagged With: South Carolina

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?

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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.

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Backroads Across America: Scenes From the Rearview Mirror

Today was a turning point…literally.  This morning we headed left out of Hickory Knob State Park Campground, where we spent the last two nights, and watched as South Carolina disappeared behind us.  Today marks the point of our trip when we get serious about heading west and eventually returning home to Oregon.


Hickory Knob was a perfectly fine place for our two night stay, although neither Reg nor I could put a finger on why we didn’t love it.  Our site (pictured above) was tidy and spacious, surrounded by trees – I assume some were hickory trees – and the bathrooms were clean.  I gave my hair a good sudsy wash and powerful blast from my blow dryer, which was a real treat!  


From our campsite, we  walked nearly all of the 7-mile Lakeview Trail Saturday morning, following a part of the shoreline of (controversially named) Strom Thurmond Lake, a 71,000-acre reservoir forming the border between South Carolina and Georgia.  The sheer size of the lake is unbelievable and it appears to be a fisherman’s paradise.  It felt good to lace up the hiking shoes and follow the blue markers along the dirt trail.  As a reward for our enthusiasm, we lazed around the campsite for the rest of the afternoon!


This morning, on a road as straight as an arrow, we aimed for Asheville, North Carolina where we hope to stay dry during our four-day visit.  As South Carolina vanished in the rear view mirror, we wondered what new adventures await us on the return trip.


Categories: Backroads Across America | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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