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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Discovering Myrtle Beach State Park

Hi Blog! Today we took a four mile bike ride from our campground, in downtown Myrtle Beach, south to Myrtle Beach State Park. The park was constructed back in 1935 by members of the Civilian Conservation Corps.  Several of the original buildings are still being used today. The park has one mile of "relatively" undeveloped beach along the Atlantic Ocean. While there are old CCC buildings, camping office, gift shop, picnic pavilions and a fishing pier, there are none of the high rise condos and hotels that now line the beach in the rest of Myrtle Beach.  In the park, the tallest things are the trees.

First order of business - lunch time!

Here is the view from our picnic table.

We learned something new today. We always thought the trees near the beach were bent by the wind. The wind does play a part, but only so far as picking up salt from the ocean and depositing it on the leaves of the branches closest to the sea.  The salt inhibits growth.  The tree grows on the side away from the salt air, but does not grow on the side facing the sea, giving it that windblown look.

As this is Car Show Weekend and Spring Break, the campground was pretty full.  Many of the campers came down to the beach.

To the south, we see the Myrtle Beach Fishing Pier. For a small fee, you can get a day use permit and fish and crab from the pier.

To the north, we can see downtown and all those high rises.  Let's walk south.

We talked to a couple of fisherman. They didn't have much luck today, but that didn't stop them from having a fun day in the sun.

Here's the view from the pier.

Here Kathy contemplates how lucky we are that the State of South Carolina thought to preserve this area and keep it from getting developed into condos.

As we walked under the pier, the incoming tide gives an interesting effect.

Just past the pier, a small stream meanders through the park on its way to the ocean.  Luckily, the flow was small enough to allow us to leap over the stream bank without getting our sneakers wet.

Between the ocean and forest is a series of sand dunes. There are several boardwalks which take visitors over and around the dunes in order to protect this fragile environment.

After exploring the beach, we rode our bikes over to the campground. We would love to be able to stay in more state parks, but we find our truck and fifth wheel just don't fit many of the campground sites or roads. This park advertises full-hook up, 50 amp sites, but when we actually went into the campground office and asked how many, they had only three. "C'est la vie!"

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