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Monthly Archives: June 2019

“Wishing Tree” at Vereen Memorial Gardens

A while back, my girlfriend was feeling a touch of cabin fever. Being a country girl from the mountains of Southwest Virginia, she really needed to get out into nature  – if only for a day. And because she also fully understands cabin fever because of her penchant for horror movies, I thought it wise to get out of Dodge with her.

Call it self-preservation if you must.

I need to remember that getting away from my office could actually be a good thing. Because I am usually involved in various projects involving writing or music, I tend to stay “on the grind,” as they say. This is in addition to my “day job” at Tinder Box Myrtle Beach, where Brenda also works.

I’ll admit that it was tough to break away, but once committed…

On the way to a gig with my brother, I remember driving past the entrance to Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve off International Drive near SC Hwy 90. I read somewhere that the preserve sat on more than 9000 acres and was home to a good many Carolina bays…

According to the American Rivers website, Carolina bays are “a type of elliptical or oval freshwater depressional wetland(s) that fill with rainwater and may be periodically dry. They are most commonly found in North and South Carolina, but can also be found from Florida to New Jersey. Carolina bays vary in size from a few hundred feet in length to nearly 5 miles long.”

This preserve is home to the Venus flytrap, black bears, bald eagles and more – but after driving down the pitted dirt road for about a mile with our Kia Soul bouncing around, we opted to bail. Recent controlled burns also took place, so the area didn’t seem like something to explore at the moment.

Wait a minute. What the hell are you supposed to do if confronted by a black bear? I mean, I saw “Faces of Death” in the 80s, under duress…

It surfaced that Brenda was really thinking about Vereen Memorial Gardens anyway, so off we went to Little River.

The South Carolina Trails website describes the location like this:

“Vereen Memorial Gardens has been a bit of a “Hidden Jewel” for 30 years. The park features numerous hiking trails and wooden boardwalks that extend across several beautiful salt marshes and small islands, with a nice gazebo that overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway.”

After eating the grocery store lunch we brought with us, we set about exploring. Vereen Memorial Gardens really is a hidden gem – and I especially loved the “Make a Wish” area where you can hang oyster shells on tree limbs along with your wishes…

That and the fact that Brenda got her wish to be in nature – and we both enjoyed the experience.