75. South Carolina

Monday June 15, 2020

Today was a no travel day. As mentioned in my last blog post, the ride height of the motorhome wasn’t level. Last Friday Savannah Freightliner diagnosed the problem as a failed air height leveler and ordered the part. I showed up for my appointment at 9 am this morning and by 2 pm the part was installed, adjusted and tested by a test drive.

I also had a failure of the entry step to extend or retract. This item needs to function as it is just shy of a three foot distance from the MH platform to ground. Too far for an old man to jump down and/or hoist himself up frequently. So after leaving the Freightliner shop I drove 5 miles to a Camping World. The service manager thought it was probably the step motor and crawled under to take a look. The motor was located in an area between the steps and he was unable to see the part number. He warned me that they probably did not have the replacement motor in stock. He then went back under the step with his cell phone and pointed it towards the motor and snapped some pics. One of the was clear enough to show the part number and, my lucky day, they did have a new replacement motor.

So I disconnected the car (again) and the mh went to a service bay. Out with the old motor and in with the new. It also needed a new control board. Don’t know if the control board fault blew the motor or vice versa but with both replaced, I now can get in and out like a normal person and not put on a show. Yay! Since it was now after 5pm and a little late to start a travel day, I drove the whole 2 blocks to the Cracker Barrel and again took advantage of their corporate hospitality and stayed the night.

Tuesday June 16, 2020

I left at a reasonable hour heading north. Overcast and cool – months since I’ve seen temps in the 60s. Actually felt quite chilly. Still not sure where I was heading today. I had thought about heading towards Charleston and then Myrtle Beach but as I drove I started thinking about the side trip I made on Saturday to Beaufort. It was a totally different town than the one I saw just months before while slipped at the marina. Coming by road, the town looked like so many other towns. Coming by water was so much different. The only view one had was a vibrant marina in the heart of historic old downtown. Saturday I even walked the marina and it didn’t feel the same – the sense of ‘belonging here’ was absent.

So as I was driving I thought about it. Am I trying to recreate my boating itinerary by going next to Charleston and then Myrtle Beach and then…? I’ve been to those places in a way I’ll never do again and would revisiting live up to the memory or be a flop like Beaufort was? By the time I95 intersected US-17 which headed to Charleston I had made up my mind and continued north on I95 and to new adventures. Oh, I’m sure I’ll see many of the same places I’ve seen before but in the context of prior road travel and I won’t compare them to the memories of a great water adventure and exploration.

I put on about 200 miles and stopped early for the day. I am SOB. No, not that. I’m at Pedro’s South of the Border campground. It’s a kitschy complex consisting of a fuel stop, restaurants (4), hotel, souvenir shops, miniature golf and other kiddie attractions and a campground – heralded for a hundred miles north and south on I 95 by equally kitschy billboards every mile or two (literally). It is located right at the SC/NC border. The campground however is a first rate overnight stop. Level paved or gravel long pull thru sites with full hookups, 30/50 amp svc and gated access and pool privileges at the hotel. Have probably stayed here 10 times over the years.

There’s an advantage traveling as I do, without plans, and that is flexibility on dates, routes etc. There’s also a disadvantage and that is when you actually want to be somewhere at a specific time – that decision is usually late and making reservations is difficult. Now that I know where I’m not going, I can plan the time for where I will be going and that is to visit daughter Vic and family. Of course the reservation service for the nearest campground to her shows no availability (it’s a big county park). This has happened before and so I called the actual campground and spoke with the ranger. They still had some sites available from the allotment held for non reservation drive ups and the ranger was able to put together a stay for me with only one site move (where you have to change sites during your stay – another advantage to being flexible). Woot woot!

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