A Pacific Trip to the Atlantic Coast

I am not sure if anyone else is running into this problem but this year has been abnormally bad with ticks (for myself). I’ve found three in various places on me so far. Though none following our trip to Connecticut, the area perhaps most infamous for the insect. The latest came during a trip to the Georgia/South Cackalack coast over the weekend.

I suspect it hopped aboard during one of a couple hikes around the marshes of Skidaway Island State Park. Our first clue should have been the deer we saw when we pulled in to find a site. In any event, after the ride down there without A/C and following an incredibly hot, yet remarkably dry (see our camping record) night we were in desperate need of showers which would not come until several hours later.

After rising early on Saturday and making a second trip out to the Skidaway Narrows, we decided we’d try and make it to Hilton Head and get some beach exposure before heading to Savannah. Neither of us had ever been to Hilton Head but had heard a great deal about the place. Lauren from her mother and me from the hoards of high school classmates who sought the place out as a spring break destination. I was very surprised to see some of the attention put into sculpting the island’s development, which I can only imagine was a rapid and entropic process hesitant to be wrangled. The island has its share of retail including big box stores like Lowes and Best Buy as well as outlet stores. These merchants line the large main road (highway) through the island. However, all the stores are barely visible from the roadway. They are accessible via smaller service roads that line the main road but are hidden behind large stands of tall pines. They’ve managed to maintain some of the area’s attractiveness while adding businesses and limiting access points. It’s almost like a boulevard but there is no parking on service roads. The parking lots are also didactically interesting (if that may be said). Again, large tress have been preserved and provide shade for the cars.

As an example consider these two gas stations I snapped in passing. The top from the main route on Hilton Head Island. The gas station barely visible and, in this case I think the service road runs on the opposite side of the station and the division provides enough room for a landscaped bike/ped path (not that it’s used). The bottom gas station is something we’re probably all more familiar with. This example comes from somewhere in SC, AKA Juarez, MX. Of course there are a number for reasons we see both approaches and HHI is not perfect (I’m sure we could get the flaws of developing ecologically sensitive barrier islands at all), but it is good to see real-life case studies for how things can be done differently and hopefully better.

That said I do not want to get into all the ways that Savannah’s Historic Review Board manages to have it’s way in the city’s growth and rejuvenation while the surrounding coast gets gobbled up. I like what they’ve done but think that those in the historic district could be leveraging their power to ease some pressure on the coast. Regardless, I always enjoy my time in the old city. We stayed in a wonderfully restored bed and breakfast thanks to a wedding gift given to us by friends from Atlanta. It even had showers, or as I like to call them, the watery grave of the Skidaway tick.

All in all it was a great weekend to get away from all the video games, gutters (which are finally back up), and possible injuries that Atlanta offers. It was a also a fitting way for Lauren and I to spend our last weekend together before I leave to Colombia (where ticks are not one of things you have to worry about).

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