Givhans Ferry State Park, South Carolina

Good morning! The weather has turned sunny and cold here in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Although it rained while we were at the state park, the sun came out yesterday morning when we drove off. When we brought in our slides, they scraped ice off the canvas that covers their tops.

We knew there'd been snow in Atlanta before we arrived, but it was mostly gone when we drove into the park. Just a little remained in some of the shaded areas. This is something you never want to see when you're towing a big rig like ours.

For the next couple of posts, I'm going to catch up on the things I haven't told you, and so we're backing up to last Wednesday when we left the South Carolina coast and drove west to Givhans Ferry State Park. We chose it because of its proximity to Charleston, but also because the state parks tend to be less expensive while also providing hook-ups. Givhans Ferry gave us water and electric, but not the sewer connection we were expecting.

We can do fine without a sewer connection, but we can't do laundry, and so we've arrived here in Georgia with a hamper full of laundry to get through. Two loads down, several more to go. (It's a small washer.) We were in among the trees, but our satellite antenna still managed to find home and we were able to watch some television while the rain came down.

Givhans Ferry State Park sits at the end of a 23-mile long stretch of the Edisto River known as the Edisto River Kayak and Canoe Trail. It begins at Colleton State Park. (I'll say more about that in a minute.) We'd already been to the quilt shop in Summerville (and, yes, I'll tell you about that soon!). We'd also picked up some groceries while we were in town. When the rain let up for a time, we got out and hiked one of the two park trails.

It rained on us the whole time, but being under the forest canopy helped some, leafless though it was. As you can see, the leaves had given themselves over to the forest floor, and a few hangers-on drifted downward from time to time.

We walked up steps...

and along the bluff overlooking the river for a short distance.

Eventually, the trail turned away from the river and took us back farther into the woods. It was easy enough to follow, but it's still reassuring to see the trail markers. We kept an ear out for any dueling banjos.

Eventually we crossed over a bridge.

And there was nothing particularly unique about this hike, but it was still good to get outside and enjoy it. The one notable thing we saw...this little mushroom. You know me. I'll photograph every little thing.

All along the trail, we'd seen these markers with sets of numbers. We were trying to figure out what they were, thinking they might be marking off property lines or legal boundaries of some kind. Shortly before we approached this one, I started thinking they were marking distance along the trail, and then...voila! We had our answer.

And sure enough...there was the light at the end of the tree tunnel.

Mike said he saw a cat as he exited the woods, but it ran off before I could take its picture. Wise cat, because you know me and cats. Apparently word gets around.

We had to walk along the park road to get back to our campsite. Along the way, we passed this building, which serves as the park office and a meeting hall.

The structure was built by the CCC.

Along the left side of the building was access to the river, and so we walked down to take a look. No way could I fit this next sign into a picture, but it describes the canoe and kayak trail between Givhans Ferry State Park and Colleton State park.

And since I know some of y'all are interested in this kind of thing, I'm showing you the information about the canoe/kayak trail.

The Edisto River is the longest free-flowing, blackwater river in North America. Who among you was born during the 14th Century and can remember that great Doobie Brothers tune? Anyway, this got me interested in what constitutes a "blackwater river," and so I inquired of my friend Google. According to Google:

A blackwater river is a type of river with a slow-moving channel flowing through forested swamps or wetlands. As vegetation decays, tannins leach into the water, making a transparent, acidic water that is darkly stained, resembling tea or black coffee. Most major blackwater rivers are in the Amazon Basin and the Southern United States. . . . Not all dark rivers are blackwater in that technical sense. Some rivers in temperate regions, which drain or flow through areas of dark black loam, are simply black due to the color of the soil; [they are known as] black mud rivers. . . .Blackwater rivers are lower in nutrients than whitewater rivers and have ionic concentrations higher than rainwater. The unique conditions lead to flora and fauna that differ from both whitewater and clearwater rivers. (Source )

The park service has created a sandy beach here to the right of where I was standing.

On a sunny and warm summer day, we can imagine this is a nice place to hang out, swim, and soak up the sun. To the left, it looked like this:

Can you imagine a rope swing there where kids can swing out over the river and jump in?

From there, we walked back up to the park office where we could pick up a wi-fi signal from the porch. There were rocking chairs provided for sitting. Mike got onto Amazon and ordered some stuff to be delivered to us here in Georgia. We have some sight-seeing in mind here in Georgia, but mainly, we chose this park to be our temporary clearinghouse for some stuff we needed from home, and a few small purchases. Also, Mike purchased a part from a Ford dealer farther north, and we're expecting it to arrive while we're here.

While I was waiting, I noticed what appeared to be some flowers blooming from the hedge off in the distance. Walking up, they were azaleas. Who would have thought it in December?

This morning we're heading to the Georgia Aquarium, which was our biggest reason for coming here. We purchased our tickets online yesterday, choosing the early bird option, and that gave us a 20% discount. We're just a little way from Atlanta, on the east side of the city. There are some other things we'd like to see in Atlanta, and there are some things to see here in Stone Mountain as well. I'll tell you all about it as it happens. For now, I have a couple more posts to catch up on, and I'll be doing that as time permits. Before I go, however, I have to show you the Christmas lights we put up. It's a laser with a "wheel" that projects onto the side of the RV. We are just too cool for school. If you can't see the video, click right here.

9 comments from clever and witty friends:


Now you two are just plain into this traveling thing-
a laser Christmas show even --how cool is that!!!
enjoy the moments,di

CJ Smith said...

OMG! You've become the Griswolds!!!!

WoolenSails said...

It looks like you found a nice place to relax and use as base camp. Would love to head south for a month and enjoy being outside, was freezing here, yesterday.


Lynette said...

My grandfather was employed by the CCC for a while - they lived in a tent during those years, with two toddlers. I can't imagine. That mushroom has an interesting waxy appearance.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

HA!! The Griswolds!! Sometimes a hike in the rain is a happy place.

Brown Family said...

Even with the rain, it looks like a nice walk. You never know what is blooming in the south!
Love the laser lights. No one around here has that specific one!

piecefulwendy said...

The comments are making me laugh. I think you are not the Griswolds until you electrocute the cat(s). Haha. Interesting to read about the blackwater and, yes, I know that song. Hope that's all the snow you see. Enjoy the aquarium!

QuiltGranma said...

Hmmmm, nope I don't think any of us remember the Dobie brothers in the 14th century! oops and giggle!

quiltzyx said...

The ice shards, leaves and sand make a cool photo. Not so good for driving, I agree. After a week of temps in the 80s, Today is in the 60s, and windy again.

Fun Christmas lights. I haven't seen that pattern, but a few of my neighbors have those. One is a little mis-aimed, so I get a light show inside my car when I'm almost to my house!