While staying at James Island County Park, our plan was to head into Charleston and do some sightseeing but there was so much to do right in the park that we didn’t get there until Thursday, the day before we moved on.
On Wednesday, we were rudely awoken around 7:00AM by the shrill sound of a “backup beeper” and other noise from heavy equipment – it almost sounded like they were sweeping the streets. Huh, what’s with that? Well, it turned out that they weren’t sweeping the streets but had heavy equipment with cranes putting up decorations on one of the buildings across the street. I’m sure they are under the gun to get everything done before the “Festival of Lights” but jeesh, couldn’t they have waited until at least 8:00 a.m. before starting???
Since we needed to do a few errands, Rob did his usual search for a breakfast restaurant and decided that we should try the Early Bird Diner, located on 1644 Savannah Highway.
It was only 7 miles away so we figured it would take us about 15 minutes to get there. WRONG! To get from the park to Charleston, you have to cross over the Wappoo Creek which is a bascule bridge over the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway). Well, wouldn’t you know it, when we turned out of the campground entrance onto 171, traffic was all backed up. At the time we didn’t know about the bridge which apparently had opened to let a boat go through. So we sat and we sat and we sat some more waiting for traffic to clear. Finally Rob got disgusted and decided to circumvent the mess by taking a left hand turn onto SC-700 and crossing the creek further west, picking up US-17. That was slow going as well due to heavy traffic. So instead of taking us 15 minutes to get to the diner, it took us close to 45 minutes.
When we finally arrived it wasn’t quite what we expected on the outside – not a typical looking diner by any means. Not much in the way of parking but we were able to find a space next to a fence on the side of the building. On the inside, it was your typical greasy spoon, nothing fancy.
It was late morning by the time we got there so it was more of a brunch than a breakfast. Good thing because one of their specialties is Chicken and Waffles. Being the eggs and bacon people that we are, this isn’t something we would typically order but we were in the south after all so I guess we had to give it a try. It was described on their menu as “pecan encrusted fried chicken and a cinnamon waffle drizzled with honey mustard and syrup” for $10.00.
Oh, my, what a huge plate of food! Two huge pieces of boneless fried chicken accompanied with a good size waffle. The chicken was delicious, the waffle was just okay (a little tough). Ended up with leftovers which we had for supper that night.
After brunch, we took a ride over to Folly Beach about 12 miles from the diner to check out the Fishing Pier. When we arrived, we drove through a cute little town with lots of shops and restaurants while looking for a parking space – lots of small parking lots with guys trying to lure us in but we didn’t want to spend $5 just to take a peek at the pier.
Finding a spot along the street near a public access walkway, we walked out onto the beach. Yep, there it was – all 1,045 feet of pier extending out into the Atlantic. At 25-feet wide and 23-feet above sea level, the pier, according to the County Park website is the second longest on the east coast. Well that’s nice, but it doesn’t compare with the man made breakwater in Rockland, ME that extends 4300 feet out into Rockland Harbor. Then again the beach is better here not to mention the air temp!
We walked along the beach for a short distance, walking under the pier which was pretty neat but didn’t bother going out on it. There was a charge to do so and it didn’t look like the view would be much different than it was from the beach. It was a bit foggy and the fishing boats nearby looked a bit eerie ghosting along the enshrouded shoreline. The beach was okay but was bordered by older and somewhat run down buildings so it was not as pretty as Myrtle or other beaches we have been to.
Eventually we headed back to the campground. At the beginning of the day, we had planned to make a few stops along the way for provisions but it was getting late so we decided to wait until the next day. When we got back to our coach, we decided it was time to work off some of the calories from brunch and take a bike ride along the walking/biking trail followed by a relaxing stint by the campfire that night.
The next day we were still in exploration mode. More to come about our stay at James Island.