Date: 7/24/03 10:32:18 PM !!!First Boot!!!
I left Charleston and headed north up Hwy 17 to Awendaw. I was pretty eager to get there, because that's one of my mail stops. Not only was I anticipating a little bit of cash, but I was also looking forward to receiving my 18th pair of shoes there. And when I got to the post office, I was not disappointed. I received several letters, 3 of which contained a $20 bill, the new pair of shoes, and a box of cookies.
While I was in Charleston, I had made some phone calls to the Sewee Visitor & Environmental Education Center, which is in charge of the Francis Marion National Forest and the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge. I visited with Becky, which was perfect, because she's a local and knows everyone in the surrounding area. She assured me that when I got there that she'd have a place for me to stay at. For more information about the Sewee Visitor & Environmental Education Center, log onto http://seweecenter.fws.gov.
I had a miserable time pushing my cart that day, because there's not an inch of shoulder on this 4-lane highway, and I was pushing my cart in really tall, unmowed grass. I was sure glad to finally get to the Visitors Center. Becky had lined things up for me to stay at Camp Sewee, a summer camp for kids.
There were around 40 or so kids there when I arrived, but lucky me, they had an empty cabin for me to use. That evening after supper I gave a talk about epilepsy to all the camp kids. The group was fairly young, the youngest being only 8, and the others varying up to 6th grade or so. But I gave them my speech and we talked about epilepsy. I was amazed at how many questions they asked, and the discussion went on for well over 2 hrs. For being a really young group, I think they were able to halfway understand what I was talking about. Then we talked about camping out, and my walk, and after taking many photos they were all excited about pushing my cart up and down the driveway. It was pretty neat watching them. They were an enthused group of kids.
The next morning I wanted to get an early start, but when I got up at 5 it was POURING down rain, so I crawled back in between the covers and went back to sleep. A couple hrs later it was still raining hard, but after awhile it started to let up and I headed out.
John, the director of Camp Sewee, had contacted another camp on down the road near McClellanville. He also hauled my cart there, which I really appreciated. Fifteen miles later I got into town, and headed for the campground. It started pouring down rain just as I got there, and I really enjoyed meeting Mitzi, the director of Outward Bound.
Outward Bound is a school that offers wilderness expeditions and teaches courses on such things as sailing, mountain backpacking, kayaking, rock climbing, and multi-element expeditions. She was really interested in my trip and will let me stay here for a couple days. I, meanwhile, am fascinated with her program and want to find out more about it. We quickly realized that we have a lot to talk about. For more information on Outward Bound, check out their website at www.outwardbound.com.
Have a great day! KB
Subj: Charleston, South Carolina
Date: 7/24/03 10:32:56 PM !!!First Boot!!!
I got into Charleston and landed at the Christian Church. Co-pastors Dan
and Melanie Barton took me home with them, and I stayed there for a couple
days. On monday, Melanie's mother, Valeria came and picked me up and took
me downtown to do some sight-seeing.
I had a grand total of $5.26 in my pocket, but hey, that hasn't slowed
me down yet. The first place we visited was The Citadel. It started out
as South Carolina Military Academy in 1843 with 34 students and a $200
tuition. By 1864 they had 296 students and tuition cost $1,200. Nowadays they
have an enrollment of approximately 1,900 cadets and is known as The
Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina. We toured the place and took
several pictures, and then headed for the gift shop where I tried to talk
them out of a free t-shirt. They said "forget it" and gave me a key chain
instead (for my house keys? my car keys? Who knows.)
From there we headed to the Visitors Center, gathered some brochures,
and visited with the manager. I was able to talk her out of a free t-shirt
with no problem. I mean she didn't even hesitate. After that we headed on
down to the downtown area and went to what's called the Slave Market. No
you don't buy slaves there (at least not now,) but it's a big open-market
area kindof like a flea market or farmers market. Rows and rows of stuff
for sale. While there, I found a t-shirt place that sold t-shirts that said
"The Citadel" on them. I asked the lady if I could have one, and she said
"for a dollar." Well that was a price even I could afford, so I handed her
a buck and got my Citadel t-shirt. I'm now down to $4.26.
After that we headed for Bubba Gump. I was almost betting that I could
get a free meal there, and sure enough they didn't hesitate to do that. I
mean how many people besides me and Forrest Gump are out here doing this?
You have no idea how many people I visit with who ask me if I know Forrest
Gump, or if I'm related to him. After the millionth time it gets kindof
old. But hey, Bubba Gump let us in and gave us a great lunch for free.
From there we headed back downtown and I stopped at one of those
information stands located on every other street corner. I mentioned that I can
usually get a trolley company to let me ride for free, but so far I've
never been able to go on a carriage ride for free. Which one of these carriage
companies would consider letting me on, and whom should I talk to? The
lady wrote down the name of the company, and also who I should contact, and
sent me 2 blocks away to Palmetto Carriage Works, the oldest operating
carriage company in Charleston. I walked in, asked for the right person, and
mentioned that oftentimes I can talk trolley companies to let me ride for
free, but so far I've never been able to go on a free carriage ride....
Without batting an eye, she gave us 2 free passes and sent us on our way. The
hour long ride took us all through historic Charleston and on down to the
waterfront and back. It was really a neat ride.
At that point we headed on down to the waterfront and went to the IMAX
Theater. They wouldn't give me a free pass for a show, but she did hand me
a complimentary ticket to visit historic Fort Sumter. I was thrilled to
get that alternative, and found out that the boat goes out to Fort Sumter at
9:30, noon and 2:30pm each day. It was too late to go out that day, but I
could ride out there the next day. From there we walked along the water
front and then headed back home.
The next day, Dan had a seminar to attend right downtown, so he hauled
me back down there and dumped me off. Still having $4.26 in my pocket, my
goal for that day was to stop at the police station and fire station and
get a patch, then visit the South Carolina Aquarium, and then do the boat
tour at noon. I found the fire station and got the patch. They also gave me
names to contact on down the road, and sent me on my way again. The police
station was waaayyyy out on the other end of town, so instead I headed on
down to the waterfront to see the Aquarium. They didn't hesitate to let me
in for free, and I really enjoyed seeing that. Around 11:30 I was looking
for a hot-dog stand, but couldn't find one. Back at the IMAX Theater
there's a large food-court area there, but the cheapest sandwich was $6.50. So
I headed on back to Fort Sumter National Monument, where I'd soon be
boarding the boat. I knew I could buy a hotdog on the boat, but was sure it'd
be fairly expensive. These Fort Sumter tours are really neat. You board
the boat that takes you out to Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor. Then the
boat stays out there for an hour so you can get out and look around, and then
it hauls you back. The whole thing takes about two and a half hours. I
had gotten on the boat a few minutes early, when a group of about 25 got on
and sat in the chairs all around me. They were each carrying a carry-out
container with a sandwich, chips and a pop. I asked them where they got
those at, and they said they were on a group tour and the lunch was part of
the deal. Oh. So I settled in for the boat ride. Several minutes later,
someone in that group hollered that she had half a sandwich left and was
going to throw it away unless someone wanted it. I didn't say a word, but the
lady sitting in front of me turned around and gave me a do-you-want-that
kindof look, and I said "yeah." "OVER HERE!" the lady yelled, and I had half
a turkey sandwich. A few minutes later another person said she still had
half a sandwich left, and without even looking at me, the lady in front of
me said "OVER HERE!" So then I had half a roast-beef sandwich. Someone
else gave me a can of pop, and someone else gave me a couple cookies, and I
was good to go. The boat tour was great, and seeing Fort Sumter was
probably my favorite part of being in Charleston, South Carolina. I had a great
time while I was there, and was ready to head on out of town after that and
get back on the road again.
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