Nov 152009

After spending five nights at the Elks lodge in Morehead City, North Carolina, we were ready for a change of scenery. So Saturday morning we hit the road and drove east forty miles on State Route 24 to Jacksonville, where we hooked up with U.S. Highway 17.

We followed that route another 100 miles south to the South Carolina state line, passing by the sprawling Camp Lejeune Marine Corps base along the way. As we passed the base, chain link fences on both sides of the highway were adorned with signs written on bed sheets welcoming home units and individual Marines that had been deployed overseas.

Most of our route was good four lane highway with light to moderate traffic, except right around Camp Lejeune, where it was heavier. There were quite a few traffic lights to deal with in the small towns along the way, but we made good time.

At Wilmington, we bypassed the city on Interstate 40, passing by the battleship USS North Carolina, a proud old warrior from World War II that has been converted into a floating museum. I really think I’m getting over the worst of my bridge phobia. Crossing over the Cape Fear River, I wasn’t the least bit uncomfortable. I’m not ready to take on the big boys like the Tampa Bay Bridge or the Chesapeake Bay Bridge yet, but at least I don’t snivel as much as I used to on other bridges.

U.S. 17 became a four lane surface route again south of Wilmington, but there wasn’t much traffic. We pulled into the South Carolina Welcome Center at the state line for a potty break, and a half hour later we arrived at the Moose lodge in Myrtle Beach. We had covered 170 miles, an easy day of driving. Most of the day had been gray and dreary, but about the time we crossed into South Carolina, we suddenly broke out into blue sky. After a week of stormy weather, that sure was a welcome sight!

The RV parking here at the Myrtle Beach Moose lodge consists of several back-in sites on the edge of a big blacktopped parking lot, with 30 amp electric and water hookups. The only other RV here is a nice looking Winnebago Ultimate Freedom, so we don’t feel crowded at all. At $10 a night, it’s a heck of a bargain in expensive Myrtle Beach, and one more example of the savings on overnight parking that Elks and Moose lodges offer to traveling members.

The only drawbacks here are that there is no dump station, and even though we have three bars of EVDO signal with our Verizon air card, the internet is really slow. I did a speed check and we were only getting download speeds of 369 kbps, as opposed to the 1100 kbps we were getting in Morehead City. We’ll need to find a dump station pretty soon, the tanks on our Winnebago motorhome are not as large as we had on our MCI bus conversion, and we’re getting close to being full.

Though we love the ocean and the beach, Myrtle Beach just doesn’t appeal to either of us. It just feels too upscale touristy. So I don’t think we’ll linger here very long. This morning we have a couple of stops to make, and then we may just head on down the road.

We have a good friend who lives in Florida whose health isn’t doing very well, and we want to get down to the Titusville area to see him before he has some major surgery in a week or two. So after playing tourist the last couple of weeks, we’ll probably switch into our “go fast” mode and put some miles behind us in the next couple of days. 

Thought For The Day – Treat every day as a new opportunity to be happy.

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Nick Russell

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  4 Responses to “A Change of Scenery”

  1. Hey. Guess we will be crossing paths sometime soon. We are in the Port Canaveral Jetty Park Maritime park. Not too bad for a beach campground. Most have no trees or facilities but this one is fairly nice. Sewer at many sites and also many can accommodate big rigs. We are 65′ overall and are not unhooked in site 74.

    Easy walk to the beach and a very long jetty pier to fish from or just watch what goes on. No fishing license is required, either. This is the second best point to watch rocket and shuttle launches from. The best is playalinda beach on the north end of the island but its not open after dark.

    We are here until 11/17. 11/16 is when the next shuttle launch is scheduled for and though I grew up in Winter Park just north of Orlando and watched the early rocketry from the cape from our high school, I have never seen a big launch up close so this is a big item on our bucket lists.

    After this, we head up to St Augustine beach via A1A before heading back to Raleigh,NCjust before Thanksgiving at the end of next week.

    The weather has been very nice now that the clouds and winds are gone and should continue through this coming weekend.

  2. Don’t know when you plan to be in Titusville but there is a shuttle launch on 11/16 and they are telling us the weather will be sunny and in the 80’s all week !

  3. Hi
    recently started following your blog- and thought we would cross paths soon as we left MB and now in summerton, SC also heading for FL- but guess some other time if you r in the “go fast” mode- which is important 4 u to see your friend-so perhaps some other time. Safe traveling.

  4. We also did not think Myrtle Beach was for us – BUT, just south of Myrtle Beach is a beautiful botanical/sculpture garden called Brookgreen Gardens. We spent parts of three days there a few years ago and it is a wonderful place to roam for hours. The garden is huge and all through the gardens are sculptures, life size and life size plus. The creators had a vision and it has been carried out for many years. It is a great photo opportunity. Happy travels.

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