Sunday, March 15, 2015

2015-03-07 Jack and Amys Weekend Getaway to Fripp Island, SC

Jack and Amy's Weekend Getaway to Fripp Island, SC
Sheldon Church Ruins, Fort Fremont, Hunting Island State Park, Beaufort, SC
Saturday, March 7th thru Monday, March 9th, 2015

Jack and Amy enjoying a Fripp Island Sunrise

Our original plan was to head up to Virginia to visit my family for the weekend.  Unfortunately, they got hit with about a foot of snow the day we planned to drive up, so we decided to cancel that trip.

I am sure that Wallie (our new Subaru Outback) could have handled the conditions, but I was worried about the 9 million other drivers on the Virginia Interstate Highways!  Northern Virginia Traffic is hell under the best conditions.  Add a foot of snow and the highways turn into parking lots!  We just didn't feel like dealing with that!

However, we still wanted to get away, so we came up with a last minute plan B.  Head South!

Hunting Island State Park, SC has long been on my list of places to visit.  For less than the price of a Hotel Room in Beaufort, Amy found a BR condo on Fripp Island available Saturday and Sunday Nights.  So Saturday Morning we hit the road towards the SC coast.

Our first stop was the Sheldon Church Ruins, right along the way between I-95 and Beaufort, SC

 The Sheldon Church Ruins

Amy at the Sheldon Church Ruins

Next up was the town of Beaufort, SC which is kind of like a much smaller version of Charleston, SC.  We made a quick stop to check out the Beaufort National Cemetery.

Beaufort National Cemetery

We continued on to the waterfront (Bay Street) area of Beaufort and from there explored a little bit of the city on foot.

Beaufort Waterfront Park
 Amy at the Beaufort Marina

A private Garden in Beaufort, SC

We ran into a slight delay leaving Beaufort as one little boat caused the bridge leaving Beaufort to shut down for about 15 minutes.  However, it was kind of interesting to see how the rotating bridge worked.

The rotating bridge leaving Beaufort

Next on our agenda was Fort Fremont on Saint Helena Island.

 Fort Fremont

Amy at Fort Fremont

After a nice meal and a few brews and the Johnson Creek Tavern, we continued on to our Condo on Fripp Island.

Fripp Island just might have the highest deer population density in the world!

Amy on the deck overlooking the lagoon just behind our Condo

We unpacked and settled into our Condo before heading out to Hunting Island State Park to catch a sunset.

 Sunset at Hunting Island State Park

 Me enjoying the Sunset at Hunting Island State Park

 Sunset at Hunting Island State Park

The sunset was nice, but not spectacular.  But without a cloud in the sky, I thought it would be a good time for some night photography!

 Evening Twilight at the Fripp Island Marina

 Jack and Amy at the Fripp Island Marina

 Night Sky over Fripp Island

Night Sky over Fripp Island (15 minute exposure)

The next morning I decided to head to the beach (a short 5 minute walk from our Condo) to catch a sunrise.  But first, I could not help but notice the cool layer of mist hovering over the Lagoon behind our condo.

Morning Mist over the Fripp Island Lagoon

Sunrise was nice, but far from spectacular

Sunrise over Fripp Island Beach

After sunrise, Amy and I headed on over to Hunting Island State Park.  First up would be the Hunting Island Lighthouse.  This is currently the only Lighthouse in the state of SC that is still open to the public to climb to the top.

The Hunting Island Lighthouse

Me on top of the Hunting Island Lighthouse

Amy on top of the Hunting Island Lighthouse

We spent most of the day exploring Hunting Island State Park including walking the entire 3 miles of ocean front shoreline.

 Hunting Island Beach

 Hunting Island Beach

Wood Spirit at Hunting Island Beach

The End of a Road at Hunting Island Beach

We also hike about 6 additional miles of trails inside the park.  They are all flat and easy, but offer a good bit of diversity and are completely different that the mountain trails I am used to hiking.  We saw a wide variety of birds including a Bald Eagle, and even spotted a dolphin swimming in the Lagoon.

Bald Eagle


After a day at Hunting Island State Park and a nice dinner at The Foolish Frog, we decided to head to the Marina Area of Fripp Island for Sunset.

 Jack and Amy enjoying the Sunset

 Amy enjoying the Sunset

Fripp Island Sunset

It was a really nice sunset followed by some spectacular evening twilight color after the sun went down!

 Evening Twilight at the Fripp island Marina

Evening Twilight at the Fripp Island Marina

The next morning I decided to get up early for sunrise.  It is very common for me to try and catch the sunrise while Amy usually likes to stay behind to get an extra hour or two of sleep.  However, this morning, Amy was up and ready to join me for the sunrise.  So we took the 5 minute stroll down to the beach and were rewarded with a spectacular sunrise!

Jack and Amy enjoying a Fripp Island Sunrise

 Fripp Island Sunrise

Fripp Island Sunrise

On Saint Helena Island there is a place called the Marsh Tacky Market and Cafe.  We stopped there for breakfast the previous morning and learned that the Marsh Tacky is a rare and endangered breed or horse.  The owner of the place gave us a tip on where a small herd of Wild Marsh Tacky Horses like to hang out most mornings.  We failed to find them the previous day, but decided to give it another go on our way out.  Success!

A herd of Wild Marsh Tacky Horses

Since it was a nice overcast morning, we also decided to make another stop at the Sheldon Church Ruins to get some photos under better light.

The Sheldon Church Ruins

Overall, this was an awesome weekend getaway!

The complete set of photos is posted here:

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