There was a lizard in my shower.  When I saw it out of the corner of my eye I thought it was the fattest spider I have ever seen and prepared to panic, but then I looked closer.  He’ll probably get stuck in there tonight when the temperatures drop into the 30s and he can’t move.  Yesterday when I arrived I asked a neighbor if he had heard the weather report for today, and after shaking his head sadly, he said “cold.”  But today was about 60 and sunny, a tad breezy, but I’m happy with that.  I was able to take some sun late in the afternoon after my shower with the lizard. 

I am at River Bottom Campground in Swansea, SC.  It’s really nice, though expensive.  It seems that during this season most of the residents are semi-permanent and adult, but during the summer it’s reportedly a very family-oriented place.  They have outdoor movies on the lawn


and crafts too, I think, for the kids.  They have stocked ponds for fishing, a nature trail, and water fowl that will aggravate your would-be hunter dog.  Actually, I find the birds funny because they are two male mallard ducks, a female mallard, and some kind of goose and the goose herds the other birds around.  Rather bossy.

We spent today at Congaree, which is a national park that actually allows dogs on trails.  We chose a hike that took us almost 7 miles, which Angus had no trouble with at all.  He laughed at my concern that he would tire out as he trotted ahead of us as we approached mile 7.  Early on in our hike, we met John.  John is a biologist looking for the ivory-billed woodpecker, which supposedly went extinct during the 1930s, but someone may have seen one recently, so it’s John’s job to look for it.  It’s a discouraging task, he says, because even if he finds one, there aren’t enough for a breeding population, so the species would still be “ecologically extinct.”  This morning we came upon him playing guitar when I guess he was supposed to be looking for The Bird.  I wouldn’t have tattled on him.  Later we saw him again as we came around the back side of our loop where he was setting up a camera.


A typical view from the Oak Ridge Trail

After dinner (so delicious!  I was so thrilled I took a picture, but I’ll spare you.) we took a turn around the lower part of the park where the fish ponds are


and now we are thinking about getting ready for bed.  It’s no small thing, you know.  It has been very cold these last few nights and after waking up every half hour the night before, lastnight I took no chances.  I wore my pj bottoms, jeans, thermal top, hoodie, hat, put my blanket around my neck, and slept in my mummy bag zipped up all the way.  It worked pretty well.  Poor Angus wouldn’t stay covered up, though, and when I woke up he was shivering.  Tonight I’ll put his jacket on him before we go to sleep.  Lucy is impervious to cold.

Tomorrow I am headed to Georgia and plan to stay at a state park, so no more cushy internet access for a few days.  I’ll miss being in touch!


5 responses to “Congaree

  1. Thank goodness we remembered to transfer Angus’ winter coat from the soccer stash!!! That boy works his support staff something fierce. Perhaps you need a mummy sleeping bag for two …

  2. Word up, Shannon!

    I’m jealous you’re in S.C., my old stomping grounds! Have fun.

  3. There was *another* lizard, in your shower … Gecko.

  4. A few years ago (35!) when the Miller clan was trailering around the country, we knew we were in the South when we saw kids in small towns running around without shoes on their feet. Is it still like that?
    In any case, it sounds like the South is still a good place to be on the road.

  5. geckoontheroad

    I haven’t seen barefoot kids in small towns yet, but then I haven’t seen many kids at all, except at the Kings Mt. campground. I’m not sure it’s indicative of being in the South or just small towns, but I knew I wasn’t in Kansas anymore when I kept seeing people on their porches in the middle of the day. Just sittin’.

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