Today began and ended as a beautiful day with a number of interesting learning opportunities. The objective was to reach Charleston and on the way, look for anything we could learn about he Gullah culture. So, we had a quick, light breakfast at the Red Roof Inn we stayed at. We then departed with the GPS set and the compass headed south on Rt. 17.
Blue skies, light traffic and the temperatures easing up toward the 70-degree (F) mark made for a great day to be on the road. We left Wilmington, crossed into South Carolina and stopped to gas up. As we left the gas station we saw this building with this sign. It struck us funny. It speaks for itself.
The driving was good and matched up with nice scenery on this Blue U.S. Highway.
We kept noticing large plumes of smoke off in the distance. It turns out they were controlled burns throughout the pine forests. The forest service cleans up all the underbrush, I imagine to prevent more serious wild fires during the dry season when places like this become tinderboxes.
Here's a picture of what is left after a controlled burn. This will regenerate itself and become an even more lush forest in the future.
We also made a stop and drove around Pawley's Island, where we understood we'd find some of the Gullah culture we were looking forward to learning more about. Unfortunately, rental cottages and condominiums populated the entire island. No Gullah culture in evidence.
We reached the first stop on our trip to Charleston. It's a pretty, historical town named Georgetown. Here we're approaching downtown.
Here are some other photos of the historic Main Street district of Georgetown. Most of the buildings are on the National Register of Historic Properties.
How about finding a beautiful example of an old Art Deco movie theater, the Strand. And, it's still in operation.
After leaving Georgetown and continued driving south, we continued looking for vestiges of Gullah culture. We saw a sign for Hampton Plantation, now a state park, and decided to check it out. Hampton was a huge rice plantation operating from approximately 1730. Here is a photo of what living in luxury during the mid 1750's through the 1800's.
After several more disappointments in our search for anything to do with the Gullah culture we arrived at our objective for the day, Charleston, as we crossed this beautiful, modern suspension bridge into the city of Charleston, South Carolina.
We drove downtown to the historic district, parked the van and walked around until we found a small, Mediterranean bistro near the University of Charleston. It filled the bill for a light dinner at a very moderate price.