Part 3 of our 3 day weekend to Hunting Island/Savannah! Read the previous days here: Day 1 – the drive down; Beaufort, SC and surrounding areas; Hunting Island | Day 2 – our day in Savannah and surrounding areas.
As we drove back to Hunting Island from Savannah, preparing for our 2nd night of camping, we checked the weather one more time. It had started raining on and off that afternoon and I wanted to get an idea of what we should expect for that night. Throughout the week, the chance of rain had risen from 20 to 90% for basically all through the night. It didn’t look any better, but we didn’t let that deter us from one last night away.
When we made it to our campsite, it stopped raining for long enough for us to cook our dinner (kielbasa, cubed potatoes, celery, and onions on our tiny camp stove!) and get settled in our tent. We had a little incident where we left our cooking utensils out to be “cleaned by the rain” thinking we had nothing to worry about with this not being “bear country” but one tricky raccoon proved us wrong. (Curtis ran out to put away our things while I cuddled with Charlotte – thankfully, she had no idea what was going on!)
Remember how I mentioned before on our first time visiting Hunting Island that the Vietnam scenes from the movie Forrest Gump were filmed here? Well, now we know that all that rain that fell in the movie is completely accurate for the area – it literally rained All. Night. Long. Our tent is waterproof and stayed up just fine, but the sound of rain constantly hitting our roof isn’t calming for me – it keeps me up all night. It was a long, mostly-sleepless night for Curtis and I (Charlie didn’t seem bothered!) and we eventually gave up on sleep and played a few rounds of one of our favorite games, Bonanza. Around 5, there was a lull in the rain, and so we decided to call it a night. We tore down camp as fast as we could, packed it all in the car and left. The whole campground had turned into a bunch of massive puddles – we didn’t think of this while setting up our tent on Friday, but it’s a good thing we put it on “higher ground”!
We still wanted to see one more set of ruins before heading back, so we decided to drive there and wait until the sun rose. We drove to the Old Sheldon Church Ruins near Yemassee, SC, parked in the lot across the street and took a cat nap while waiting for the sun. Well, Curtis and Charlotte did that is, I couldn’t really sleep because of how spooky this place was. It was pitch black and we were thick in the middle of a forrest, far from civilization, near old haunted ruins that have seen their fair share of history. I sat and waited for something to happen. 😉
As scary as it was, the ruins looked amazing in the dim and cloudy morning light. It was eerie and haunting, perhaps the exact feelings you want to experience when visiting such a piece of history. The Old Sheldon Church Ruins saw its first church service in 1757 after several years of being funded and built. It was later set on fire by the British troops in 1779, then rebuilt in 1826. The church was finally burned one last time by General Sherman’s troops on their “March to the Sea” campaign in 1865. Today, the brick walls and giant pillars remain, and aside from being so off the beaten path, they are still frequented by travelers. I saw on this website that you can even get married in them!
We had a quick breakfast in the car (yogurt and homemade granola!) then wandered around the fenced in area, admiring the history (and searching for a missing letterbox). It had stopped raining so we were able to take our time and get some pictures before getting back on the road and heading home…a less direct way. (New roads! More counties! Yes!) We made it back, dried off our camping stuff and unpacked, and….then started planning another vacation. 🙂 More on that later!