To The Beach and Back
My “better half” and I spent last week, along with our close friends, at Folly Beach, SC. We’ve been going there for many years for some rest and relaxation and Folly is one of the few beach communities that have managed to maintain its character. You truly are entering a slower pace of life once on the island.
Getting there, however, was no exercise in calmness and serenity. In fact, there was more than once that I wasn’t sure we’d live long enough to get to enjoy a vacation. Traffic on the interstates was crazy and dangerous. We were nearly in a multi-car accident near Hendersonville before we even got off the mountain thanks to a driver trying to save a few seconds by inserting herself into a 10’ space at 70 mph.
In drivers’ education, I recall being trained to leave 1 car length between vehicles for each 10 miles of speed. 70 mph should mean 7 car lengths of space. Hah! One car length of space seemed to be an invitation to the nearest knucklehead talking on their cellphone to squeeze ahead. I’m glad we weren’t monitoring my blood pressure on the way down!
Once on the island, the pace of life did slow down. A 30 mph speed limit was the highest posted speed limit I noted. Cars and other four wheeled vehicles had to share the roads with the many pedestrians walking with children, runners exercising, cyclists, and numerous golf carts. With both sides of the road being taken up with parking by Spring Breakers, you really did have to slow down considerably to get anywhere safely.
One of several bright spots for me was getting to ride with my brother Dave, who now lives with his family in Los Angeles. Our vacation plans quite nicely meshed this year and I was able to enjoy a good spin around the island with him as we caught up. It had been two years since last I saw him, his wife, and my niece Liz. I was quickly reminded when seeing Liz how time passes so quickly. She has grown into quite the young lady and, as a 7th grader, now stands almost as tall as her dad.
Cycling on the island seems to just be part of the fabric of island life. No one seemed to be bothered by the many 2 wheelers going to and from stores, restaurants, and shops. Many of the local residents rode bicycles for transportation. At $5.00 to $7.00 a pop for parking, it could get pretty costly using a car or truck to make all of your trips on the island. Hurricane Irene wiped out some 500 parking spaces last year and that seems to have added significantly to the congestion.
The beach is always fun but, boy, am I glad to get home to our mountains. I feel a ride coming on…
For more information, visit http://gr8smokieszeke.blogspot.com and www.bicyclehaywoodnc.org . You may also link to Zeke’s Great Smoky Mountain 2 Wheeled Adventures under Opinion on the Mountaineer’s website.