Water, Water, Everywhere
week, I told you about my recent vacation, if I may call it that. Due to rain,
the entire week was almost a wash out, and we had only two clear afternoons to
do anything other than drive in the rain, and wade through puddles. We were
looking forward to moving on to some dry weather and sunshine like the
vacations you see in the travel brochures.
For our second week, we headed to Myrtle Beach We were looking
forward to leaving the bad weather of the mountains behind us. As our bad luck
would have it, the weather forecast said a hurricane was headed for South
Carolina. The good news: It would not be a direct hit. The bad news: It would
travel along the eastern coast and cause a lot of rain. We decided to go anyhow.
With all the rain we had endured so far, how much worse could it be?
Much worse, we found out when we came to the first roadblock
where the Interstate was closed due to flooded roads and washed out bridges. We
were rerouted by the highway patrol to another road, which also was blocked.
From there, we were sent to another road, and another, and another, about five
times. Each road was smaller and sooner or later barricaded. South Carolina law
enforcement did a great job of getting barricades across roads and redirecting
traffic. By now we were running out of gas and there were no gas stations. We
were worn out and what should have been a 5 hour trip turned into a 10 hour
Trying to get through Columbia, SC, was terrible. We saw
abandoned cars with water up to the roof. Homes and businesses were flooded, and
the rain was coming down in buckets. My sister screamed as a tree fell on top of
a restaurant, a transformer exploded with a flash, and the stop lights shot
sparks like the Forth of July and shorted out. I've never seen so much rain -
ever - and apparently neither had South Carolina, as we found out later on the
news. It was a disaster movie. Somehow it is so much worse when you see it with
your own eyes and know you are helpless against the forces of nature. We decided
that every road to the coast was closed and we couldn't get there.
Nothing like a vacation in a disaster area.
Eventually we stumbled onto highway that was passable and were
able to reach our rain-soaked destination. After a few liquid days, the rain
ended. Most roads were reopened, and we were able to leave the condo.
"Don't drive around barricades." and "Don't try to drive through
water over a road." tourists were told. Really? People actually do that?
Trying to salvage what was left of our "vacation", we
decided to check out a botanical and sculpture garden which my sister and I
remembered from our childhood. After a tour of the gardens, we took what was
supposed to be a wildlife tour on a boat. We didn't see much wildlife, only
flooded rice fields. We did see a black log in the grass that the tour guide
said was an alligator. It didn't look like an alligator to me, but by the time
we came back, the log had crawled about 30 feet through the grass along the
bank. Perhaps it was an alligator after all.
Eventually, the the sun would come out and we would have two
entire days of good weather. We had almost forgotten what the sun looks like.
Next week, I will tell you more about tourist destinations and how we couldn't
find them, even with a GPS.
By the way, if you are planning a trip to the ocean, don't go.