Before going to sleep that night at Hunting Island SP, we tried to make plans for the following day. It was our intent to backtrack a little and visit Edisto Beach which is back towards Charleston. As the crow flies, the distance from Hunting Island to Edisto is relatively short, but crows can cross water and Wanda cannot. It would be close to a two-hour drive to get there.
That was when we capitalized on the freedom Wanda provides us. It made more sense not to return to Charleston. Instead, we would work our way up the Georgia/South Carolina border and check off a few more state parks that were in otherwise out of the way locations.
After leaving the chain of islands we had been on, we stopped in Beaufort to spend a few minutes in their National Cemetery. As it should be, it seemed to be a very peaceful place with large oak trees draped in Spanish moss. I noted groupings of headstones for Union soldiers as well as graves for men and women who had fought in all the other wars our country has endured.
We checked the route we were traveling and realized we were passing right by another set of church ruins. We had visited the Old Sheldon Church ruins several years ago but it made sense to stop again. Built in the Greek Revival style with sturdy columns between 1745 and 1753, it had been burned by the British in 1779. Rebuilt in 1829, it was burned again in 1865 by General Sherman. Since our first visit in 2018, caretakers had added a wrought iron fence trying to protect the remaining structure from vandalism. I was concerned it might take away from the experience but it was very well done. We also noted for future travel there was a large field across the road where we could overnight; vanlife friends we follow on Instagram told me they had spent almost a week camping in that field.
From the church ruins we continued toward Lake Warren State Park near Hampton, SC. At the park, the small lot was packed with vehicles. We parked Wanda in one of the last spaces available. We could hear children in the distance so assumed some type of field trip was taking place. It had been a long time since I had been disappointed by a park’s stamp so I suppose I was due. Many parks just have the stamp inside a wooden box, sometimes with a chain attached to the stamp. Others build a box around the stamp and you have to stick your finger through a small opening, position your book below the stamp, and press down. Lake Warren built their box in a way that the book could not fit completely under the box, forcing me to turn the book sideways and then making the stamp appear on its side in the book. This unfortunate incident will probably preclude me from saving the book as a priceless heirloom for my grandchildren one day. We were across the street from the lake and a gazebo on a pier so we walked to it but hordes of red wasps scared us away pretty quickly. As we got back in Wanda we noticed the children’s voices growing louder and decided we needed to be gone before they swarmed the parking lot.
Our next general direction was north toward Augusta and Redcliffe Plantation. Along the way I made a mental note that our country’s supply of timber was plentiful. That was about all we saw for the next hour. We were a day too early to catch a tour of the Redcliffe Plantation home’s interior. We did walk the grounds around the impressive looking house. There was a great display inside one of the homes shared by enslaved families and the construction of the horse stable was quite unique—it wasn’t clear why the floor of the stable was a foot below the ground outside.
We could have continued on to more state parks north of Augusta but we were tired at that point and knew we could be home in less than three hours so we opted for the road home. In six days of travel we had crossed off twelve state parks bringing our total to thirty.