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South Carolina!

April 25, 2013

South Carolina – Friday, April 19

Since I took such a long detour through coal country, I didn’t make it all the way to South Carolina last night. So I drove through North Carolina this morning, and went through some heavy rain and fog. Then the showers lightened up, but it was still a gray day. We crossed into South Carolina after noon. After a few hours in the car, Tula and I were ready for a walk, and I took advantage of the break in the showers and stopped in the first town I came to, which was Fort Mills. The first place I saw to start walking was a pretty, landscaped sidewalk that seemed to run for a good mile along the front side of a professional area. So I parked and we got out, and walked along that sidewalk, which led to another street with huge pine trees, which then led us to a park-like area with a walkway – and boardwalk – around a huge pond with baby ducks. So what was going to just be a short stretch-our-legs walk turned into a pretty 3 1/2 mile walk.

Then, since it was already mid-afternoon, I looked into donation possibilities in the Fort Mills area, and discovered the Community Cafe, which provides lunches at 2 local churches a couple days a week. I tried calling the church where the Friday lunch is held, but it was too late – lunch time had come and gone. I decided to drive over there anyway, and found Lake Wylie Lutheran Church, which had recently built a new fellowship hall, and just started serving lunches in the middle of last year. They have some big banners out front, and I read online that they’ve already served over 8300 meals since opening last year. The 2 churches seem to serve 400-500 meals a week, and people can also get take-out meals, and they deliver meals to those who can’t get out. So I was happy to mail in a donation for them.

In looking for the church, I had passed another pretty area that I wanted to walk in. The clouds were getting a little heavier, but I hoped to squeeze in a few more miles. I parked and we set off through another park, and passed a couple small peach orchards, and then enjoyed a winding walkway through some more big pine trees, and everything was pretty and green. In West Virginia I had been watching the buds just start, and saw the green become more noticeable every day, but down here everything was in full bloom and beautiful. At the farthest point of our walk, the sprinkles started, and gradually got a little heavier. By the time we were about halfway back, it was raining pretty hard, and needless to say, we were getting drenched. And there was nothing I could do about it except try to walk a little faster. And then the wind blew something in my eye, and that was painful and my eye started watering like crazy. And, there were inchworms all over the place – hanging from tree branches and I seemed to be a magnet for them, and kept stopping to pick them off my clothes. So I felt like a mess – soaking wet, a watering eye and inchworms clinging to me; walking a wet dog! Despite all of that, some kind lady pulled over and asked if she could give us a lift somewhere. We were almost back so I declined and thanked her for stopping, but I thought it was amazing someone would offer to pick up a drenched person and a wet dog! We got back to the van and I couldn’t get the towels out fast enough – Tula jumped in the van and shook all over the place. I dealt with my contacts and dried off as best I could – and picked off still more inchworms. It’s a good thing they don’t gross me out! It just felt good to be out of the rain. I could see the rain wasn’t going to be letting up any time soon, and since it was early evening anyway, I was ready to just find a motel nearby and call it a day. I got checked in and had a good meal, and it was nice to be settled a little earlier than usual after a very late night last night. And, despite the rain, I still got 7 miles of walking done!
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