October 22 –25, 2016

We left Savannah on Saturday morning and drove to Hilton Head Island for a quick drive through. There had been a lot of damage to trees by Hurricane Matthew, so the drive involved dodging crews that were cutting and clearing away limbs and such. We then headed toward Charleston, stopping for a late lunch at a place west of town. We visited Charlestowne Landing, the site of the original settlement where there is now a park. I had visited it over 30 years ago. Torrey and I headed in different directions, and I first went to see the animals, while he did the audio tour. The animals represent species that were found in the area at the time of settlement. At my first visit, there was little if any fencing, just moats to separate people and animals. It was shortly before Christmas, so I was about the only visitor in the place. It was eerie to be alone in the forest staring at a panther who was staring back with no visible separation between us. Now they have wire fences all over, and I didn't see the panther at all, who had the day off. At least with the water fowl one can go into the fenced area with them, so those pictures turned out OK. The camera did a great job of focusing on the fence when I tried to take pictures of the bear and the skunk, but I did OK with the deer, sheep, goats, and bison. It's a lovely area to visit even if you don't do all the historical stuff. We didn't have enough time to do the place justice. I caught a ride on a cart back to the parking lot at closing time, and there was no sign of Torrey. He didn't have time to get through all of his audio tour. He didn't get to the animal part at all. We didn't get locked in the place because there was a wedding happening there later.


On Sunday we took the ferry out to Fort Sumter.

Since we were on the first trip of the morning, passengers assisted with the flag ceremony. Click here to watch a video of the raising of the flag and the Pledge of Allegiance.

Then we headed to the Clemson facility where they are working to preserve the Hunley.

I didn't take a lot of pictures in Charleston. I get there every couple of years and have several sets of pictures from there on my web site. (Links are at the bottom of this page.) So these mostly fill in some gaps from those trips, including St. Philip's Church and the Huguenot Church from our Monday sightseeing.

The Dock Street Theater

We visited several of the historic homes. Here's a few more pictures from the Heyward-Washington House and the Nataniel Russell House, both of which are well represented in my other collections.

On Tuesday it was time to draw this road trip to a close, at least for me. But instead of coming straight to Davidson, we headed south and took a tour of the Charleston Tea Plantation. Then we headed to my home, stopping in Columbia on the way so Torrey could see the South Carolina state capitol. By the time we got to Charlotte the traffic on I-77 was starting to get bad, so we took I-485 around the west end of town. Therefore Torrey missed seeing the Charlotte skyline, which I find rather attractive.

Torrey stayed three nights in Davidson, to do laundry and rest up for the drive home. I gave him a campus tour and he explored my neighborhood and environs on his walks. He asked me to find him a Rotary meeting to attend, and chose the Wednesday lunch on the Peninsula. It turned out that the speaker that day was Coach Bob McKillop, so his indoctrination into Davidson basketball continued from the Denver and Savannah encounters with fans. He was much impressed with Bob as speaker and for the values he imparts to the program and the players, so maybe he began to appreciate better my enthusiasm for the team in spite of my not otherwise being much of a sports fan.

On Friday Torrey headed off to visit Biltmore House on his way home and explored the house and grounds for hours. He had supper with the daughter of George and Linda Bates (see the Natchez page), who lives in Waynesville. He drove home on Saturday and Sunday.

The Wikipedia article explains the history and the current process of the plantation better than I could here. I recommend you view it as well as their web site.

The current plantation was changed from an experimental farm to a commercial one. One of the partners then was Bill Hall, a third-generation tea taster from England. Since the sale to Bigelow, he continues to run the operation, and came in to check on the greenhouse while we were there. The sale was done to make possible expansion of production and wider distribution.

After their time in the greenhouse, the plants are put outside to become hardier before they are planted into rows.

The plants bloom in early fall and then go dormant for the winter.

Bill's original partner invented the Green Giant, based on harvesting machines for cotton and tobacco. Only the top leaves are used, and they need to be picked regularly during the growing season.


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