Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Laid back beach trip

A few photos of the September 15th beach trip in no particular order. No parties, dancing, or rendezvous, just the kids and me hanging out. I'm afraid this summer was a bust. But you know what they say about a bad day at the beach.


One of my favorite spots on Pawelys Island facing the marsh close to the north causeway. Had Spoilboy and Wiggles been more appreciative of nature and the beauty of the marsh along with the ability to be quiet I would have loved to sit at this spot and just watch the tide come in. A few trips ago I bumped into a couple that I had been friends with in high school at this spot enjoying the view and having a moment alone before returning home. Incredibly despite having family still in Georgetown and Pawleys my old high school friends actually thought I had died years back. Apparently the high school reunion organizers had sent a card to my last know address years before and got back a response that I had died. Several times I have thought about tracking down the reunion organizers to see what address they sent that card to to find out who said I was dead but I frankly don't have time.


A long deserted stretch of Huntington Beach State Park a little south of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. When I lived on the coast this was my second favorite place to hang out. While many beaches have problems with to many people causing problems this one, and this section in particular, is almost always this deserted. I had several long evening walks down this way while in college with some awesome ladies. One "walk" lasted too long with my girlfriend and I running for the car trying to get out before the park closed. We didn't make it, and we had to deal with a grinning park ranger who I thought would turn out to be a jerk but just said that he had dealt with this before and escorted us out.









Darth Spoilboy and Miss Wiggles. After months of pain-in-the-ass issues at work and getting the money pit ready to sell, if the market ever improves, we loaded up in the starship and made it down to the coast on September 15th. It was a perfect day with a great breeze and the kids really enjoyed running around on the beach. Miss Wiggle was convinced she could catch a sandpiper and ruined some good nature shots I was trying to get. Saw a dolphin out in the water and both Spoilboy and I had to stop her from trying to catch a ride with it. We had a nice long walk up the beach of about three miles both ways. Spoilboy and Wiggles handled the march but Wiggles was asleep in the car just as soon as I put her in the car.













On the south end of Pawleys Island Sunday morning. Tide was coming in and a heavy wind had the surf really rough. Saw this guy in his boat where the creek separating the island from the mainland runs into the ocean. I actually thought he was going to loose his boat due to the rough surf and end up in the ocean because for a few minutes he couldn't seem to stand up. Dude was finally able get everything under control and and head back up the creek and safer waters.












Spoilboy, Wiggles, and me heading back to Uncle Paul's place before heading home toward Columbia. Many of the beachhouses in this shot are survivors of Hurricane Hugo and while they were extensively damaged in the storm they were rebuilt back close to the same style that existed before the storm. On the north end of Pawleys many of the houses are of a new style with glassed in porches that drive me utterly crazy. Pawleys before Hugo use to carry the slogan "Arrogantly Shabby" due to the nature of the structures on the island. After Hugo and later with an influx of (I'll be kind) newcomers the new construction on the island tended to be McMansions on stilts creating a, I hoped, a tongue and cheek new slogan saying "Arrogantly arrogant". Unfortunately, having met many of the newcomers the new slogan has been taken to heart. One of the features almost universal to older houses was a huge screened in porch facing the marsh or ocean to catch breezes to keep cool. Many of the new houses have huge plate glass windows depending on air conditioning to overcome the small greenhouse effect they produce and enclosing the people inside. Overlooking the over use of air conditioning and the fact that what another hurricane will turn those huge glass windows into shiny tiny razor sharp shards I have a huge time trying to understand why people would invest so much money in a beach house and not want to experience the environment. If they just wanted to see the beach a huge plasma TV and a beach video playing continuously would have been a lot cheaper.


While looking somewhat in a good state of repair, to me the picture below is the holy ruin of Pop's Grill and a place where for years teenagers and even families came to catch a quick burger or hot dog after spending time on the beach. The insidious growth and American addiction to the Burger Clown spelled the end of this landmark. Several times the place has been reopened but with the new owners violating the spirit of the place as it was meant to be when it opened in the 50's. Way before I ever came along the Pawleys Island community was a small village away from just about everything but enjoying a special spot on the planet. Although a small general store existed just off the island just about all supplies for living involved traveling to Georgetown and even longer distances if you needed something special. The glories of Wal-Mart and hyper-consumerism had yet to come about to supply your midnight desire for popcorn or cheap CD's. At least in my view sometime around the early 90's the small village disappeared with a rabid development allowing in a huge crop of snobby Benz driving newcomers that has spoiled to a great extent the special nature of what once existed. Many upper class subdivisions have been built on what was once swamps and raising property taxes and forcing many longtime middle class and working locals inland. Making matters worse a home insurance crisis I believe on par with what is happening in Florida is adding to the exodus of locals. Sometimes I wonder if a new type of 21st century landed gentry is being created with the rich only being able to afford coastal property and the middle and working classes at some point being restricted to affordable resorts. Almost makes me look forward to rising sea levels and stronger hurricanes from global warming.

21 comments:

MadMike said...

Once again you have written a most uplifting post BB! You have elevated my heretofore sour mood to one of appreciation for nature and family. Keep up the great work.

Mike said...

Wow. Beautiful pictures. There's nothing like a day at the beach to cure what ails you. Of course by this time of the year, our beach going days in Michigan are over.

Tequila Mockingbird said...

hmm, when i think about beach trips usually i think biknis and booze, but your trip was nice too.

i lived in fla all my life until about two years ago, and yeah the insurance thing is a problem. my parents have a waterfront house that is ridiculous to insure.

beautiful pics too!

lime said...

a laid back beach trip is a lot more then the lime family got to experience this summer...

thanks so much for the tour of such a special place. i feel you pain as urban sprawl and newcomers with no respect for the place invade and overwhelm. such a sad state of affairs...

Colonel Colonel said...

Beautiful pictures and a great story.

The place where we spend some time in the summer has cliffs along the beach with houses at the top- every year the houses "move" closer and closer to the edge of the cliffs... and then, every few years, there's one fewer house.

Beach Bum said...

Madmike,I wish I could have gotten the kids to do the Huntington Beach marsh walk, now that would have gotten me some good nature shots. But as I wrote Wiggles went to sleep and Spoilboy was hungry enough to bite the tires. And as much I absolutely hate to admit I ended up taking the two to the Burger Clown in Pawleys.

Mike, even though it wore out the kids that walk did cure quite a few ills. Due to a work related school located in Erie Pennsylvania I've seen Lake Erie twice, once during the late spring and for the second time in August. The locals told me about the winters you guys have around the Great Lakes. But I would still love to see Lake Michigan.

Tequila Mockingbird, yeah I think the same as well most of the time about the beach. Down around Hilton Head, South Carolina use to be a fantastic Tiki bar right on the beach and you could always find a party there.
Last I heard the Florida state legislature was actually moving to help coastal locals, at least thats what one lady from Satellite Beach, Fla. told us. The odd collection of gasbags and good old boys in the South Carolina legislature will wait until hell freezes over before they help someone other than the big boys.

Lime, If your family ever gets the chance come on down to South Carolina. Despite my whining it still has some great spots away from the crowds. My pictures are poor at best. As far as the newcomers are concerned after Dragonwife and I married in 1993 I didn't get back home for 18 months due to my job. When I got back down that way I quickly saw that Pawleys had opened its first deli and bagel shop. For some weird reason that freaked me out more than the massive construction of subdivisions going on for the most part out of sight.

Colonel, Saw a new report about global warming just yesterday and Pawelys Island probably won't see out this century. The really crazy thing is just a few miles up the coast around Murrells Inlet I use to see these glorified sandbars as I rode in my dad's boat that were big enough to have some shrubs and maybe a few trees. No one had ever tried to build anything on them except maybe a few shabby fishing shacks since they were so low to the water. Sometime in the 90's some stupid nut built the McMansions on stilts I wrote about on them. But the really stupid thing is that people actually bought them, one "good" hurricane will blow them utterly away, not even thinking about global warming here. But then again I'm sure the rich owners will whine to their friends in the government for the taxpayers to rebuild them.

a rose is a rose said...

man, you do have some beautiful children!

great pictures and a great story as well.

good point about the BIG glass windows. why WOULD anyone want to block the ocean breeze out?

Vigilante said...

Beach, what a gift you lend to us, your readers! We get to enjoy and comment on this excellent piece before it is swept up by the National Geographic magazine!

Beach Bum said...

Rose, thanks for the compliment about the kids, they are good kids even though they run me around in circles at times.

Vigil, To keep it a family friendly piece I left out the fact that when the park ranger pulled up my girl friend was trying with all do hast to put her one piece swimsuit back on. National Geographic might frown on such info.

C.Rag said...

As a fellow South Carolinian, I think SC's beaches are the best. Growing we would go to Hunting Island every summer. I have so many fond memories there. The last time I was there erosion had made a shell of what it was. When I was in college in Charleston, I loved the beaches.

Vigilante said...

Beach, I have been a regular reader of yours for years (I think) and I your writing has never been better than it is now. Having said that and - meant it - I want to recommend to your regular reading, E's StarSpangledHaggis. E sets a very high standard for tough-minded hard-writing. Anytime I draw a word or a sign that she's paid my site a visit, I've got my day made.

Vigilante said...

By all of this I meant to imply that now that you have surpassed my modest attempts, you should now take measure of E's bar of excellence!

Sara Sue said...

Beautiful shots! I spent a month in Hilton Head one week :) I can almost feel that powdery sand when I look at these pics.

Beach Bum said...

Vigil, E is a fantastic writer and I hope to be her league one day. Her site is one of many that I jumped to and read but never left a comment due to time. After reading her two latest I will change that practice and leave comments, if she forgives me for ranting like I did a few minutes ago.

Sara Sue, thanks for the compliment (along with everyone else who did) about my pictures. The sad fact is that if it wasn't for digital photography I would not be able to take any pictures. Luckily with digital the scores of sorry pictures I took were easily deleted to provide space for the very few that did not come out hazy, blurred, over or under exposed. The truth is that I suck at taking pictures.

Beach Bum said...

C. Rag, Coming from the northern section of SC I've only made it to Hunting Island once a few years ago. Got to see the lighthouse and walked the beach, which was badly eroded. But since I've heard they have laid down a bunch of new sand and its doing better, for now. We have some plans (very much in question right now) to head down to Hilton Head in November and I'd like to see that lighthouse again.

The Zombieslayer said...

Yeah, it's really sad in California about coastal land. Only the rich could afford to own property in too many nice places on the coast.

Your daughter would get along with our dog great. One of our dogs thinks she can catch every bird and thinks every animal larger than her is her friend, so she'd try to befriend a dolphin too.

S said...

Yes I did follow you over here from Limes blog...I follow all her friends around!

I love your writing style...and I am so glad you had a fun beach visit with Miss Wiggles and Spoilboy!

Beach Bum said...

Zombieslayer: Yeah, with property valves so high and with working class folks being forced out a lot of the resorts and very upper end neighborhoods are trucking the "help" in from as far away as a hundred miles so they can have gardeners and maids.

S: If your one of Lime's friends please drop in often. Thanks for the compliment about my writing, I just wish I could out a way to make some money off the stuff. But paraphrasing old Groucho Marx, I'd wouldn't buy any magazine that would have me as a writer.

joan said...

It is a beautiful part of the world isn't it? I enjoy it every day.

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Melvin said...

beautiful pictures....
thanks for sharing....

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Melvin
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