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Day 11- Wed. May 9th: Exploring the Palmetto State

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<– Day 10 – Tues. May 8: Laurel, Hardy & Wood Cars | Day 12 – Thurs. May 10th: Willys to Hawgs –>

Day 11: Our drive was short on Wednesday, going from Charleston to Aiken.


Wednesday’s drive from Charleston to Aiken.

On Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, we spent time driving around Charleston. Ann did some research and discovered that Charleston was ranked the number one destination in the US and World in 2016 and has been a top destination for most of the decade in the US. By the wide range of languages spoken at our Holiday Express, I believe it!

Ann also explained that South Carolina is nicknamed the Palmetto State, after the trees. You’ll find Palmettos and half crescents of various designs on t-shirts and other objects for sale around the state. You can learn more about the palmetto and crescent here.

Charleston is a lovely city, very walkable, with plenty of shops, restaurants, sights, and things to do. The architecture feels old world and the roads are skinny, with some cobblestone, brick, and modern pavement in various sections of old town. We agreed that we could see ourselves returning at some point and spending more time here.


We were a about 2 miles(?) away from Charleston’s Downtown Market.

We only had time to explore one attraction in depth and that was the downtown market, a four block long daily (and sometimes nightly) market. It has both permanent and temporary shops. Parking was easy (right next to the market), even at the market’s 9:30am opening. By that time, tourists, and possibly locals, were milling about, tasting some of the local mini-biscuits (I can recommend them), and exploring the vendors.


Eastern end of the market.

These two shots show the permanent shops.



This photo shows the temporary tables. Each night all the table covers and goods are cleaned out, leaving the place empty, except for wooden green tables.2018-05-09-charleston-market2

After about two hours, we climbed into the jeep and headed for the backroads of South Carolina towards Aiken.

About an hour into our trip we passed slowly through downtown Walterboro, the “Front Porch” of the Low Country, as folks call the eastern area of South Carolina. It’s downtown was cute, but seemed to be struggling a little.

Later on, we were crossing through the nearly-closed town of Olar, South Carolina, named for the daughter of the town’s founders, when we spotted this restored Model T(?). It felt so out of place, nicely restored in a maintained shack that I turned around to take a photo.


We were taking in the park-like setting, studying the closed buildings on both sides, when a gentleman in a golf cart approached us. We learned his name was Jack Main and he was 88 years old. He doesn’t have much to do these days, he told us, and seemed happy to hang out and talk. He grew up in the town and said just a few decades ago the town was thriving. Nowadays, there’s not much left.

Besides sharing stories, he seemed to know some of the local gossip. He pointed out a young couple and explained that the young man was drinking himself to death, just as the man’s parents had, while the female had been improving her life.

About that time, a train roared by and we got the 411 on the daily train schedules. As Jack talked, another man stopped his car to wait for the train, then approached us, reassuring us that Jack was a good guy. When the train finished, the other man returned to his car and continued on his way. That’s life in a small town. We bid Jack a goodbye and went on our way as well.


Tomorrow we meet with some of the Kaiser Willys folks, then head to Hiawasee, Georgia, for some killer BBQ and a kitchen tour, then on to Asheville for the evening.

<– Day 10 – Tues. May 8: Laurel, Hardy & Wood Cars | Day 12 – Thurs. May 10th: Willys to Hawgs –>


4 Comments on “Day 11- Wed. May 9th: Exploring the Palmetto State

  1. Bob in nc

    When Hugo came in 1989 it was supposed to hit Savannah. Last minute it changed direction and hit Charleston. Took out lots of live oak trees in mt pleasant. But Charleston is still very nice without all those trees.

  2. David Eilers Post author

    Buz, I don’t know if we’ll have a chance or not, but if we do, I’m there. It looks really interesting. Good idea!

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