I can’t believe I never finished our last series (click here) about our first automobile road trip after we stopped RVing. For some reason, it’s harder to blog now that we live back in a sticks and bricks home….I have a draft blog started on the end of that road trip which stopped with us traveling through Indiana. I just have to select the pictures and finalize it. And as usual, I have an abundance of photos. Hopefully, I’ll finish it one day as it includes a stop with a tour of the State Capitol. In the meantime I am compelled to write an update. Continue Reading
We’re still here in Myrtle Beach! We arrived on October 24, 2018 with our three year old grandson. You can read about his trip by clicking here. What a treat it was for all of us to have him here. This blog post is supposed to be “Myrtle Beach Through the Eyes of a Three Year Old” – and it will be in part. We have written so many posts about Myrtle Beach, we will add a list of all the posts from the 10 times we have been here since we started RVing five years and four months ago, but who is counting? 😏
Believe it or not, as of the date of this post (12/12/2018) we have been here in total 207 days, nearly seven months since September 2013. The only place we’ve spent more time is in Fredericksburg, Virginia. The reason we started this journey was to be with our grandsons (and their parents) – and that’s where they live! Continue Reading
So much to write about, so little time! Yes, not enough time to keep our blog updated. We just blinked and three months have flown by. Our last post ended with a teaser of the birthdays we celebrated in August while in Fredericksburg, Virginia. We also had two anniversaries to celebrate. And then our oldest grandson started kindergarten and that was a reason to celebrate. And then he learned how to ride his bike without training wheels! And then there were the issues….Where to start? With the best of the best!
We had three celebrations on one date! Let’s start off with a bang! We had a joint birthday party for my mom and our oldest grandson. She turned 95 and he turned 5. What a gift for her, her only granddaughter to give her a great grandson on her birthday, her 90th as pictured!
Just when we thought we ran out of things to write about the dunes….I was going to write about the high tides, the airplanes and the projects Bill has done.
We left our motorhome here for a week to be with family after the death of Bill’s uncle (age 97 – so he had a fabulous life) and spent Thanksgiving (November 24, 2016) with our grandsons, their parents, and with our son-in-law’s mom, step dad, sister and nephew. We had a fantastic time and came back to a major surprise….hang on.
The fencing posts you see in this picture show where the dunes used to be, prior to Hurricane Matthew. The high tide only reached up to the darkened areas of the beach. Hopefully, you can see where the row of beach front houses only have a smattering of the beach. I tried to zoom in to better show, but this was the best I could get. Continue Reading
As mentioned in our last post, we will now look at the dunes as we walk north – which has been our walking beach route since we started staying here in 2013.
This most precious picture of our oldest grandson, then two years old, which shows the north view as we hit the beach. I’d love to recreate this picture with him, one day!
We’ve now been here for 10 days so we are seeing more clearly the damage from Hurricane Matthew. As soon as we arrived back here after our evacuation, we managed to get in four long walks, one going south and the rest back up north. Then we hit a bad spell….it seems that the sand surface has definitely changed and my knees will testify to it! Continue Reading
We’re in our sixth, or really seventh, stay in Myrtle Beach since we began RVing in 2013. What we love the most is the wide and flat beach – we can easily walk five miles! We’ve been mesmerized by the dunes and how much they protect not only the beach, but the campgrounds, houses and hotels that line the beach front. So of course, we were anxious to see the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew in October, 2016. I’ve tried to find old pictures for comparison, but after took pictures upon our arrival and subsequent beach walks.
Hurricane Matthew’s storm surge and waves overwashed about 15 percent of the sand dunes on Florida’s Atlantic coast, 30 percent along Georgia’s coastline, and 42 percent of dunes on South Carolina’s sandy beaches as the powerful storm brushed past the Southeastern states October 6-9, according to USGS experts’ preliminary review of USGS low-altitude before-and-after images along of the coast and NOAA photographs collected after the storm.” (www.usgs.gov)
We’ll be leaving here in a few days. 😂 BUT what makes it really OK is that we are heading back to Virginia to spend the next month or so near our daughter and with our grandsons! 😍
We just counted up how many days we have spent here since we started we started traveling in September 2013. When we leave here, it will be 77 days. That was not really what we thought we would be doing when we started our adventure travels. But there is something about Myrtle Beach in the “off-season” that is very appealing to us. And this month, March, is really Spring Break season but we never really felt the crowds. Although the locals did complain a bit about seasonal traffic. Continue Reading
Yes, we are back! We can’t believe it’s our sixth time since we began our Adventure Travels. There is something comforting about returning to a favorite place. When we started our recreation vehicle (RV) travels in September 2013, we really had no expectations (other than adventure) and no real goals. Well, maybe a lofty goal of visiting all 48 states and parts of Canada!
We are a bit envious when we look at the fabulous travels of two of our favorite hiking bloggers, The Lowe’s RV Adventures (their latest update: They are celebrating five years on the road and “We’ve explored 45 states and 6 Canadian provinces during our journey since March, 2012, crossing the U.S./Canadian border 20 times.”) and Oh The Places They Go, who started their travels in 2010. I’m not sure if they count their states, etc. But let’s just say they have been a lot of places! There are a few others, but these two couples are really living the ultimate full-timer RV hiker/adventure dream.
But then, I am sure there are many who are envious of our lifestyle! The grass is always greener on the other side, or better yet, what does the Bible say?
Proverbs 14:30 A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones.
Ok, we are not envious, let’s say we admire their travels. And we know people admire ours!
We are staying on the south-eastern part of the U.S. for now, just because. While we want to see new places and experience new things, we find ourselves returning to two places which are really the ultimate for us in our quest to find adventure, fun and relaxation as we continue our full-time Adventure Travels. One is at the beach, Myrtle Beach, and one near mountains, Mt. Airy, NC (we’ve never written a post about how awesome it is. 😞)
If you are new to following our blog (and thank you to all who are encouraging us on by keeping up with our blog), here are the few posts about our previous times here in Myrtle Beach:
- Our very first time in our recreational vehicle, in October 2013. Wouldn’t you know some of our first travels were to the beach! We stayed in the Ocean Lakes Campground which appears to be the largest beach campground. Maybe too large for us….
- The last time we were here, we wrote a number of posts.
- The most popular one we’ve written, Horses on Myrtle Beach!
Why do we love it here so much? It’s all about the beach! Our site is just yards away from it, a short walk and the beach in front of this campground is the best one we’ve EVER found for long walks. In fact, we can walk five miles and have nearly each day we are here. We also are next to the Myrtle Beach State Park which offers restrooms, a store, food, and a pier.
Sadly, we are “hemmed” in a little bit at the beginning of the walk and at the 2 1/2 mile mark where we turn around, otherwise, we’d probably go farther. The term is called “overflow” water or “over spill.” Since we are into our walks for exercise, we wear shoes and the water temp is too cold to walk through it at this time of the year!
The first thing we do when we arrive, after setting up, is getting the tide charts so we can plan our 5 mile walking schedule. Yep, we are able to walk 5 miles on this fabulous beach daily!
The day we arrived, March 2, 2016, it was a long travel day, over 300 miles and 6 hours. We decided to push it to have an extra day here. I really didn’t think we would do much after setting up, but we checked the tides and guess what? It was low enough of a tide so we walked 3 miles. Phew, we needed it and slept great our first night here.
The first few days were were here, the daily highs were in the low 60s (15.55 C) and the lows hit about 37 F (2.22 C). But every day it has warmed up and now it really feels like spring. We are no longer wearing our winter gear (as of March 10).
I’ve tried getting a few pictures of high tide so you can see how the beach disappears, but we just have a hard time being on the beach at that time. I only have the above one and this one:
Then compare the beach to these pictures:
And finally, we like the diversity of this beach. It changes with every tide! Close to our site, the beach is almost always shell free. When we first arrived, there were a number of shells, then they all washed away. The other day, there were oodles of shells!
And now that I’ve made you wish you were here, here is a bit of the beach for you to enjoy. First is about a minute long video as we walk to the beach from our motorhome. And then a 40 second clip of just the waves and beach!
As I sit here typing this, I am listening to the waves gently slapping the beach. And we hear them when we go to sleep and when we wake up. And now, it’s time to hit the beach for our daily walk.
Next up, what a blessing RVillage is on our journey as we wrap up our time in Myrtle Beach!
We’ve had so many “lookers” at our last post about the Horses On Myrtle Beach, thought we’d also talk a bit about the wind and more. Especially, since early this morning, we were wakened up to wind gusts to 32 mph! The wind is not the friend of recreational vehicles.
What beach doesn’t have the wind? Actually, it’s a good thing as it keeps the mosquitoes away, for the most part. It helps with a cool breeze on those really hot, sunny days. But for our four times now in Myrtle Beach, granted, during the fall and winter, the wind has kept us from actually sitting on the beach and reading a book.
After our first time here, the post is located here, Bill actually considered settling down here in Myrtle Beach when the time comes to move back into the brick and sticks lifestyle. In fact, we know a couple from our former church in New Jersey who bought their “retirement” home here. The wife is still working, but they bring their children and grandchildren here from time to time on their vacations and holidays. The husband comes from periodically alone, and we met up with him on once such time. He gave us an inside view of living here from a retiree’s perspective.
What we have liked: for the most part, moderate temperatures; walking on the pristine, white sandy beach (we can easily do five miles a day); the Brookgreen Gardens and state parks; the professionalism and helpfulness of various businesses we have interacted with such as bank tellers, clerks at Walmart (sorry, but us full-time RVers have no choice but to be faithful Walmart shoppers….), twice we had to visit a “doc in the box” which gave excellent service, and most recently, Camping World really stepped up to the plate for us! But even more importantly, we have really liked the various churches we have attended.
What we have not liked: As our most recent post says, the 1,200 horses on the beach over a five day period. They post the dates they will be here in January. We will make sure we don’t stay here during that event. While it isn’t all that annoying, the constant helicopters riding along the beach for only $20/ride and the airport. But our friends love having the airport here, it’s just that occasionally, the planes fly low. I can never get my camera up in time when a low one flys overhead during our walks. But here is the best I could get:
And another thing we aren’t so keen on are the weather extremes! Granted, we’ve only been here in the fall and winter, so what should we expect? Maybe not such high highs then low lows! We’ve been here twice in October, once in January and once in March. I decided to take a historical look at just THIS month, our current stay. What is cool is this website will let you look at any dates, months, years or customize it. Granted, there is NO snowfall in this, but remember, we are home based out of Florida. That means we don’t like snow….
We were awakened at 4 am this morning, which made me want to write this post. Bill had to go outside to put in our little window awnings (we only have two). I checked the weather app at that time and it said the wind was 22 mph from the north. But see what the averages were:
We were actually delayed in arriving here for this current stay. We wanted to be here a few days earlier than October 7, but we had to wait for the remnants of Hurricane Joaquin to settle down. Our neighbors here arrived the day before the rain started. They were then rained in for six days. When they checked the “flooding” outside their camper door, it was 10″ deep. But that was an unusual weather event. What location doesn’t have those?
So to be fair, let’s compare this same month to our favorite beach location when we lived in Florida, Vero Beach. And note, the highest wind gusts were 37 mph! YIKES!
So I guess, all in all, we don’t have THAT much to complain about. We have decided this is NOT where we will settle down, however. Why? We’re too far from the reason we now do what we do….
Ah, that sounds so romantic, doesn’t it? There is an allure to beaches and horses. When we went on our second honeymoon in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, we decided to go horseback riding. But decided against the beach ride for some reason. Instead, we ended up on the side of a mountain on a very narrow path. But that’s not related to this post….
Did you know 1,200 horses take over the beach for five days to raise funds for the American Heart Association Beach Ride? We didn’t either, but we did know there was some horseback riding on the beach. This is the 34th year of this fundraiser. And allegedly, they have raised over $3 million dollars. There is no question, this is a worthy cause. Who hasn’t been affected by a family member or friend who has suffered from heart disease? I know we have lost a very dear relative to an early death due to a heart attack.
In the promotional information for this fundraiser, a woman shares her “testimony” in the left-hand column, “A Rider’s Perspective” in part when she first heard of the event:
The very thought that I could ride my horse on the pristine white sand beaches along the gently rolling surf gave me goose bumps.
We wanted to stay in Lakewood Family RV Campground this year. We visited it last time we were here and learned they have a nightly price of $25 if we stayed 30 days or longer. This is for full hookup (water, electricity, sewer and WiFi). While that is a bit higher than our desired per night price, to be on the beach, you expect it pay more $$$. We generally don’t make reservations until the day before or day of our arrival. We are pretty astute about “prime time” and we know October is considered off season here. So what a shock when we were told they were booked solid over the last weekend we wanted to be here. Little did we know what a HUGE blessing it was that we were not able to get that reservation! We don’t want to be negative about this event, but there are a few problems.
We are actually “next door” to Lakewood, staying in PirateLand RV Campground. As it turns out, they also have the same price for 28 days or more. And then we quickly learned this campground is actually better for our needs. For one, the campsites are bigger. And that is important now that we have a 40′ motorhome! But even better, the beach is so much wider and flatter. We’ve walked up this beach for 2 1/2 miles, then back for a 5-mile walk nearly every morning. And this is worth paying a bit more per night!
The horses began to arrive on Wednesday, a very rainy and dreary day. But Thursday morning, it was a glorious day as you can see from the above picture! We didn’t really think about walking with horses when we got on the beach, but realized quickly, we were glad we were there early – only because we are watching high tide. And not many horses were, yet. You can see the horses do affect the beach. For a few horses, it wasn’t bad, until you begin to see horse manure! And they do like to poop on the beach….So the romance was over….But who can blame them? Doesn’t this look like fun?
We stopped and talked to two women at one point. They were from New York and were appalled that the riders didn’t have to clean up the manure. Or that the horses didn’t wear bun-bags! They have to in New York apparently. And then they weren’t the only ones who were concerned. Other people we saw said it didn’t seem right dog owners are fined if they don’t pick up after their dogs.
So now you may have guessed, all these horses can cause a bit of a disturbance to non-horse back riders. So aside from the trampling, which really impacted our ability to walk comfortably on the beach, and dodging all the manure, there were a few other issues. So much for the “pristine white sand.” We loved her thoughts for us as we walked barefoot on the beach….
If you read the info on the AHA website, they tell the riders a few things to do to make this a good experience for everyone. For one, they HAVE to clean up the manure at their campground sites…but not on the beach. Interesting.
Then they are told to not “cowboy” on the beach. Which means running the horses, etc. And as groups approach people on the beach, to all go to one side of them, not to put the people in the middle. The horses may not know how to properly react in this new situation. So we had a few “confrontations.”
Not being horse people, it was unnerving. The first day, we heard the sound of galloping approaching us and one of the horses neighing. While there were only two riders this time, they were a bit too close for our comfort. So now we are being cautious. We managed ok until our 4th mile. And then we hear galloping again, but this almost sounded like a stampede! There were more than two and I glanced behind to see them heading right towards us! So I tried to jump out of the way (I am a bit of a jumpy person anyway) but in the soft, trampled sand, I couldn’t. I actually “fell” into Bill. I was glad he could handle all my weight! Then the horse back riders nearly come to a stop right in front of us! What’s going on???? This was very upsetting. But the last straw was the cowboying. One rider, as you can see below, was running his horse in “circles.” We were trying to stay in one path, but the horse, seemed to want to get in our path, so we moved, then he followed….Are you getting the picture?
Ok, we’re not happy campers. In the beginning, we were very friendly, but by the time we finished our five miles, we didn’t even want to look at these riders. So we vowed the next morning to get out earlier and not have to share the beach. So today, we did better, got out before the herd…and it was better.
We talked to a neighbor of ours as we came off the beach. He said he was in Lakewood last year during the event. He said it was so crowded, he couldn’t leave the campground to get groceries. And even worse, he couldn’t even walk around the campground for five days! He told a few other stories about what a nightmare it was to be there and not be a horse person.
We don’t want to be negative about this event, but think about it! When they started this 34 years ago, Myrtle Beach in 1981 was a little-known destination. It wasn’t until the 1990’s that it began to grow. However, according to the Myrtle Beach Tourism website,
The Myrtle Beach Metropolitan Statistical Area was listed as the ninth-fastest growing area in the nation, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics released in March 2011. The area has grown 37 percent over the past decade.
We’ve decided that 1,200 horses on a little beach area and all us beach goers don’t really mix very well. And we aren’t even addressing the potential ecological problems of all the manure and urine. One person said he wouldn’t go in this water for at least 6 months!
We hope and pray common sense begins to reign and this event is moved to a more remote location. So our recommendation, do your research if you are not a horse person. Don’t be here during this event! We’ll plan to not be here next year if they are at the same time….
If you are a horse person and want to attend, please read the literature and follow the instructions!