Last week I was down in Charleston, South Carolina, and took full advantage of its historical, culinary, and ecological wonders. In this last category is the Angel Oak, a massive Live Oak that some estimates place at well over 1,000 years old. Located on John's Island, it is absolutely magnificent, if a bit over loved. There are vigilant monitors watching hidden cameras to keep people from sitting on its lowest branches, or poisoning it, as some pro development types have attempted.
At Magnolia Cemetery we visited the graves of H.L. Hunley and the veterans markers for all three of the drowned crews of his eponymous Civil War submarine. The last of these seamen were recovered when the H.L. Hunley was raised from the bottom a few years back. In 1864 this was the very first submarine to sink a ship in war, and the luckless Union vessel she took down with her, was the U.S.S. Housatonic.
Up the Ashley River from Charleston are the remains of old Dorcester and its colonial era fort with its tabby walls. The brick bell tower of the old church also stand nearby, and aside from all the Spanish moss and signs cautioning against swimming with alligators it has an oddly English feel.
We also made it out to Sullivan's Island and Fort Moultrie, which has been conserved with bastions reflecting its service from the early federal period through WII. before that, though, it gained fame for the Palmetto Log fort defended by Colonel Moultrie in 1776 during the first British attempt to capture Charleston.
Downtown Charleston is so picturesque, I almost forgot to take any photographs. This shot is down at the extreme southern end, with a stunning view from these houses of the Harbor and distant Fort Sumpter, which incidently my southern friend Grant says is much smaller than it looks. He used a rather colorful phrase in describing it which I shall not utter here, but it made the point rather well, I thought.
I enjoyed Benne wafers, Oysters and Shrimp and Grits. Not such a fan of boiled peanuts, but all in all a grand adventure.