Thursday, October 27, 2016

October 27, 2016. Charleston to Sullivan's Island and back. 26 miles.

We all had breakfast on the roof of the inn and saw this truck below us trying to make it around the corner onto Pinckney Street. He did not make it on the second try and gave it up. The waitress last night told us that the Charleston buildings were built first and then the streets laid out between them. We can believe that after spending so much time driving around with our trailer behind us.

I took a photo of our inn from the roof. We are in the building across the street, which was the original Pinckney home. The building in the photo was the carriage house, and now holds the main lobby on the ground floor.

We all walked over to the trailer to get our bikes. The streets and alleys really are very narrow.

We retrieved our bikes and got ready to ride--even Bill!  We lined up in front of the visitors center for our pre-ride photo and set out toward the Arthur Ravenal Jr. bridge.

Biking across the Ravenal bridge is listed in the top ten things to do in Charleston, so we did not want to miss it. We geared down and raced to the top where I waited for Bill to catch up.

We stopped and took photos at the top of the span, and then Bill headed back to Charleston and the rest of us rode on to Mount Pleasant.

We stopped at the visitors center and rode down the fishing pier and over to Patriot's Point, where we saw this replica of a Cold War era submarine. We had a nice view of the bridge we'd just crossed.

The USS Yorktown was at Patriot's Point, but we did not take the time to tour it. We also did not go for a ride on the helicopter in the foreground.

We rode through the busy streets of Mount Pleasant. We were on a published bike route but the bike lane came and went in no particular pattern. We rode to Sullivan's Island, down to Fort Moultrie. There were cannons there from the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. It's a very sobering sight to see rows of big guns lined up along the shore.

Among the Civil War cannons was a mortar, used to bombard ships in Charleston Harbor. We could see Fort Sumter across the harbor, but it's only accessible by boat.

From Fort Moultrie we biked toward the Charleston light. It was an interesting lighthouse, being triangular in shape.

A National Park Service worker was cutting trees and when I asked him about the lighthouse he told me it was built by architect Jack Graham. Graham  studied architecture at the University of Pennsylvania under the famous architect Louis Kahn (no relation to Albert Kahn). Kahn taught that the strongest structure was triangular, and Graham designed this lighthouse based on that principle; it can withstand 125 MPH winds. Completed in 1962 it was one of the last light stations built in the US, and the only one with an elevator and air conditioning! Unfortunately I was not allowed into it. Below is Rick, from the National Park Service, which oversees the lighthouse. He is standing in front of the restored Sullivan's Island Life Saving Station.

By the time I was done talking with Rick the rest of the group was tapping their feet about 500 feet down the road. We rode along the shore, turning back to the main road only when it was time for lunch.

We passed the Edgar Allan Poe library on our way to Poe's Tavern. EAP spent some time at Fort Moultrie when he was in the service and wrote at least one of his macabre stories here.

After lunch we rode back through Mount Pleasant, back across the Ravenal bridge, and back to the parking garage where we stowed all the bikes except Kathie's. We helped her walk her bike and bike box back to the hotel, making a brief stop at the Bicycle Shoppe. Small world: a man working in the shop used to live in Saline, MI and work at REI in Ann Arbor. He has done a lot of the same rides we have done at home.

Finally we were back at the inn, showered and met up on the roof for wine and cheese and crackers, on the house! (ha ha). The cruise ship Aida Luna was in Charleston Harbor; this is the view from our roof.

We walked toward the harbor to get a closer look at the cruise ship, passing the carriage barns along the way.

We strolled through Charleston as dark descended, admiring the old buildings on our way to the restaurant for a light dinner and dessert.

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