The 116 mile drive from Moncure, North Carolina was a breeze except for the congestion we encountered in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Once we passed the bad roads around Fort Bragg and through Fayetteville we were in South Carolina in no time. One of the things I love about South Carolina is that they have the lowest gas taxes in the USA so we filled up with diesel at $2.11 per gallon, cheapest we have ever seen during our nearly five years in the road.
A little later we settled into our site at Bass Lake RV Campground. This is yet another nice Passport America park for less than $20 per night. We only planned to stay for two nights in Dillon, SC as there is a pretty ferocious cold front heading our way and we hate cold weather. Therefore we will move further south (about 200 miles) to Savannah Georgia to avoid the brunt of the cold weather.
Since we spent the first day mostly traveling and relaxing we decided the next day to drive over to nearby Florence, South Carolina where we wanted to take a good hike and visit a brewery. The hike we were looking for was the Florence Rail Trail which is part of a larger Florence trail network. It was a bit difficult to find the starting point but we finally managed to find some parking near the Florence veterans park.
The veteran’s park was really nice and much more elaborate than most city parks honoring veterans. From the veteran’s park our trail continued south along Jefferies Creek. We weren’t sure if the trail would be navigable after the deluge of rains Florence encountered recently. Although the trail was still a bit wet and mucky we managed to get in a good 3 to 3.5 miles of hiking. There were a few boardwalks that were a bit disheveled due to the recent flooding but all in all it was a nice walk by the creekside amongst the black gum, ash, sweet gum and pine trees. We even spotted one deer in this urban park setting.
The real coup during our walk occurred when we emerged from the creek we found ourselves in a shopping district.We came out of the woods near an Academy sporting goods store. For those that haven’t heard of Academy, it is a large company found extensively in the southeast. They have great prices and quality so we decided to go into the store since we haven’t been in one in a long time. We lucked into a shoe clearance and Sharon got a new pair of tennis shoes for half price. However, I won the deal of the day as I found a pair for me that were originally $120.00 but were on clearance for $9.99. Yes, that’s right! Only 10 bucks for new shoes…
We also bought a couple of new disc golf drivers that were on clearance. I made the large store bag into a makeshift backpack and then carried our loot back down the trail to the car. Feeling pretty proud of our stellar shopping experience we drove over to the Southern Hops Brewing Company to celebrate. Sadly they only had four of their beers on tap and South Carolina doesn’t allow free tastings so Sharon ended up with a decent Brown Ale and I opted for a Lagunitas IPA from their guest tap since I didn’t want any of their other craft beers they made.
We made it back home safe and sound to begin packing for the next leg of our journey down south and out of the cold…