The Phoenix Nest

Charleston KOA, near Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston KOA, near Charleston, South Carolina

A Stop on the Phoenix's Grand Fossil Tour

By Jim Fulton

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Abstract

I spent a week at the Charleston KOA, near Charleston, South Carolina, an area famous for human history, not paleontology. While there I visited the colonial homes of both Charleston and Savannah, walked around Fort Sumter, and marveled at a magnificent old oak tree.

Page Prerequisites
Page Specifications
Id Flights_GFT_2018_0227
Title Charleston KOA, near Charleston, South Carolina
Subtitle A Stop on the Phoenix's Grand Fossil Tour
Keywords Charleston, South Carolina, Charleston KOA, Fort Sumter
Author Jim Fulton
Author's URL https://fenixnest/Phoenix/
Copyright 2018
Status Published: 2018/3/27
Last Revised 2018-03-29

Charleston, South Carolina

Arrived 2018/2/27
Day of Tour 220
Nights Stayed 7
Departed 2018/3/6
Map miles from last stop 282
Mileage on arrival 33,060
Actual miles from last stop 406
Accumulated miles for trip 16,155

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I spent a week at the Charleston KOA, near Charleston, South Carolina, an area famous for human history, not paleontology. While there I visited the colonial homes of both Charleston and Savannah, walked around Fort Sumter, and marveled at a magnificent old oak tree.

It was a good day for a drive to Charleston, bright and sunny. Most was on interstate. Lesser roads would have extended the 5-hour drive beyond my comfort zone.

Once I crossed into South Carolina, I was routed onto state highways for a while, and got to see some of the back country, instead of the artificial rows of trees that they use to line interstates and thereby mask what’s really there. Didn’t actually change much, because that part of the state is mostly wooded, with fields and pastures and yards here and there just beginning to show a soft new growth of green. Spring is on its way!

I’ve gotten away from the “unnatural” February warmth of Florida and southern Georgia. Temperatures are still higher than I’m used to this time of year, but the nights are pleasantly cool.

Page Contents
Page Contents

Coastal Cities of the South

My original plan was to split a week between Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina. But when I looked closely at my campground options, I decided to stay the whole week near Charleston, and drive down to Savannah for a day.

Charleston, South Carolina

I drove into downtown Charleston to notch yet another historic place on my staff. Most modern cities are pretty much the same: the same chains of stores, the same range of forgettable architecture. But old cities like Charleston often display a unique charm. So it was here.

Charleston’s old section near the harbor was intriguing. As you can imagine, the houses were big. They had to be to accommodate the large families and their servants. But lots of old cities have sections of big old houses.

What makes Charleston unique in my experience is that most of the big houises turn their shoulders to the street. In most cities, the front entrance faces the street. Not here. Instead the front entrance was to the side, facing a private garden, which butted up against the back side of the neighboring house. Family and friends could sit on the front porch and not be disturbed by the bustle in the street. I wonder why such a style didn’t catch on more widely.

Since I started my visit to Charleston with a tour of Fort Sumter, which I report on , my photos begin with the harbor and what I could see there. Then they broaden out into the city.

Photo Gallery for Charleston

Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston Flag at Half Mast for Florida School Shooting
Thoughts and prayers and lowered flags are no substitute for common sense gun control!
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston Aquarium
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston Aquarium
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston Aquarium
Charleston, South Carolina
Arthur Ravenal Bridge
Charleston, South Carolina
Arthur Ravenal Bridge
Charleston, South Carolina
Arthur Ravenal Bridge
Charleston, South Carolina
Arthur Ravenal Bridge
Charleston, South Carolina
Arthur Ravenal Bridge
Charleston, South Carolina
Arthur Ravenal Bridge
As seen from Fort Sumter
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston Harbor from Tour Boat
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston Harbor from Tour Boat
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston Harbor from Tour Boat
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston Harbor from Tour Boat
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston Harbor from Tour Boat
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston Church Spires from Tour Boat
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston Harbor from Fort Sumter
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston Harbor from Fort Sumter
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston Harbor from Fort Sumter
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston Harbor from Fort Sumter
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston Harbor from Fort Sumter
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston Harbor from Fort Sumter
Charleston, South Carolina
Castle Pinckney
Charleston, South Carolina
Castle Pinckney
Charleston, South Carolina
Castle Pinckney
Charleston, South Carolina
Sullivan's Island
Charleston, South Carolina
Sullivan's Island
Charleston, South Carolina
Fort Moultrie on Sullivan's Island
Charleston, South Carolina
USS Yorktown
Charleston, South Carolina
USS Yorktown
Charleston, South Carolina
USS Yorktown
Charleston, South Carolina
USS Yorktown
Charleston, South Carolina
USS Yorktown
Charleston, South Carolina
USS Yorktown
Charleston, South Carolina
Freighter passing in front of USS Yorktown
Charleston, South Carolina
Freighter in Charleston Harbor
Charleston, South Carolina
Freighter in Charleston Harbor
Charleston, South Carolina
Freighter in Charleston Harbor
Charleston, South Carolina
Freighter in Charleston Harbor
Charleston, South Carolina
Freighter in Charleston Harbor
Charleston, South Carolina
Freighter in Charleston Harbor
Charleston, South Carolina
Freighter in Charleston Harbor
Charleston, South Carolina
Freighter in Charleston Harbor
Charleston, South Carolina
Freighter in Charleston Harbor
Charleston, South Carolina
Freighter in Charleston Harbor
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston Custom House
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston Custom House
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston Custom House
Charleston, South Carolina
A Ruined Building in Construction Zone
Charleston, South Carolina
A Ruined Building in Construction Zone
Charleston, South Carolina
Walking through Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina
Walking through Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina
Walking through Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina
Walking through Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina
Walking through Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina
Walking through Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina
Walking through Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina
Walking through Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina
Walking through Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina
Walking through Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina
Walking through Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina
Walking through Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina
Walking through Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina
Walking through Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina
Walking through Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina
Walking through Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston's White Point Garden
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston's White Point Garden
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston's White Point Garden
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston's Church Street
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston's Church Street
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston's Old Houses
Built by Robert Brewton in 1720
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston's Old Houses
Built by Robert Brewton in 1720
(Click for full-sized image.)
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston's Old Houses
Built by Thomas_Rose in 1735
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston's Old Houses
Built by Thomas_Rose in 1735
(Click for full-sized image.)
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston's Old Houses
Built by Capers Motte in 1745
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston's Old Houses
Built by Capers Motte in 1745
(Click for full-sized image.)
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston's Old Houses
Heyward-Washington House, 1772
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston's Old Houses
Heyward-Washington House, 1772
(Click for full-sized image.)
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston's Old Houses
Edmondston-Alston House, 1825
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston's Old Houses
Edmondston-Alston House, 1825
(Click for full-sized image.)

Savannah, Georgia

My original plan for Savannah was to stop at the visitors center, and then walk around the old part of the city. But I succumbed to the lure of a tour bus, and it’s a good thing I did! The old part of Savannah, the part that makes Savannah unique, is the overall plan of the city.


By Fgrammen - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Sketch of Savannah's Town Plan showing four cellular wards, each containing eight city blocks around a square (four residential blocks in the corners, each split by a narrow lane, plus four smaller commercial blocks east and west of the square).Wikipedia

Savannah is arrayed in an array of wards, each consisting of a public square surrounded on all sides by two or three concentric (“con-square-ic”) squares of private homes or shops. Roads lead off in rectilinear fashion from the edges and the center of each of the public squares. If you travel, as our bus did, from the center road from and square, you will arrive in a few blocks at the center of the next square.

Imagine if you will, a grid of squares separated by twice their width. Then connect the centers of adjacent squares with roads. Then run more roads along their edges. Then divide the resulting blocks into equal sized lots. Fill them with big houses and shops. And there you have old Savannah. This was the plan devised by founder James Oglethorpe back in 1733. As you view the photos below, imagine them as snapshots into that city architecture.

Of course, this city plan means that old Savannah is big, and there are things worth seeing all over the place, much more than I could appreciate in my half-day’s visit. But it was fun, and worthwhile, nonetheless, even if the bus tour guide did almost completely ignore that huge, ugly troll of slavery, war, and segregation.

One thing these photos demonstrate is the overwhelming presence of live oak trees throughout the city.

 

Photo Gallery for Savannah

Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston KOA

This was a typical KOA, with gravel sites, just big enough. The highway running by was very busy, and getting out could take some time, especially when encumbered by a trailer.

Photo Gallery for Charleston KOA

Charleston KOA
Charleston KOA
Charleston KOA
Charleston KOA
Charleston KOA
Charleston KOA
Charleston KOA
Charleston KOA
Charleston KOA
Charleston KOA
Address 9494 U.S. Highway 78
Ladson SC 29456
Home Page https://koa.com/campgrounds/charleston/
Phone Reserve: (800) 562-5812‬
Info: ‭(843) 797-1045
Associations
Rate (net US$) $44
Pros
  • Relaxed and comfortable
Cons
  • Very busy highway
Reviews (as of 2018/3/10)
Reviewer Rating Out of
RV Park Reviews 6 Average 10
Good Sam 8 10
KOA 3.5 5
Tripadvisor 2.5 5
Phoenix 7 10
  Site Type pull-through  
  Site Size 7 10
  Ease of Access 6 10
  WiFiPhoenix 6 10

Points of Interest

Two places caught my eye in planning what to see in the Charleston area: Fort Sumter and Angel Oak.

Fort Sumter

Fort Sumter sits out in Charleston Harbor on a man-made island, a couple miles from Fort Moultrie on the north and Fort Johnson on the southwest. It was built by the Federal Government to complete a ring of coastal protection against external invasion. It is best known as the site of the first shots of the American Civil War, fired when the American commander moved his troops there from the less defensible forts nearer the city. It’s not much to look at. The Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, and even the old fort in my home town of Fort Scott, have much more to show, each with functionally complete cities.

Fort Sumter is just a ring of gun emplacements, and these hadn’t even been completed when those first shots were fired, part of the reason the siege was so short. After the Civil War, the short range guns were replaced with more powerful ones ethat were never used in combat. During WWII, even those emplacements were filled in with sand to support the installation of modern long-range artillery.

One of the perils of a philosophical education is an enhanced awareness of nothing, of things that are not there, and might, even should, be. What was not there, neither in the Park Ranger’s spiel at Fort Sumter, nor in the long narrative on my later bus tour of Savannah, was any acknowledgement of the deep, persistent wrongness of slavery and its after-effects. When it was mentioned at all, it was dismissively as the natural labor force of the time, on a par with the Irish or Italian laborers of later in the century. If the war is mentioned, it is treated as a violent game between two rivals of equal stature and righteousness, a kind of super-bowl. The South, it seems, still cannot concede the abhorrence of its treatment of Blacks then, because then it would have to admit the abhorrence of its treatment of them now. Anyway, I found this particular bit of what was not there difficult to take.

Photo Gallery for Fort Sumter

Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter National Monument Visitor Center
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter National Monument Visitor Center
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter from Visitor Center
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter Ferry
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter Tour Boat
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter Tour Boat
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter Tour Boat
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter Tour Boat
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter from Tour Boat
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter from Tour Boat
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter from Tour Boat
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter from Tour Boat
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter from Tour Boat
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter from Tour Boat
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter from Tour Boat
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter from Tour Boat
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter from Tour Boat
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter from Tour Boat
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter from Tour Boat
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter

Angel Oak

When I first visited Charleston, I wore these old legs out walking around Fort Sumter and the old city. So I passed over one of the items I had noted in a brochure: the Angel Oak. But I stopped by to see it on my way back from Savannah. I had missed a well-known oak in Savannah (it was on the wrong side of the bus when we drove by), but Savannah is full of oaks, replete with Spanish Moss, and from what I could see from my side of the bus, it wasn’t significantly bigger, though reputedly much older, 300 years or so.

Now my decision to visit Angel Oak was not so much that I expected something spectacular. Hyperbole surrounds everything in any way remarkable in the environs of tourist areas. But I love oak trees. I have since I was a tad playing under the mighty oaks in The Hollow across from Grandmother’s house. So I thought that seeing this one would be fun. Just another big old oak tree.

Wrong! This was not just another big old oak tree. This was Father Oak, the Master. This was Old Man Willow from Tolkien’s Old Forest and Yggdrasil, the Norse Tree of Life, all rolled into one. “Angel Oak”? No! A thousand times No! Angels are the messengers of God; they represent what is good and orderly. There is nothing orderly about this tree! It is magnificent power and awesome chaos. Redwoods might be taller; sequoias might be more massive. But nothing compares to the sheer majesty of this wonderful oak.

Photo Gallery for "Angel Oak"

Fort Sumter
Angel Oak
Angel Oak
Angel Oak
Angel Oak
(Click for full-sized photo.)
Angel Oak
Angel Oak
(Click for full-sized photo.)
Angel Oak
Angel Oak
(Click for full-sized photo.)
Angel Oak
Angel Oak
(Click for full-sized photo.)
Angel Oak
Angel Oak
(Click for full-sized photo.)
Angel Oak
Angel Oak
(Click for full-sized photo.)
Angel Oak
Angel Oak
(Click for full-sized photo.)
Angel Oak
Angel Oak
(Click for full-sized photo.)
Angel Oak
Angel Oak
(Click for full-sized photo.)
Angel Oak
Angel Oak
(Click for full-sized photo.)
Angel Oak
Angel Oak
(Click for full-sized photo.)
Angel Oak
Angel Oak
(Click for full-sized photo.)
Angel Oak
Angel Oak
(Click for full-sized photo.)

Onward

From Charleston I continued my way north to Charlotte, North Carolina.

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