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Thursday, October 13, 2011


Leaving SPIA at WALMART, walked North on US 21 for 14 miles, passing numerous Marshes and the U.S. Marine Air Base. The humidity of yesterday was mostly gone this morning.

Also passed a couple more Apartment Complexes hidden away in the woods.

Walking past the U.S. Marine Air Base, a flight of four FA-18 fighter jets passed over my head as they took off. The first plane passed too quickly for me to set up my camera. The second plane was close to his leader and I missed him too.

I was ready for the third and fourth jets. As they approached me, I gave them a bit of Kentucky Windage (i.e., pointed the camera ahead of the actual plane). They both flew nicely into my view finder - although I never did see them, I knew where they should be -, resulting in the above photograph and the one following.

Please click click to enlarge the image. The planes are moving quickly and are already quite high as they passed over me...and they made lots of noise. They were also loaded with weapons hanging from beneath their wings - probably going on a practice bombing run.

This is an FA-18A...the first model of the planes flying over my head in the above photographs.

This plane is on "static" display at the entrance to the Marine Base. Plain ordinary folks like me can walk all around these static displays, touch the aircraft and take pictures.

This is the Marine version of the famous North American Aviation F-86 Saber Jet, which flew in combat in Korea from 1950 through 1953. The F-86 was successful in that for each F-86 shot down by the MIG-15, the F-86 shot down seven (7) MIG-15s. (I reported in an earlier blog that the margin was 1-14...I was wrong)

As an historical note of interest, in WWII, the Navy 6F6 propeller aircraft flying from Aircraft Carriers against the Japanese in the Pacific Theater, achieved a record of 1-17; i.e., one 6F6 lost for 17 Japanese planes shot down.

Another little known fact: The F-86 first flown in 1947, was capable of achieving SUPERSONIC Speed; i.e., could, under certain conditions, fly faster than the Speed of Sound. At that same time, the Rocket Propelled Bell X-1A was being primed for a go to become the first aircraft to fly SUPERSONIC. The F-86 was many months ahead of the X-1A, but was not allowed to go SUPERSONIC, primarily to avoid embarrassment because of the tremendous $$ spent to have the X-1A succeed...which it did when Chuck Yeager flew the X-1A - after being carried aloft by a B-29 and dropped - faster than the Speed Of Sound.

Nearly all of today's modern jet fighter - and many bomber - aircraft can fly SUPERSONIC.

This is the COURSAIR, an aircraft used extensively during the Viet Nam War.

Marsh surrounds most of the Marine Air Base.

Returning to SPIA, we drove out US 21 to the intersection with US 17 at GARDENS CENTER, where we parked next to the business of CAROLINA CIDER COMPANY.

Carolina Cider Company has a wide variety of Ciders, put up in wine bottles, half gallon and gallon jugs.

I carefully checked out the entire store, but came away without taking out my Credit Card.

The store interior.


During my recent visits with Ron and Vicki in SOSO, MISSISSIPPI, I ate MUSCADINE grapes from Ron's vines. The grape is quite similar to the CONCORD grape in that it has a firm skin and pulp - pinch the skin together and the pulp pops out of the skin into your mouth. I finally determined that Ron's Muscadine Wine - he gifted me two bottles - has the subtle hint of CINZANO, a liquor favorite in Italy.

Would have liked to sample PEACH CIDER, but it was not offered.


Other varieties of Cider were also available, along with jams, jellies and many other yummy fruit based products.

US 17 heading toward CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA, about 40 miles North.

We will arrive in CHARLESTON on Saturday, October 15, 2011.

A bike path paralleled US 17 for about four miles...nice to walk without having to jump out of the way from passing vehicles.

Much to my surprise, here grows the infamous 3-feet per day Oriental Vine.

Nice fellow, this man. I stopped to chat when he drove past mowing his lawn fronting US 17.

I did not catch his name, but when I complimented him on the great condition of his tractor, he replied, "I really try".

Marsh everywhere. In some places, marshes extend as far as the eye can see.

After our second walk of 12 miles, we drove to the "dot on the map" of ASHEPOO, SOUTH CAROLINA, where we have been given a place for the night.

A couple "Oops" : the Air Pump system has rusted out.

and, someone ran into the gas pump, knocking it nearly over.

SPIA's spot is out of the way from wayward traffic.

this is ASHEPOO.

There appears to be another gas station a few hundred feet down the highway. Otherwise, that appears all there is to ASHEPOO.

In the morning, I will leave SPIA parked while I walk BACK South on US 17 for 5 miles which we drove this evening from GARDENS CORNER.

Then, will walk North toward CHARLESTON in the morning. Next town up is JACKSONBORO, followed by three or four small "dots on the map".

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