PLEASE DON'T FEED THE MOSQUITOS
Christy and I left Friday afternoon for the beach. We were heading for Hunting Island State Park, south of Charleston. Unfortunately, we got a late start and didn't arrive until after dark. We checked in at the campground, and found that the primitive walk-in sites were still available. That sounded like the best choice in the crowded campground. Plus, the primitive sites were half price. On the way out, we passed a ranger who wished us luck finding our campsite. It sounded silly, but we didn't know what we were in for.
We drove over to the parking area and hiked in. This turned out to be a bit of an adventure. I had imagined a wide-open path with well-marked campsites. Instead, we found ourselves wandering through a jungle. We had two flashlights, but neither was very bright. To make matters worse, we had reserved the most remote site. The first two were numbered, but after that it was anybody's guess. The map seemed vague (it turned out to be wildly inaccurate) and there seemed no hope of finding campsite #5. After some time we dropped our stuff at an unidentified campsite and headed back to the car. This also was a challenge, as we were rather disoriented. I've done a lot of backpacking all over the country without getting lost. Now though, I was completely stumped in a state park campground. I was beginning to feel like I was starring in Blair Witch 7.
We eventually made it back to the car and drove to the camp store. We picked up firewood and a big flashlight. We returned to our gear, and after much exploring, determined that we were in the right site after all. Christy started dinner while I made multiple trips to the car. Along the way, I kept passing a whole family of raccoons, which seemed intent on our food.
We were still setting up camp when the swarm of mosquitoes began to feed. I have never seen mosquitoes like these. It was an actual cloud of them, and they would not be deterred. We went through a full tube of Deet, plus a whole spray can of Cutter in 2 days. What I didn't realize was that some of the little devil's got in the tent with us that night. There were so many it was impossible to jump in without bringing in dozens. By morning, my bites had bites. Christy said that my back made me look like a leper.
On Saturday we went out to the beach to escape the bugs. Now that we could finally see, we found that the park was truly beautiful. It was full of big trees, Palmetto, and Spanish Moss. There was little actual beach, as the forest came right down to the water. It was nice to see that the barrier island was saved from the development of other coastal areas, like Myrtle Beach.
We spent the rest of the weekend relaxing. We toured a nearby lighthouse and lounged on the beach. The campground was crowded, but the primitive sites were secluded. We did have a few neighbors, but for the most part it hardly felt like a campground. We would definitely go back, though spring might be a better time, before the mosquitoes come out.
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