Cruising the Waccamaw River

Today has been fun. We’ve driven all over the area and seen many things. As we approached our lunch venue, we got to enjoy watching a drawbridge open, one of the ones that turns sideways rather than going up and down.

Drawbridge open. You can see a sailboat going through, sort of.

The bridge had a cool bridge house on it, too. It was at a crossing on the Waccamaw River, which forms the Intracoastal Waterway here. The road was called Dick Pond Road, which gave us the giggles as we imagined the pond full of male anatomical parts.

Never found the pond.

We had burgers at a restaurant that specializes in them, River City Cafe, and Lee got a ridiculously large concoction featuring two grilled cheese sandwiches as the buns, two burger patties, mushrooms and other things, cheese, and two extra-large onion rings on top. No, he did not eat it all.

Yum?

After that, we headed past a cute private zoo with very happy animals and lots of screaming peacocks. We didn’t go in, but looked at lots from the car, including a very young baby donkey colored like Fiona.

Our destination was a cruise down the Waccamaw River, Socastee Creek, and nearby creeks. Its a nice change from condo world.

Nature everywhere!

All these waterways have a canal running through them, built by the Army Corps of Engineers, because the natural waterways are too wiggly for the yachts and sailboats who use the Intracoastal. Here’s a map:

Ah, humans.

Before the boat ride, I wandered around the grounds of the docks, which are nestled in a beautiful swampy area with many native flowers, trees, and shrubs. I was delighted to see some flowers I’d never seen in the wild before. The partridgeberry flowers were tiny, hairy, and delicate, while the swamp leatherflower was a happy surprise to find hiding in the iris foliage. That’s one of the prettiest flowers I ever saw! The spiderlilies I’ve seen somewhere else before, but their delicacy always takes my breath away.

I enjoyed chatting with the staff, all of whom live on the property, one of them on his boat. I could stand looking at that scenery every day plus having a zoo next door (downwind).

Blue heron

I enjoyed ignoring Rick, the guide’s, dorky stories (I know it’s their job to tell them and entertain people, but I’d heard most of the jokes already) and looking through my binoculars at giant turtles, flowers, cypresses, and tupelo trees. We only saw three watercraft other than ours, so it was satisfyingly secluded. I think it gets more crowded with rowdy boat partiers in the summer, so our timing was good (only saw one boat full of giggling women). The weather went from sunny to cloudy to raining to sunny, so there were always varied skies. Do click on them to see them enlarged. The reflections and clouds are lovely. (Also, when people click on every image my blog stats go wild!)

We saw lots of nesting ospreys, flying swallowtail kites, herons, and egrets, plus one small gator. People liked that. We got to see osprey drama, with one catching a fish and others chasing and yelling at each other. I’ve always enjoyed ospreys since I was a kid and we’d see them nesting in Cedar Key, on the Florida Gulf coast.

A highlight of bird watching was finding a prothonotary warbler flitting around. It also thrilled the nice little girl in front of me. Our guide told me he had some nest in his other boat’s cupholder. Since I was nowhere near close enough to get a photo, here’s one of Rick’s along with one of the babies in his cup holder.

All in all, the trip was worth the cheesiness, though we definitely had the worst seats on the boat (next time, get starboard, Suna!), next to the bathroom. But, we were polite and let everyone else get on first, so whose fault was that? We got the bonus of enjoying Bella, the owners’ large Rottweiler-style dog, who has a huge joy of living. Watching her play brought laughter and joy to us all, as she ran, flopped, threw a toy around, and spontaneously dug.

People who have a dog that nice can’t be all bad, so I’m glad we could contribute to their small business!

A Very Short Whine

I’m really trying to get to all the things I have to do, but I just crashed when I got home today, which may explain why I originally published the blog post full of typos and a missing paragraph. I have things to write, figuring out my social security and retirement plans, change over my email address to a boring personal one, and other riveting activities. But, after the stuff that’s been going on at work and home, I’m running on fumes.

I’m sorry I’m so behind on my volunteer work, but I’m wiped out by worry, disappointments, and frustrations (none of which you will read about in this blog or hear about in the podcast). I just wanted to remind you that not everything in my life shows up here. Which leads me to remind you and me both that we all have our unspoken struggles, so let’s choose kindness and patience, even when it’s a struggle.