Monday, November 02, 2009

Myrtle Beach State Park

After hearing almost everyone we know tout the awesomeness of the Myrtle Beach Experience we were [not] anxious to try it ourselves -- probably a little overdone/[right in line] for our tastes. Really the only reason we did choose to stop here was that it was closer to our 99 mile objective than the next state park to the south. The drive through North MB and MB itself was really eye-opening -- far, far larger than anything I ever envisioned as a beach resort. Mile after mile of sameness -- huge billboards, beach wear, restaurants, and miniature golf -- all repeating themselves endlessly. Truly, the mind boggled.

Then just as we were approaching the state park, Miss Garmina threw a hissy fit telling us to make a U-turn to enter the park. No such turn was required, just a left from the highway into the park. But we were flustered enough to give it a try before reaching the entrance and ended up doing a loop through the hotels and RV resorts of south MB.

Reaching the state park was an immediate change of attitude: deep, thick maritime forest with graceful winding roads and beautiful flowers and trees -- all on a mile of pristine ocean beach.

The weather was ideal, 80 degrees, high cirrus clouds to the west, with a little squall line moving away to the east. I took some pictures with the little Olympus camera while exploring the park on my bike and walking the beach. Now this is the kind of awesomeness that I can relate to.

The park itself is quite a bit out of our ordinary experience to date. There is free Wi-Fi, but it is passworded with a code that changes every Monday. The sites are of medium size and most have both water and electricity while some have sewer connections also. We are just behind the second dune line with about a 500 foot walk to the beach which is immaculately groomed. There are no alcoholic beverages allowed -- besides mentioning it numerous times in the rules, they also stamp it on your vehicle pass and require you to initial it. The rangers are on constant patrol through the park and the county police are driving up and down the beach. Our rate is $21 per night, but to that are added: $3 Reservation Fee; 7% Accommodations Tax; 1% Capital Project Tax - Myrtle Beach; 3% Local Accom Tax; 1% Local Education Tax - Horry County. This brings the total up to $25.31 per night. So we had to look at what the comparable RV resorts were charging, and it is over twice as much.

We are just a mile or so from final approach to runway 36 at the Myrtle Beach Airport, and we see right out of Morty's window the whole gamut of airliners to private planes coming in to land.

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