Sunday, May 16, 2010

Hidden in the Woods

Robin had to work all weekend and I really didn't want to sit at home so on Friday evening I went to pick up our prescriptions and then got a call from Samantha asking if I wanted to go to Formosa for some lumpia. Uh, yeah!! She met me at the pharmacy and we headed over to the restaurant where I had the vegetable lo mein and 4 pieces of lumpia. Delicious!

After eating we headed over to Bed, Bath and Beyond so I could pick up some coffee for the Keurig and Tassimo machines and also look at spice racks. I was looking for a spice rack that didn't have spices in it already and weren't labeled. I wanted to add the spices and label them myself, which is apparently unheard of because I can't find one anywhere! What's up with that?

Of course, while I was at BB&B I had to go to the cookware section to gaze longingly at the Calphalon set that I highly covet. After BB&B we went next door to Ross, which I haven't been to in years. I forgot how cheap their stuff is! I found a nice, big, red stock pot for only $21! I also bought a little KitchenAid whisk that was less than half the retail price. I liked it because it didn't have one of those skinny little grips that are hard to hold when whisking away!

After Ross we went to Target... again, no spice racks that would suit my needs. After Target I was ready to go home, but remembered that I had to go to the "Devil's Playground" - I loathe having to go there. I dragged poor Samantha along with me and bought some things we needed for the house. It's never a fun trip.

Yesterday I made plans to exploring with Patrick. He keeps finding these places that I've never even heard of, even after living here for 25 years!

Before heading out I decided to prepare myself a little better than I did for our last adventure. I wore shorts because it was supposed to be 90 degrees out, but I also brought some jeans and tennis shoes in case we were walking in tall grass. I also brought a couple bottles of zero calorie Life Water by Sobe, which is my new favorite addiction, and also a face cloth in case I had another one of my flash sweating episodes.

We left around 11:30 and headed out to Awendaw to the Sewee Visitor Center to get a map to the Francis Marion Forest. I called earlier to see if they had them, but apparently I called the wrong office! We got our map, took some photos of the gators in the pond next to the center and then decided to walk the Nebo Pond Trail, which is about a mile. The first leg of the trail is a boardwalk and then turns into a trail covered with pine straw that kept getting caught in my sandals! Ouch! It was a pretty boring walk and the only thing we saw that was noteworthy was an owl. There was also a large fenced in area with endangered red wolves. I always feel sorry for animals that are confined. I can't even go to the S.P.C.A. without tearing up!

After I sufficiently sweated up a storm, we headed out to Tibwin Plantation in McClellanville. The house was built in 1805, but as you can see from the link, there isn't much known about the plantation. Before we drove out there, Patrick sent me a couple of links and I did some research myself, but couldn't come up with anything. I was really hoping that we could at least find a photo of what the house looked like before it fell into disrepair.

When we turned off of Highway 17 we were on a little dirt road and drove about 1/4 of a mile before coming to a fence with a lock on it.

Patrick has way better common sense than I do because I was fully preparing to climb the fence to get on the property. The next thing I know, he is coming out of the woods saying that there is a makeshift path and a sign that says no motorized vehicles. There were no signs saying "no pedestrians" so it was game on!

Before we started our hike I did change into my tennis shoes because we couldn't see the house and we had no idea of what was in store for us. We walked through the woods, around the fence and down the path to the plantation house. Thankfully the road was well maintained and not overgrown. Of course, as usual, I was constantly on the lookout for our slithery friends and thankfully the only one we saw was dead.

After a good walk, I heard Patrick say "There it is!" Of course I didn't see it first because I was looking down to make sure I didn't step on anything! I was having issues with my camera so I stopped for a minute to mess with it. Patrick asked if I minded that he walked ahead and I said no. When he was about 20-30 feet away from me I was attacked by bees. I have no idea how many of them there were, but later on Robin counted 7 stings on my back. I only saw one of them - the little bastards. When they stung me I could feel it and I pulled my shirt away from my back to get them off of me. After that I could feel the venom travel across my back and it burned like crazy. I knew that there was really nothing I could do so I carried on. Luckily I'm not allergic. I found that out a couple of years ago after being stung by two bees.

When I caught up to Patrick we walked through the tall grass across the field in front of the house. It was amazing! While taking pictures we heard this loud bang and it took us a couple of second to figure out what it was. The shutter on the side of the house wasn't secured and every once in a while it would slam against the house. It was one of eeriest things that I have ever heard. Here we are on this centuries old plantation near the coast with no one around. It's quiet as can be and the only thing you hear is the band of that shutter. So haunting!

After several photos we walked back to the side of the house and I told Patrick that I was going to go up to the porch. We walked through more tall grass (I really can't believe I didn't see a snake!!) The porch was in horrible shape but I really wanted to see if the front door was unlocked. Patrick went up first and then pointed out where I needed to walk on the beams. When I made it up there I took several photos and then tried the door. It was locked! I looked in the window and was amazed that there were curtains hanging in every window! How incredibly odd. I really wish I knew what year the last residents left.

After exploring the front porch we walked back to the side of the house and then to the back. There was another door and when I turned the knob and pushed it opened. I think I actually gasped. The door was open a bit and I looked at Patrick... he said "I'm not going in there!" I told him to come with me and he kept saying he wouldn't. I finally said that this might be his only chance to go in. We don't know how long this building would be here and there weren't any "no trespassing" signs. I also told him that I didn't want to go in alone... it freaked me out a bit. He finally gave in after I promised not to go upstairs.

I can't even begin to explain the feeling of being in that old, abandoned, falling apart plantation house. I tried to walk slowly while testing each step before taking a whole one. The fire places with their centuries old bricks, the molded cornices, the curtains still hung... it was overwhelming and a total imagination stimulator. I was in heaven!

The front stairs.

Going in the back door, take a left. This is the first room.
Take a right and you are in the main room.

The main room ceiling.

The main room.

The doorway of into the hall - gorgeous molding!

The stairwell

The curtains and a little birds nest.

Wallpaper in the main room.

The door leading to the back yard.

The back door

After a walk around the bottom floor we decided to head out and back down the trail. There were other buildings to explore but the brush was so overgrown that you could barely see them. We'll have to go back in the Winter when everything has died down and all of our slithery friends (and the bees!) are in hiding!

Hidden buildings on the property.

View from the road.

From Tibland Plantation we stopped for beverages and gas before moving on. Our next stop was the St. James Santee Church, which I have been to many times and wanted to show Patrick. After spending some time there we headed to Cainhoy to the St. Thomas Church. The last time I was at the church was over a decade ago when I did a volunteer job for RAOGK. At the time the only thing I had was a 35mm camera to my name so I really don't have any good photos from there.

We walked around and took some photos and then as we were getting ready to leave I decided to see if the door just happened to be open (imagine that!) When I pulled the (very cool) doorknob the door opened. Huh? Really? WOW!

We entered the church and again, what an amazing place! I can only imagine what the congregation was like in 1819. I would love to go back one day and just sit there in silence and listen!

The back of the church

The front of the church

Side of church

Interior of St. Thomas Church

Heading out to the church yard

Heading down the stairs

A view from the balcony

Such a great door knob!!

Later on, when I got home, I relaxed for a bit and struggled to stay awake. My friend Devin called and wanted to know if was up for watching a movie. I was about to fall out so I took a rain check. I finally succumbed to a nap and woke up around 10pm. I was exhausted. My body is still getting used to physical activity but it feels so good to get outside, walk around and be in the sun.

After my nap I started uploading my photos. All day long I wasn't very satisfied with how the pictures were turning out and as I was sitting there that night thinking about it I finally realized why. The last time I took photos was at night and I had my ISO turned to high and I forgot to switch it back. Saturday at the plantation all of my photos turned out grainy and out of focus. I was so mad!! Hopefully I can go back one day and re-take them soon!

While writing this and uploading photos to the blog I hated picking and choosing what I wanted to include. The places we went to are so fascinating and I want to share it all, unfortunately I can't, but you can find all the other photos on My Flickr Page.

Tonight Robin and I went out for dinner and then headed over to Barnes and Noble. I have always loved the Arcadia Publishing books so while Robin was checking out The Nook I was checking out the local Arcadia books and ended up buying the one on McClellanville and St. James Santee Parish. There is a photo of Tibwin Plantation from it's earlier days when it had a fence and gate around it in the book. I'd love to have all the books in the Charleston and Lowcountry series eventually! There are so many of them!

I guess I better get a part-time job to support my hobby!


Spice Rack said...

You gave us quite a wonderful tour as well. Your pictures looks good. So did you found your dream spice rack yet? There is a specific spice rack that would fit the preferences of people.

Clytie said...

Wow, I'm tired from all that walking I did with you on that plantation! I enjoyed every minute and every photo of this post - I am absolutely green with envy that you had this opportunity. I think I could have done without the bees, though.

I hope you have a wonderful week!