Dirt Road to Nowhere

Published: July 25th 2011
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Harper and Me at the KOAHarper and Me at the KOAHarper and Me at the KOA

Charleston KOA Ladson, SC
Every time I get on my Suzuki VStrom I am reminded what an awesome bike it is. The only thing that would make it better would be if it was shaft driven so I would not have to bother with its chain. Other than that it is the best bike I have ever ridden or owned.

Of course on a 101 degree day I waited until 11:30 am to leave for my little jaunt around South Carolina and because my oldest middle child Harper wants to go I cannot take my Camel Pack. Before we leave I make my son drink a big glass of water and I do the same.

After a quick glass of water we load up and make the short 35 miles to Shannontown, which is located just east of Sumter, SC. Of course when we got there we found nothing but old run down houses and burned out buildings. No town sign, no church with the town name on it, no nothing. If you have been following along with my Grand Tour so far you will know that the “TOWN SIGN” is what is needed in order to get credit for the trip. First stop was a bust and no credit toward completing this Grand Tour.

Next we head some 15 miles up the road to Pinewood, SC. And as luck has it, there is a nice green highway sign just as we head into town. I was surprised at how big this little town was; they had their own water tower and a really nice train depot. I think I will have to come back again when I have more time, so I can explore.

On the way to Eadytown Harper and I stop in Santee, SC for a quick lunch at Subway. I usually like to look for BBQ when I am on the road but I am on a diet (lost 34 pounds so far) and I knew that two big meals where not good for me. So I decided on a small midday meal so I could go out to a nice dinner with my wife this evening. While at Subway we downed a couple of bottles of water; did I mention how hot it was today?

On the way to Eadytown we came across the little town of Eutaw Springs. This little town was not even

Subway Santee, SC
on my map, but it had a sign and “SPRING” is one of the “Travel Names” needed for the Grand Tour, so I got a photo of my bike, the sign and my identification placard. This made up for Shannontown not having a sign.

On the way to Eadytown the GPS took us down a series of dirt roads that took us nowhere and as luck would have it Eadytown did not even have a sign anyway, so I am still one behind my goal. I really don’t understand maps! Towns that are on the map don’t have signs and then little towns like Eutaw Springs that are so small that they don’t even rate a spot on the map have a State Sign.

Our next stop is shown in large print on our map so I am hopeful. And sure enough as we roll into town we see a nice big green town sign and another to let all that pass through town that Holly Hill is the home of the Holly Hill Roberts Bulldogs – AAA Basketball State Champs and home of HOLCIM Inc., a world class portland cement manufacturer. We were both really impressed! While
Harper and VStromHarper and VStromHarper and VStrom

Subway Santee, SC
in Holly Hill will topped the bike off with gas and downed a couple of bottles of water at the local BP station before turning the bike towards the coast.

An hour later we were pulling into the Charleston KOA in Ladson, SC. I was so excited about showing this campground to Harper because when we camped here with the family about 10 years ago they had a pet Cougar and Alligator in big cages near the pool. I always worried about that gator getting in the pool. So I was sad to find out both of their pets had died in the last few years. All we got to see were the two empty pens. I talked with the manager while I was there to see if he would like to trade out a few of my “Fainting Goats” for some free camping. Hopefully he will call me back soon.

We left the campground and headed back up towards Orangeburg County to the small town of Bolentown. When we got there the only thing we found were a few houses and a pretty big fire station with the town name on it. I pulled into the station and got a photo of Harper holding my placard in front of the station.

As we were leaving town we saw a sign that said Pinehill was only four miles away. Of course this was another little town that was not on my map but when we got there we found a great little green highway sign with the town name on it.

I am happy to report that I left home with the goal of six successes for credit towards completing this Grand Tour and I ended up with six; just not the six that I had planned for.

After 290 miles of ridding Harper and I made it home safe. As we pulled into the driveway my wife informed me that she was ready to ride into Columbia to get some supper. I got a quick shower and headed into town on the bike with my wife. We went to one of my favorite places, Wild Wings Café. One reason I like it so much is that they offer “Motorcycle Only” parking. We had a great time and enjoyed a ride in the cool evening air.
Total miles ridden = 331

Grand Tour Score as of today is 17 (30 Points are needed to complete):

WOOD – 3
CITY – 0
ROCK – 1
TOWN – 2
LAKE – 2
FALL – 1
KOA - 2

Check out my other “Travel the USA with KOA” Grand Tour Rides:

2011 Travel the USA with KOA Grand Tour
My Daughters First REAL Ride!
Blythewood Smoked Bar-B-Que Grand Opening

Additional photos below
Photos: 17, Displayed: 17


Dirt on tireDirt on tire
Dirt on tire

From the road to nowhere
Charleston KOACharleston KOA
Charleston KOA

Ladson, SC
Motorcycle Parking OnlyMotorcycle Parking Only
Motorcycle Parking Only

Wild Wings Columbia SC Not sure why my wife is looking so mean!
Cindy and ICindy and I
Cindy and I

Wild Wings Columbia SC

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