Monday, July 17, 2017

South Carolina Fini-- No It's Not

My wife is going to California for our nephew's wedding, and since there's nothing I hate more than having to spend time with my children, I orchestrated pawning them off on my parents. (Actually, it's supposed to make it so I can work during these two weeks.) Since my parents live in Ohio and we live in Florida, we decided to meet in the middle.

We left last Friday and drove through eastern Georgia and western South Carolina. We camped at Sadlers Creek State Park.

Can I tell you how stupid it is that state parks and national forests don't let you reserve a campsite for one night on a weekend? Especially tent sites, since NO ONE CAMPS IN TENTS ANYMORE. Why do they even CALL it "camping" these days? There is nothing even remotely camp-like about what the people at the RV sites are doing. This park had 14 tent sites. Thirteen of them were empty. We were the fourteenth. But we had to pay for a night we didn't use because these tent sites are in such HIGH DEMAND that we can't POSSIBLY allow someone to reserve for only ONE NIGHT!

The next morning we finished the drive to Asheville, and summitted our ninth high point: Sassafras Mountain, South Carolina.

After we met my parents and abandoned handed off our children, my wife and I came home through Charlotte.

Our five-year-old car had its second cracked windshield from road debris. I mentioned this last February on my first trip back to America after 18 months in China, but American highways increasingly leave you with the feeling, "This country used to be rich." How about less crumbling infrastructure and more just infrastructure, America? Of course, that's not going to happen as long as public works projects continue to cost four times what a comparable project costs in Europe. Word of advice for drivers in Late-Empire America: get glass coverage from your auto insurance provider.

And a word of advice for Charlotte drivers: it's called rain, and you'd do well to learn how to drive in it. We saw six accidents in 20 minutes driving across town.

All in all, I added another 33 counties, moving my total to 1,807.

Looking at the map, you might be asking, "Why didn't you finish South Carolina?" Well, we have get to pick up our kids in the future, we thought. So I had a second trip planned for two weeks from now, which would have added these 37 other counties, completing South Carolina, western North Carolina, and adding our tenth high point: Mount Mitchell. However, comma, plans have had to change, and now my parents are going to drive the entire way to Florida to hand the kids back to us.

Good news about this change: two more days of working and not being robbed by another state park (this time it was going to be Tallulah Falls State Park in Georgia). Bad news about this change: no counties, no high point, and unsightly holes in my counties-completed map.

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