American Locations 24 – Myrtle Beach

The trip is from New River, West Virginia, to Stinking Creek, Tennessee, by way of Long Key, Florida.

Myrtle Beach State Park, South Carolina


After an enjoyable week, I and my wife drove off Oak Island heading west on Rte. 906, then turned southwest on Rte. 211. We then turned south on Hwy. 17. We pulled off at Calabash, a small fishing village just north of the South Carolina  state line. We ate a delicious shrimp dinner. Their hush puppies were especially tasty. We also bought some fresh shrimp to fix later at our next campground.



After lunch we drove into South Carolina and set up camp in Myrtle Beach State Park for two days. It was larger and a bit more crowded than other campgrounds we had been to on this trip. But there was a good beach with a long pier.

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As you can see in this picture, the park was on the edge of major development.

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They had oversize chairs.

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The park rangers said there were a lot of sharks swimming around the pier, but I never saw any.

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There was a good boardwalk to stroll on.256_Myrtle Beach SP

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I like these pictures. They show which way the wind blows – inland from the ocean.

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One morning I was up for a good sunrise.

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There were trails away from the beach to hike on.

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We drove into Myrtle Beach one afternoon to walk around.

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We found a good place to eat lunch. Seafood, of course.

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It was fun to see, but I prefer camping in the state park. Even with the ghost crabs.

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And giant spiders.

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Next Location – Myrtle Beach 2




American Locations 23 – Oak Island 2

The trip is from New River, West Virginia, to Stinking Creek, Tennessee, by way of Long Key, Florida.

Oak Island, North Carolina


A small park on the sound within walking distance of the beach cottage was good for crabbing. There was a picnic area, a pier, and a butterfly garden.

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There were also bicycle to ride. The island was flat, which made cycling easy. We rode to the opposite end of the island from the point. I stopped several times along the way. Like at these fishing piers.

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One of the two bridges onto the island.

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A private pier along the sound.

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The lighthouse.

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A wild animal habitat.

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Also, there is an alligator residing on the island somewhere in this long ditch. There have been frequent sightings, just not by me.

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I was introduced to pickle ball that week. I’d never played it before. It was fun, but I’m glad no one took any pictures of me playing. One afternoon we rented a pontoon boat and cruised the sound.

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We got back in just as the sun was going down.

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We drove off the island was to see where the movie ‘The Notebook’ had been filmed in Southport, which is on the mainland across from the northern end of Oak Island.

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There was a scene from another movie filmed on Oak Island. Or rather, above it. It was from Iron Man 3, the scene where several people are shoved out of an airplane without parachutes and Iron Man saves them. My sister-in-law said the film crew worked an entire day on it. The plane would take off from Wilmington, which is 36 miles, and fly to Oak Island. The people needing rescuing had parachutes under their clothing. Of course the part of their fall after they opened their parachutes wasn’t filmed, only the part where they were plummeting to certain death. My sister-in-law said it took 4 or 5 takes to get it. The plane would arrive from Wilmington and dump the stunt people out, they would parachute into the ocean, they would be collected by boat and brought to shore, then drive back to Wilmington where the plane was waiting for them, board it and fly back to Oak Island and do it all over again.


Next Location – Myrtle Beach

American Locations 22 – Oak Island

The trip is from New River, West Virginia, to Stinking Creek, Tennessee, by way of Long Key, Florida.

Oak Island, North Carolina


We crossed the bridge onto Oak Island.

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Then drove south on Oak Island Blvd. to my wife’s sister’s beach cottage.

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They were hosting an adults-only week-long gathering. There were eight people including the owners: us, my wife’s three sisters, and their husbands. The cottage is a block off the beach. Notice all the little boats?

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A kayak fishing tourney took place while we were there.

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The far southern tip of the island is undeveloped. It looked like a good place to fish.

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There were a lot of birds there.

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I caught some of them in flight.

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There was a pelican begging for bait. Or looking to steal some.

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At the very tip the waves surge in from the ocean on the left, while the sound remains calm on the right.

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We made two trips to the point. It was my favorite place on the island. But we had several other outings that week.


Next Location – Oak Island 2




American Locations 21 – Airlee Gardens

The trip is from New River, West Virginia, to Stinking Creek, Tennessee, by way of Long Key, Florida.

Airlee Gardens, Wilmington, North Carolina


In the morning we continued south on Hwy. 17 into Wilmington. We drove to Airlee Gardens, a beautiful southern garden on the waterfront. We spent most of the day roaming about the grounds.










This is the first moss-back turtle I’ve ever seen.


The sprawling gardens went on for acres and acres.






There were also whimsical sculptures. Of butterflies.



And flowers.



And other oddities.





There was also a meditation garden.


Late that afternoon we left the gardens. We drove past the retired battleship moored in Wilmington’s waterfront. Since I didn’t have a chance to snap a picture, I ripped one off Wilmington’s web site.


We took Hwy. 17 south out of Wilmington, then south on Rte. 87, then south on 133 and across the bridge onto Oak Island.


Next Location – Oak Island