Saturday, January 2, 2016

Summer Vacation 2015: Destination #2, Hilton Head Island, SC

The second phase of the trip was Hilton Head Island, SC.  A good “mid-way” point between Orange Beach and Richmond, VA.  So we hit the road, after loading a metric short ton of crap in the car we drove off.  We were about out of the parking lot when House Hold 6 “Seriously?”  I replied  “What?”  She replied “Chick??”  I looked in the rearview and saw Chick standing by the door of the hotel……. “yeah, I was just messing with her?!?”……Yeah that’s it.

                     Don't judge, it is easy to leave a child when you have to keep track of four hippos!
With all of the kids in the car we hit the road and made it to Tallahassee where we stopped for lunch at you guessed it.....Chipotle.  I love their food.  Then somehow my daughter conned me into letting her buy a $6 cupcake at some gourmet cupcake place.  We hit the road and we finally made it to our destination for a couple of days.  

Hilton Head Island is an odd place for a good old Montana hick.  Just about every square inch is used, however, it is an active place and there is a lot of foot and bike traffic.  It didn't seem as packed as it is.    Some of the roads look like bike paths and are paved around trees.  But….there are bike paths everywhere.  You could ride from one end to the other on bike paths.  Now, that said, we picked up are key and looked at the map.  It was a maze and you have to go through all of these little private area security booths.  Again, bizarre for someone like me.     

We got there late in the evening and the finally found our way in the maze of small sub-divided areas.  The kids went and swam in the pool after we unpacked.  The following morning I woke[up and decided I would explore before we made an attempt to go to the beach so I pulled out the Blackborrow.  I found my way to the beach and cruised a little bit.

   A totally different experience.  The beach is a hard packed sand and the Surly Lou tires were overkill.  

The beach was a totally different experience than Orange Beach.  The sand is packed, you could probably ride a Pinerello with 22mm wide tires on it.  I enjoyed the fresh salt air and rode into the wind so I would have a push back.  I didn't put a ton miles in because I knew the tsunami would be stirring back at the room.  

I headed back and making my way to the bike path.  As I cruised down the path I noticed something.
                                  I was unaware that there were alligators everywhere.

When I got back to the room everyone was stirring.  Especially House Hold 6's hair......almost as frightening as the alligator.
The South Carolina humidity was taking it toll!
Then it was time to get dressed and do some tourist stuff.  For the record, Chevy Suburban and Hilton Head Island do not go together well.  We went to the beach and walked around for a little while. The kids played in the ocean for a while and then we went to lunch at a place called the Salty Dog Cafe.  The food was great and reasonably priced.  I ordered a crab cake burger and it was outstanding.  

       This is one for the record books, every one looks reasonably happy and we are all looking in the right direction!
We did a little more sight seeing and then went back to the room and back to the beach.  The water was very different from the clear blue water of the Gulf Coast.  It was warm and muddy in appearance. Probably due to the large river outlets.  The tide was out and the ocean was flat as a dance floor.  The kids dug in the sand and played for a couple of hours.  
Our goal is to wear everyone down so they sleep at night.  Sufficiently baked in the sun and worn out, we found all of the kids and headed back to the house.  We made a run for dinner, I picked up Chipotle.  Have I mentioned that I like Chipotle?  We ate at the room and the kids played in the pool for a while and then it was bed time.  I am not sure if they were tired, HH6 and I were.
The next day the weather was going to turn for the worst.  So I charged my headlamp and I got up at 5 a.m. so I could get a decent ride in.  I was going to shoot for 20 miles round trip since we had a realy long drive ahead of us.  I love to watch the sun rise.  As a Montana boy, the beach is an amazing place.  When the sun rises, it goes from dark to light in what seems like a flash.  In the mountains, it could be light before the sun crests  the mountains in the horizon.  Same with sunsets on the beach.  The sun just disappears and it is dark.  

It was cloudy so it wasn't a stellar sunrise.  But it was a sunrise on the beach.  
I ended up riding to the southern tip of the island and turned around at the 9 mile mark, making it 18 miles round trip.  That was largely due to time since I spoke with a local for 1/2 an hour about the Salsa Blackborow and the Army. 
As I made my way back I was passing by a golf course when I noticed something lurking in the distance.  A big alligator was walking across the fare way.  When it saw me it lay flat.  I was glad, I have been chased by many a dog over the years.  I have been shot at (or at least in the direction of) by bird hunters....
The last thing I wanted was to be chased by an alligator.  
When I got back to the house, HH6 had packed all the bags and we loaded up.  It was time for the 3rd destination, Virginia.  House Hold 6 and I agree that we could live there.  The community is very active, with people walking the beach and riding bikes on the paths and beach.  It was a great place for a fat bike like the Blackborow, though the Lou tires were definitely overkill.  I would do this again.  


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