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Welcome to Redneck Riviera

April 26, 2011

April 18, Myrtle Beach Clarion Hotel

The marina where I wrote my last message was in the middle of a National forest, I crossed the rest of it in the afternoon. The Marsh was the beautiful sort we see in Hollywood movies. The trees, mostly cedars and some sort of spruce have roots in the water just like mangrove. There were many turtles but I never managed to take a good picture. They appear to have this unnatural ability to sense when the camera is ready. I don’t know who says turtles are slow. All I know is that I’d grab the camera and they’d be in the water faster than a tick in a frying pan.

As soon as the National forest ended the waterway changed entirely. The trees on each side were cleared mechanically. The forest was replaced by grass and horrible modular homes; I later learned that I was entering an area known as Redneck Riviera. The Myrtle Beach area has nothing in common with the South of the State. The nice houses, tasteful gardens and huge trees were replaced by 10 year old Walmart deck furniture on treeless yards with ill kept lawns and rotting decks attached to what must have been upscale mobile homes some decades ago. The normal houses often had the ageing vinyl siding that we see in all economically depressed areas of the continent. The Trailer Park Boys would have been at home.

The other depressing feature is that the intracoastal goes from river to ditch. The ditch is really, really straight. On each side of the ditch are 20 foot high walls of dirt that cut the wind. Since most of the houses seem to pour their sewer water directly into the intracoastal, that’s not good. I was in such a poor shape that I asked about motels. People pointed the Clarion.

The Clarion had a jet sky dock. Since I did not want to leave the boat in the water this dock was perfect. The hotel was 80$ but I was a willing pawn. Fortunately, a friend of the owner who liked hearing about my trip got my rate reduced retroactively to 49$ per night.

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