Riding Easy - Sunday, Jun 6, 2010

As had been our custom on Sunday mornings, we took a long bike ride. Normally, we push ourselves a little and get a good aerobic work-out. Today was different! Both of us had “tired” legs – me, from a long strenuous bike ride Saturday and Nancy from working 8 hours in outside garden at Home Depot in the 90+ degree heat yesterday.

We decided to ride easy and take some photos of Sandy Island Boat Landing and Huntington Beach State Park.  The next photo shows our route to give you some perspective.  We started at Huntington Beach and rode to the Sandy Island Boat Landing.  The pink straw in the picture shows you the location of the community of Sandy Island which is across the Waccamaw River.

As we left Huntington State Park and crossed the salt marsh, we took the picture below of wading birds and alligators.  All the things that looks like logs are really alligator!  Hard to believe the birds still hang out there! 

We pedaled south along the bike trail adjacent to the Hwy 17 and then turned right on Sandy Island Road towards the landing.

Sandy Island Boat Landing

The text in blue that follows is from the Internet...

Sandy Island, South Carolina

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sandy Island is a small unincorporated community in Georgetown County, South Carolina, United States, and a larger island between the Pee Dee and Waccamaw Rivers that has been preserved as a refuge and nature center.

The island itself is about 9,000 acres (36 km²) of a prehistoric sand dune bounded east and west by the rivers, on the north by Bull Creek, and on the south by Thoroughfare Creek.

The northern part of the island is higher and is mostly a longleaf pine forest, which provides a refuge for the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker and numerous other species of plants and animals. About 9,000 acres (36 km²) of the island has been purchased by The Nature Conservancy for permanent protection from development.

On the southern, lower end of the island are the remnants of old rice plantations, with the watergates and canals that previously managed the water supply. A small community exists there also, which consists of a few families that are descendants of former slaves that still work the rice fields. Since there is no bridge to the island, workers and school children have to go by boat each morning to the mainland for work and school.

The island is also visited by naturalists, plantation owners, archaeologists, and geologists because of the resources it provides. Daily "scenic" boat rides are a feature of Brookgreen Gardens which is across the Waccamaw from Sandy Island.

Here are some photos of the boat landing and boats used by the inhabitants of Sandy Island.

View down canal to Waccamaw River (perhaps a future kayak trip)

Boats of Residents of Sandy Island

Sandy Island School Boat transports school children each day!

I believe this boat must be out of commission!!

As we were preparing to head back to the state park, we saw this couple preparing to kayak.  They were using one regular kayak and a new blow-up kayak...think we might be back with the kayak!!

Heading home we past through the swamps.  To be politically correct, they are know as wetlands.  They look like the Everglades to me and I think "Swamp" describes them better than wetlands.  As we rode by, we heard the deep bellow of a "gator!" If you have never heard that noise, it sounds like a REALLY  BIG bullfrog. Not a place I want to hang out for too long!!                

Once back on the bike trail, we headed north of the state park entrance towards Murrells Inlet.  We rode to the end of the trail, stopped on the bridge over the marsh and then turned back to Huntington.   

Bike trail north of State Park entrance.

Bike Trail Bridge over Salt Marsh

View from bridge over Salt Marsh.

We headed back to the state park and intended to take pictures of its many attractions.  However, the batteries were running low on the camera so we only have a few to share....another time, we will share more.  This really is a beautiful park!!

Campground Check-in Building

Campground Dump Stations

Main Campground Loop

Nature Center Boardwalk Entrance

After we got home, Nancy went to work and I played golf.  With temperatures in the mid 90's, I obviously had the better time.  After golf, I sprayed the inside of the house for bugs and watered the vegetable garden.  Not too much work, but enough to say I did something useful.

Most of you know (and those who don't, know now) that I am inept in the kitchen.  About the only thing I can do with confidence is nuke a baked potato in the microwave and make a dynamite salad.  So on the days Nancy works late, you know what I am eating!!  However, today I was lucky! Nancy had made hamburger gravy, mashed potatoes, peas and coleslaw on Friday night so all I had to do was microwave the leftovers...Life is Good!

I got to thinking about just how good life is....  We are both looking forward to the next 12 months or so.  Hopefully, we sell our house, figure out where to live until we go full timing, retire from work, plan and take a trip to Alaska, buy our home on wheels and start the next leg of life's journey.  As Nancy always says, "It is not about the destination, it is about the journey!"


  1. Thanks for showing Huntington Beach State Park. We've stayed at the campground in the spring the past couple of years and we love it. We've stayed at Myrtle Beach State Park a few times also and prefer Huntington because it's a little more nature oriented.
    The gator growl would get me moving faster no doubt. Enjoy the journey.

  2. Very cool pictures! Enjoyed this post a lot! We will be going down the Eastern Coastline in the Fall, this looks like an area we would really enjoy seeing :)

    -Mike & Heidi
    97 Roadtrek 170P "Taj Ma Trek"

  3. With all those gators I think I'd use an amphibious tank instead of a kayak!