Full Moon Rising

JONES ISLAND CAMPGROUND OVERFLOW LOT —

Charleston, South Carolina is dark at night. Weirdly dark. They have some new streetlights that look like they save energy, but the streets are tight and dark and it’s hard to drive a big truck around. I got trapped on rough cobblestones and dead-ends near the waterfront. I creaked and braked through Saturday-evening crowds crossing the dark streets to bars and restaurants. Finally, in the process of giving up and heading out to Walmart, I found Colonial Lake with plenty of parking around it. When I got out of the truck the full moon was rising over the flat, still water, behind palms and old verandaed houses, and my ass hurt from driving for so long. Took a walk but didn’t stay for dinner.

I came in on Route 17, which is a modern four-lane lined with flimsy wooden stands for sweetgrass basket weavers to sell their wares. I liked the outskirts of Charleston more than the inside. Passed through a national forest and wide openings in the low country off toward the ocean. People burn things freely in South Carolina, and smoke hovered over the marshes in the sunset.

About 10 minutes out of downtown there’s a park run by the county with a huge campground that’s as modern and tidy as can be. I stayed in the extra lot with a couple other campers, as it was Friday night and everything was booked solid. The temperature got down near 40 at night but I refused to turn the heater on until 5 a.m. Now the sun is up, I made some coffee, and the dog has thawed out. Off for a shower.

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