If you've driven I-95 through South Carolina, you've probably slowed for a view of a spectacular lake -- Lake Marion. I've done this dozens of times intending to stop and take a closer look one day. At last, the time had come, as I perused a map for a convenient location to pitch the tent.
While man-made, Lake Marion is the largest lake in South Carolina at 110,000 acres. I wouldn't swim here (hundreds of gators) but it's popular for fishing and kayaking. It's also a beautiful spot to watch the sunrise from your campsite at Santee State Park, where you can also walk woodsy trails and bike nearby neighborhoods. I'm not sure what the weekends bring, but Sunday through Thursday was peaceful. My first two days were quite enjoyable and people were cordial but kept to themselves. The few kids there were busy riding bikes around camp or going fishing. It felt like days of yore!
Ah, but you know the other shoe is about to fall! My last two nights were spent sleeping in my car as severe thunderstorms with heavy rain arrived. The first night included my first- ever tornado experience and Tom Petty was right, "the waiting is the hardest part". Thankfully, people gathered and I joined them -- 9 adults, 2 children, 3 dogs and 1 cat in a concrete bathhouse waiting, hoping and praying. The camaraderie was greatly appreciated. I've never seen such rapid darkness descend but the tornado rolled across Lake Marion before touching down just 20 miles north.
Cyclist, writer, teacher, avid reader, bike/ped advocate, nomad, pie lover