Woods And Waters

Every time I get a chance to savor the woods and waters of rural South Carolina I find myself occupied by a few thoughts … First, it always overwhelms me how fearfully and wonderfully this planet has been made. Whatever your conception of God is (or isn’t), something made this…

Every time I get a chance to savor the woods and waters of rural South Carolina I find myself occupied by a few thoughts …

First, it always overwhelms me how fearfully and wonderfully this planet has been made. Whatever your conception of God is (or isn’t), something made this place (and you). Anyone who views creation as some sort of random accident fumbling toward pointlessness just isn’t thinking hard enough – or is trying too hard to think they’re . Give it some time, you’ll get it … or it’ll get you (and you’ll start fertilizing it). Either way.

Second, I’m always tempted to go “off the grid” whenever I’m in nature – you know, start a fire, chop some wood, plant some crops, raise some chickens. Live off the land, in other words. And not come back. In fact every time I go into the woods, that temptation becomes even more appealing to me – usually because ‘Merica (God bless ‘er) has moved the needle a little further in the direction of dystopian totalitarianism.

Or maybe that’s just the lyrics of “Honeysuckle Blue” I’m still hearing  … (and how on earth would I charge my iPod off the grid?)

Third, whenever I go to the woods I’m always struck by just how beautiful South Carolina is. Sure, my website spends a lot of time running this state down – and there is no shortage of compelling, deserving reasons to do so – but it can be positively gorgeous when it wants to be. Which is why it’s so damn depressing that our leaders can’t seem to figure out how to move it forward – or more accurately that they refuse to move it forward (because they’ve got vested interests in continuing to hold it back).

Sad …

Anyway … this weekend I went to Fairfield County, S.C. with my little man’s Cub Scout crew (the first of several camping trips we’re taking this fall). The weather was perfect, our hosts were incredibly gracious and the kids -as they always do – had an absolute blast hanging out with each other.

It was such a mild night I actually left the top off of the tent – and when the clouds finally lifted I got to watch Orion drift across the night sky … searching until dawn for his elusive prey.

There were a few Coyotes howling in the distance – and a couple Timber Rattlers had been spotted in the tall grass earlier (which meant you had to keep your head on a swivel during those late night restroom breaks) but other than that literally every worry escaped my brain.

It was awesome … beautiful. Peaceful.

Take a look …


Nice, huh?

Obviously South Carolina has as many problems as there were stars in the night sky I slept under – or leaves in the forest I traversed – but it’s hard not to be instilled with a modicum of hope after being exposed firsthand to its inestimable natural beauty.

Now if only we had more leaders who cared about capitalizing on that potential for the benefit of all South Carolinians … as opposed to merely enriching themselves.

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guest October 15, 2013 at 1:12 pm

Nice post

Just another Joe October 15, 2013 at 1:20 pm

In the market for a new tent. Like the design of yours.

Will Folks aka Sic October 15, 2013 at 1:43 pm

ha! my tent is the laughing stock of the campground – but it works. it is a simple Embark tent. Thirty bucks at Target. Has lasted me three seasons.

? October 15, 2013 at 2:07 pm

$30 tents from Walmart rock. I’ve got one similar to yours($35), has a plug in port and a rain fly that actually works(to my surprise). Mine is the same color but is a little shorter and sleeps 3(the claim is 4…lol…but not unless you are a midget). I was even able to squeeze in a queen sized air mattress.

The kids loved it up in Tallulah gorge this year.

My wife and I are getting too old for real camping, so we have a small camper and make the kids rough it on our summer camping trips.

EJB October 15, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Tallulah Gorge is a very nice place, great hiking. Stopped off at Mt. Currahee, Taccoa, Georgia on the way back, hiked to the top, great weekend.

? October 15, 2013 at 3:59 pm

It was my first time there this summer. I took the 9 and 7 year old with me on the Gorge hike, much to the chagrin of the park nazi’s…the girls did great and loved it…especially the Burt Reynolds natural slide. :)

I was a little worried on the back side ascension but we passed a group of 20 somethings on the way up…lol…I have to say my girls surprised me. We left 20 years behind us gasping for air and making comments about how my girls were having an “easier” time of it because they were light.

I’m going back again obviously next year. I do different parks with the kids from Spring to early fall on around a monthly basis and go back to our favorite ones in the rotation, now Tallulah is on that list.

My only criterea is that I don’t have to drive more than 4 hours because I do extended weekends instead of full weeks for business reasons.

? October 15, 2013 at 1:22 pm


Jesus H. Christ! October 15, 2013 at 1:27 pm

That’s real nice. I guess you didn’t camp at one of the state parks you’d like to sell off.

Will Folks aka Sic October 15, 2013 at 1:41 pm

nope. private land.

? October 15, 2013 at 2:12 pm

Even if it he did use a state park why would it matter? They are taking his money regardless of his feelings about it.

Is anyone who objects to gov’t taking their money supposed to forgo the use of roads and the post office too?

Just because you don’t agree with the concept doesn’t mean you supposed to have your money stolen and not get any of it back.

If there were no state parks let me assure you that many more private ones would spring up in their place. Probably run better, with better facilities, & for less cost too.

The fact that the existing private ones currently have to compete with state run facilities that have no profit need/motive, yet some still somehow do, shows you how much potential there is if govt’s ever got out of the park business.

vicupstate October 15, 2013 at 3:32 pm

What ‘private parks’ are you referring to? Country clubs?

Are you aware that the private sector wanted to run a railroad through the Grand Canyon or that we nearly cleared the entire country of all virgin forestry, before TR invented conservation?

EJB October 15, 2013 at 3:46 pm

The trestle would be as impressive as the hole it passed over.

vicupstate October 15, 2013 at 4:18 pm

The train would have been at the bottom of the canyon.

? October 15, 2013 at 3:53 pm

“What ‘private parks’ are you referring to?”

You don’t get out much do you?


Even further, I’m not doing your google work for you…but there are simply A TON of private campgrounds and parks.

You’re not getting any sympathy from me on the thought of a railroad going through the Grand Canyon either. In fact, if it eventually became a tourist railroad, even better.

Lastly, this claim that TR “saved” virgin forests by conservation is laughable by this map:


But further, let’s really examine what it means to mankind to be saving “virgin forests”. Does it improve his fate? When they aren’t saved, are there no more forests to be had?

Of course not. Man moves on and technology with him.

Your whole point starts from a false premise. It reminds me of the Rhino conservation attempts in Africa, where gov’t grabs vast swaths of land in attempt to save various endangered species and they are hunted out anyway…with a “surprise”, only a few of those same species alive on privately held(and protected) properties.

So much for the theory that government “saves” stuff.

vicupstate October 15, 2013 at 4:17 pm

KOA? Really?
Most KOA’s are nothing more than overnight stopping points on the route to the intended final destination. Is that the best you can do? I think you just made my point.
Maybe you don’t think giant Redwoods are worth preserving, but most thinking people do.
Billowing smoke from trains would not be an improvement to the Grand Canyon, but thanks for proving that you value nothing other than money.
Why is it that the only thing conservatives DON’T want to conserve is our natural beauty and resources?

? October 15, 2013 at 4:23 pm

Oh give me a break. You assume that if gov’t didn’t own this stuff that none of it would be “saved”.

It’s total nonsense.

? October 15, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Oh, and here’s one local example:


Privately owned; with some leased land to form a State Park(which was completely unnecessary-and more important doesn’t make up most the grounds) .

A perfect example of what we are talking about. If you were even somewhat motivated you could find hundreds, if not thousands of examples.

“Maybe you don’t think giant Redwoods are worth preserving, but most thinking people do.”

Then let THOSE PEOPLE pay for what they value.

It’s not moral to say, “I value this, but all of you should help me pay for it”. PERIOD.

Jesus H. Christ! October 15, 2013 at 11:12 pm

There are no existing private “parks” that are remotely comparable to state parks. You goober.

Same ol' Same ol' October 16, 2013 at 8:17 pm

The best one we stayed in was at Hester’s bottom, down on Clark Hill. (Thurmond Lake for those who like that better, I know GA hates that.)

It is the Mt. Carmel campground run by the COE.
The primitive side has nothing other than a place to put the tent/camper/whatever. They do have common bathrooms/showers though. The upscale side has power and water, no sewer, although they do have a dump station.
Just a great place on Clark Hill as long as it is at 330′ (full pool) or above. Even then you have to look out for trees/stumps if you’re not in the channel.
Russell dam is only 6 mi north of the campground. A fun ride in a boat. You can go up the Broad River (GA) side up to the shoals. ( I think it’s the Broad, I may be mistaken) if you don’t want to go to the dam. Either way, it’s fun.

Absolutely great fishing on that part of the lake. Big rocks you can jump off of on the GA side, too.

Very remote, spaced out campsites, not at all like a state park. If you love the wild and remote, try it sometime.

? October 16, 2013 at 10:09 pm

There’s plenty more examples too. Are there as many as there would be if gov’t wasn’t involved? Of course not.

And that’s what most responding here are failing to see. They’ve got their heads locked into this notion that ONLY gov’t is able to provide the solution and that’s how they are going to see it no matter how many examples of otherwise are provided.

SparkleCity October 16, 2013 at 9:56 pm

Every private park I’ve ever seen was a slum (example “KOA’S) with snot nosed kids running everywhere and the garbage cans overflowing with shit filled disposable diapers and the like.

Basically trailer trash on the move.

TontoBubbaGoldstein October 15, 2013 at 2:21 pm

JEEZ, who the eff downvotes Jesus?

? October 15, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Jews from Roman antiquity?


EJB October 15, 2013 at 3:43 pm

That’s not the real one; the real one doesn’t use an “H”. The “H” is for the blasphemers who don’t want to look like they’re taking the lord’s name in vain.

idcydm October 15, 2013 at 4:11 pm


Jesus H. Christ! October 15, 2013 at 11:14 pm

I asked MySelf that very thing.

venomachine October 15, 2013 at 1:42 pm

I’m always tempted to bulldoze everything with a D-7 Cat.

But that’s just me. That’s how I roll.

Same ol' Same ol' October 15, 2013 at 1:58 pm

We do have a beautiful state, except for fire ants and poison ivy. Those two can leave any time they wish.
Yeah, that “livin’ off the land” thingy sounds nice and it’s nice to get away, but you have to kill a BUNCH o’ squirrels (or whatever) EVERY DAY to keep your fat ass alive. Just ask Mr. Rudolph.

But, not trying to rain on the parade, I love camping, being out in nature, contemplating and all that stuff. We used to camp a lot when our kids were young, we always had a great time and always had good, funny stories to tell from our experiences.
It is nice, though, to come home and get a shower.

TontoBubbaGoldstein October 15, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Nice Post.

Three Dog Night– “Out in the Country”

Trout R Limited October 15, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Articles like this lead me to believe that your parents are probably good people and you might not be as much of a prick as you try to be (save your inbred jabs for W. Va.).

Maybe you should apply your efforts to the conservation of our natural resources and leave the asshole politicians to kill each other off. At the end of the day you would be better for it.

MashPotato October 15, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Sic’s job is to bring to the attention of people such as yourself that politicians aren’t worthy of your trust. Otherwise, with an army of starry eyed voters, they will lay claim to everything you have.

Gregory Geddings October 15, 2013 at 7:11 pm

Spoof has been uploaded. Share in the incomprehensible mirth…


dnrdum October 15, 2013 at 8:36 pm

Last time I camped out with my 5 year old son, the coyotes cackled and howled all nite long and kept creeping around our tent…thanks DNR!

Beartrkkr October 17, 2013 at 2:14 am

Why thank DNR? They didn’t bring them here.

SparkleCity October 16, 2013 at 10:19 pm

South Carolina’s mountains are molehills compared to the Rockies and that dishwater shit you call the ocean off the coast of South Carolina is only fit to piss in. You’re lucky to see past an arm’s length underwater on a good day.

The only reason your mountains (what few they are) aren’t stripped mined is because there is nothing worth stripping off for. And some of the best ones are off limits to the locals because they have been sold to rich asses from other parts of the country.

North Carolina has bigger and more numerous mountains which offer the opportunity for snow skiing (except for when global warming kicks in) and the Outer Banks make South Carolina’s coastline pale in comparision.

I won’t even start on how superior the ocean and beaches in Florida are compared to South Carolina’s. It’s a no-brainer (just got back from there BTW)

South Carolina is a good enough state but that about all that can be truthfully stated about it.

South Carolina’s slogan ought to be “It’ll Do”


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