This was a mess of a day, mostly because it involved us trying to ride our bikes on dirt/sand roads in attempt to escape South Carolina’s inhospitable highway system. But it wasn’t all bad!
We ate breakfast at the #1 rated bagel joint in Mount Pleasant, and it is called (no joke) Joey Bag-A-Donuts. There’s nothing really to say about it other than pointing out its name, which is spectacular, and it was delicious. Unfortunately from the moment we left Joey Bag-A-Donuts’s parking lot through most of the 75 miles we rode, we were on Route 17 just because there is no other road to take you up the coast. It’s a miserable road to ride on, lacking any shoulder and chock full of cars, trucks and trailers. Evidently it’s already “high season” in South Carolina, meaning tourism is in full force and the world of RVers is out in full force.
We noticed signs for the “East Coast Greenway” and thought that sounded exciting, and learned that its (supposedly) a trail of paths and roads that are bike friendly that go up the entire east coast. So when we got fed up with Rt. 17, which happened a lot, we tried to take detours onto the Greenway whenever possible. The problem is that, at least in this state, the Greenway seems to not be fully developed and the road would frequently stop being paved and turn to a miserable dirt/sand combination. We tried to ride ahead on the dirt/sand at one point and both fell over within the first 500 yards, before turning around and getting back on Rt. 17. Ick.The major town of the day was Georgetown, which turned out to be an industrial town where we got mediocre Reuben sandwiches and outstanding ice cream. We rolled into Huntington Beach State Park shortly after 6pm, but the guy at the entrance booth said all the camping was full. It never occurred to us that this would happen on a random Monday night, in fact all the parks before this one that we had called to check on availability had laughed at us before saying “uh yeah, we have room for you.” We sweet talked the guy into letting us check in with the camping ranger, and prepared a whole sympathy-inducing speech to convince her to let us camp on some free spot of grass. She was unimpressed with our efforts. By this point is was 6:45, and if we truly couldn’t camp there we had to get moving in order to make it to the next camp ground, 16 miles north, before dark. We pleaded with her, saying that we would go to the camp sites and just ask people there if they would be willing to share their plot with us, and she stone faced us and responded “the park will not allow that.” We resigned to ride the last 16 miles as fast as we could, and were on our way out of the park, when another ranger flagged us down and said that the Campground Host (an RVer who lives on the campground for an extended period of time and helps maintain the campground) had heard about us and would let us camp next to her RV! We were very relieved and grateful, and spent a lovely night in Huntington Beach.