SOAKING IN SOUTH CAROLINA

Before heading to the coast for our stay in Beaufort, SC, several people commented to us that we had chosen a “great time of year to visit the coast”. Bruce and I both thought the same thing given the typically comfortable temperatures and good fishing conditions this time of year. We were willing to take the risk during hurricane season figuring the odds were in our favor.

Sure enough, Hurricane Joaquin is making its march north. Fortunately, the storm tracker shows it curving away from South Carolina, so we feel quite confident we’ll be ok. The weather otherwise, however, hasn’t exactly been stellar (aside from a couple of beautiful days), as we have had a lot of rain and gloomy skies since our arrival on September 22.

Yesterday, we took our chances and decided to see how much of Hiltonhead and Bluffton we could enjoy before the rains hit. Seeing (very) dark clouds off in the distance as we were wrapping up our look around Hiltonhead, we made our way to Bluffton in hopes of seeing the historic district before needing an umbrella. Our original plan was to also visit the Farmer’s Market, but once we saw the weather forecast for the day, we knew it would get canceled.

As we rolled into town, it looked as if someone had flipped the switch on the car wash, and we were in the middle of it! Except, the car wash Bruce and I took Scarlett through during our summer road trip wasn’t nearly as bad as this! We had never seen so much rain come down as hard or fast as this! It was like driving through Niagara Falls, or so I imagined.

I pulled over into a parking lot at Bruce’s suggestion to ride out the storm. Although, once the car was parked, I remembered the forecast calling for the rain to worsen throughout the afternoon and night. What were we going to do? Sleep in the car?

This area is called the “Lowcountry”, because it is located in the southernmost region of South Carolina; however, I decided it was also a fitting name, because it is absolutely flat. Flat means flooding. Uh-oh!

I made an executive decision, being the one behind the wheel, and decided that getting the heck out of there was a far wiser decision than getting stuck in a flood. Besides, Scarlett would have never forgiven me if I had gotten her stuck and had to call AAA to fish her out!

Off we went through the streets of Bluffton, relying on Trudy to navigate us back to the highway home. In the short time we had contemplated our stategy, the streets had already flooded to the point where our only option was driving smack-dab down the middle of the road. Only a couple of feet of asphalt remained visible, but it was good enough! Neither of us could see a darn thing ahead, but we somehow managed to make it out safely. Whewww!

It rained through the night, and we now have a reprieve until the next front arrives. Unfortunately, this is Beaufort Shrimp Festival weekend, and the rains are supposed to hit with a vengeance later tonight. The festival is scheduled tonight and tomorrow; however, the forecast calls for extremely heavy rain and thunderstorms late tonight and throughout tomorrow. Some areas of South Carolina are forecasted to get pummeled with up to two feet of rain! Charleston and other areas already had horrible flooding, and now they’re going to get hit again.

Thankfully (and, yes, I did check with the manager on this), the house where we are staying sits on land that isn’t prone to flooding. Our apartment is located upstairs, too, so we feel safe.

After a downtown visit for the First Friday Art Walk and dinner at the Shrimp Festival, it looks like we’ll be hunkering down and catching up on our reading over the weekend.

Meanwhile, the following are some miscellaneous pictures shot over the past few days. Cheers!

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This map of Hilton Head looks like a profile of my New Balance running shoe!

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What’s wrong with this picture?  Note the sign BEHIND the starting block.  This is posted at the pool where I have been swimming here in Beaufort.

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Check out the dorsal fin and goggles on the ferocious pooch!

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Our home away from home is located upstairs behind the screened-in porch.

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Beyond the Spanish mos-covered oaks is the dock and marsh.  This is the view from upstairs.

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During the high tide and full moon, the dock flooded.

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