Wednesday, April 26, 2023 – We departed the Kings Bay Eagle’s Hammock RV Park at about 9:00am and arrived at the Joint Base Charleston RV Park (Family Camp) at about 3:00pm. We drove for five hours from Kings Bay Submarine Base, Georgia to Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina. The day was nice and the weather was fine. Temps in the mid-70s. Interstate 95 was pretty bad for abut 30 miles as we approached the turn to the south on Interstate 26. The Joint Base is with the air force base and the naval base in Charleston, but they are not co-located. This is quite interesting to me. There is also a Boeing plant here with lots of large Boeing aircraft in the area. Many of them look like the 737 MAX aircraft that were grounded for a while due to a tendency to pitch down inflight. The Family Camp here is filled up, so we managed the last overflow site next to the restrooms. We are hooked up to 30 amp service and could use their water, but we would need a long hose. We have enough hose, but decided to just use the water in our holding tanks for now. In about three days, we will move to a site with full services. They did not have any space available in the main camp or overflow, so they had us park in a pretty nice area next to the restrooms and showers. It had 30-amp service and water if we wanted to us it. We hooked up power, but just used the water in our storage tanks. After getting situated, we had a visit from Dave and Eileen Hate who own a beautiful VanLeigh “Volano “fifth wheel. We talked for quite a while and got to know them pretty well. We decided to go do some touring of Charleston in the days to come. Eileen is recovering from an incident where, while hooking up their truck to the RV, she broke her wrist. She had surgery on the wrist and now has a metal plate in her arm. Dave and Eileen are from Oklahoma originally, but are full-time RVers like us now. 

Thursday, April 27, 2023 – This was our day to move to a new site in the RV park. We had to wait for the current people in the site to depart. They, technically, had until 11:00am to leave, but they had decided to get on the road early. At 9:30, we moved Site 11 which was a large, easy-to-access site. It was beautiful too. We got to the site and set up the RV by around 10:30am. 

After set-up, we decided to head into Charleston to Patriots Point in the town of Mt. Pleasant. This is just across the bay from the peninsula of Charleston. Patriots point is the home of the carrier Yorktown Museum and the base for the ferry ride out to Fort Sumter in Charleston bay. We started out by touring the lower hangar deck of the Yorktown. This ship has been beautifully restored and is a floating museum. There are aircraft on the flight deck and more aircraft in the hangar deck. We were also able to explore the interior of the ship where the crew lived. It was amazing. Be sure to see the photos of the ship to get a better idea of what we saw. We had reservations for the ferry to take us to Fort Sumter at noon, so we left the Yorktown and walled to the entrance to the ferry. 

We boarded the ferry at noon for the 30-minute trip out into Charleston Bay to Fort Sumter. Fort Sumter was extremely well built to withstand considerable attack. It was the location of the very first shots fired in the Civil War. When it became obvious that a war was about to start, Captain Thomas Anderson took his 85 union troops from Fort Moultrie to the northeast of the fort and positioned them in Fort Sumter. The Confederate forces moved cannons into position on the east and west sides of the bay across from the island and gave Captain Anderson an ultimatum to surrender. He chose not to surrender. The Confederate forces began to strike the fort with artillery with the firing of over 1,000 rounds. Fort Sumter withstood the pounding and not one soldier was killed in the fort. Fearing that the powder room at the fort would be hit and with little food and munitions, Captain Anderson decided to surrender his troops and the Confederate forces took over the fort. There were many attempts to regain the fort by the Union forces, but the were all repelled. The Confederates even used semi-submerged boats with charges on a 15-foot pole to destroy Union ships. Many “Ironclads” tried to bombard the fort with no success. The best that the Union could do was to try to stop “blockade runners” from entering the bay. The history of the fort is impressive. It is only about half the size that it was originally due to all the bombing. The flag on the fort had 33 stars depicting the 33 states in the Union at that time. 

After our one-hour visit at the fort, we returned to the Yorktown area and went back out to the ship to continue our tour. We visited the flight deck and the bridge area where the ship and flying operations are controlled. It is an amazing ship and well worth the visit. There are many volunteers at the site too, to help you by answering questions. 

After leaving the Yorktown, we visit “The Vietnam Experience” museum adjacent to the Yorktown entrance. This is a good example of what it was like to be in Vietnam during the war. They have “hooches” or building where soldiers slept or ate. They have speakers positioned about the grounds that give you the feeling of helicopters coming and departing. They had videos on the Battle of Khe San and also the Tet Offensive. This was a very good opportunity to get a feel for what was going on during the Vietnam War. After departing “The Vietnam Experience,” we drove back to our RV for dinner and rest. 

Friday, April 28, 2023 – We decided to visit Drayton Hall which is a former rice and indigo plantation that was originally built in 1738. Drayton is the name of the family that built the house and owned this plantation as one of several. This plantation was under 1,000 acres in size, but overall, the Drayton family owned 78,000 acres of land. This is the only plantation house that was not burned down during the Civil War. Speculation was that the house was identified as a hospital and the cholera was present. The solders then avoided the house “like the plague.” The house has been “preserved,” but not “restored.” That means that the home has been structurally repaired to prevent deterioration of the home, but it has not been rebuilt to show the slendor of the time period in which it was built. We toured the small museum at the entrance to the grounds and then toured the home. Not furniture in the home, just open rooms. We started in the basement and then proceeded to the main floor. The basement is on ground level, so the main floor would be considered a second floor by many. We did not view the third floor. It was basically similar to the main floor and it was closed to touring at this time. After leaving the mansion, we walked to the channel where access to Charleston Bay was available. We then toured the rather large “Privy” or outhouse followed by the caretakers house. After leaving the Drayton Hall grounds, we went to a small sandwich nearby called Alvin Ord’s Sandwich Shop. The sandwiches were very food and very large. We both ate only half and saved the rest for another meal. The cost of the two sandwiches with one drink and chips was over $30 without a tip.

After lunch we went to a Trek bicycle shop to look at a “gravel bike” that I could use on dirt trails that we encounter. After looking at several bikes, we decided that the Trek Checkpoint would be a good match. It is basically a road bike set up to take wider tires up to 50mm. It comes with 40mm tires. There was not one in my size, so we decided to look further. They do rent these bikes for $100 per day, but I think that I only need a test ride to make my determination. We may go check one out after the rains stop on Monday or Tuesday. 

After checking out the bikes, we returned to the RV where I took a nap and Lisa went for a walk of over four miles. She is and over-achiever!! I also worked on the blog to update some photos. 

Saturday, April 29, 2023 – Today we decided, with Dave Hake and Eileen Birney, to head into Charleston to have breakfast and walk around the town. Dave and Eileen own a beautiful Volano RV by VanLeigh. They stopped by our RV to say “Hi” and we had a great conversation. We decided to do some local activities together. We drove to Charleston and had breakfast at the “Toast! All Day” restaurant before walking on the streets of Charleston to check out the beautiful homes. We also attended a farmer’s market where we saw lots of beautiful merchandise to buy. Unfortunately, we do not have a lot of room for storage or a distinct need for most of the items on sale. We also walked along the battery and beach area to see the “Pineapple Fountain.” Be sure to check out the photo gallery to see the beauty of the homes that we saw. After walking through town, we decided to drive to Sullivan Island and the Isle of Palms, but since it was 1:00 pm on a very nice day, the traffic was crazy with people trying to go to the beach. We aborted and returned to our RVs so that we could do other things. We, basically, relaxed for the rest of the day. It was a great day, weather-wise, so we sat outside the RV and soaked up the Sun.  Rain started falling in the evening, but we were nice an comfortable in the RV. 

Sunday, April 30, 2023 – It is a rainy day, so we are planning on just working on activities around the RV. I am working on the blog trying to get caught up with updating the photo gallery and the video gallery. Since the WiFi is not too great in this RV park, we decided to go to "The Tangier Outlets" where Lisa could shop and I could use the WiFi at the local Starbucks. I was able to upload quite a few photos to the blog and try to bring it up to date. Lisa found a few clothing items and we both had a good time.

Monday, May 1, 2023 - We decided to drive over to the Isle of Palms and Sullivan's Island to see if we could find a safe place to ride bikes. On the way to Mt. Pleasant, we decided to stop at the Trek store and check out the gravel bikes there. I planned to test-ride a couple to see what size would fit me best. When we got there, we found that the store was closed on Mondays. Bummer! We drove the length of Isle of Palms Island and did not think that it was conducive to biking. We then drove the length of Sullivans Island and determined that it was not much better for riding. We just happened to come across Fort Moultrie State Park, so we decided to stop and take a tour of the museum and fort. After this tour, we decided to head back to the RV to relax. All of the driving and exploring had taken a toll on our stamina, so we decided to just take a nap. Life is good!

Tuesday, May 2, 2023 - We drove to Mt. Pleasant to check out the Trek bikes when the store is open. At the store, we met Chris and he was very nice. He showed us several bikes and explained the differences. He allowed me to ride two bikes; one a size 54 and the other a size 56. The 56 felt more comfortable to me. I also liked the electric shifting on one of the bikes. You just touch a button and the bike shifts from gear to gear; pretty cool. I decided on the 56 size with the electric shiters. They had one of these bikes in the Savannah store and they could have it delivered on Saturday. I did not buy the bike at that time, but decided to discuss it more with Lisa. We then drove to the Patriot's Point area to ride our bikes over the Revenal Bridge. This is a bridge/causeway that extends for two miles hence the four mile round trip. The wind was blowing pretty hard (about 25 knots) as we began the climb on the east side of the bridge into the wind. It was a little tough work making the climb; especially since we have virtually no hill training on the east coast. After the short ride over the bridge, we took our sack lunch to a nice little park on the east side of the bridge and had lunch. Very relaxing.

After lunch, we drove to the small town of Sommerville (due north of Charleston) to ride the "Sawmill Branch Multi-Use Trail" near the town. This is an eight-mile long paved trail that ends up in old-town Sommerville on one end. There was considerable construction along the trail as some new sub-divisions of homes were being built. We had to get off the trail and ride on the road for a stretch to get to the old town. We spent some time on a pretty rough sidewalk too. The town was quaint and we cruised around on our bikes. We then returned to the beginning of our ride. We ended up with a total of 20 miles of riding for the day. We then returned to the RV park to relax.

Wednesday, May 3, 2023 - We started the day by traveling to the Charles Towne Landing State Historical Site. This state park in located just to the west of Charleston across Charleston Bay. Basically, when the Charleston area was first settled, The native Americans in the area recommended that the settlers create a village at a location other than the Charleston peninsula. This location was just across the bay to the west of present-day Charleston. The reason was that this location was easier to defend was that there was not a deep-water access to the village and the larger Spanish ships from Florida could not get to the site. Later, after a hurricane forced Spanish ships to leave the area, the local inhabitants felt safer and moved to the current site in Charleston. This state park boast ruins of the first village, a replica small ship at the dock, a plantation style home, and even an animal park. We spent about 30 minutes in the museum before exploring the grounds.

After leaving the park, we went to Wendy's for lunch and then went to the local Trek Bicycle store where we purchased a new SLR 5 gravel bicycle. This bike has 40mm tires and can be used on dirt and gravel roads. It looks like a road bike, but with bigger tires. It also has electric shifting that is pretty easy to use. We feel that we need this type of bike because the availability of paved biking trails in this part of the country is not that great. We did find one eight-mile trail, but it was torn up in many places and a dirt bike would have been handy for me. The bike I want is in the Savannah store and will be trucked to Charleston on Saturday. We will pick it up before we leave the area on Sunday.

We then returned to the RV where we relaxed and visited with David Hake and Eileen Birney.