Iconic Experiences

Message From The Director

We have been enjoying the all the distinctive features that characterizes fall in the south -- the reds, oranges and yellows of the changing of the leaves on the trees.  The magnificent crimson and pinks of the sweet grass waving in the breeze along the coast. Add in that distinctive smell of a campfire and a starlight night and you have a perfect fall day. Fall reminds me that too often we take things for granted and before you know it -- we've missed it.

Like the tree that each year is the first to showcase it changing of the seasons, you know the one, it’s in your neighborhood, or in your backyard or on the way to work or school, the tree telling you that fall has arrived.  It starts to turn, and then before you know it showcases the season all by itself! That’s the tree that reminds us that this is a special time of year, one that serves as a reminder to take it all in for if you don’t you just might miss something special.

How many times have we said I’m going to see this or do this?  Before you know it, you've missed it and have to wait an entire year.  This newsletter we are highlighting memorable or iconic experiences, and fall is the perfect season to remind us that time waits for no one. As the leaves change color they soon fall to the ground and the commotion of the changing from greens to a rainbow of colors is suddenly gone and the stillness of winter arrives.  I tell myself each year, don’t miss it take it all in, unfortunately something always comes up and it never fails I miss something that I really wanted to do.

Memorable experiences in state parks are not hard to find.  Just this past year I have had more than my share. I’ve seen the sunrise on Table Rock Mountain and seen the sunrise on the Atlantic Ocean.  Wow.  I've kayaked the Edisto River under the Spanish moss, beside the blooming Rocky Shoal Spider Lilies on the Catawba and under the stars on Lake Juniper.  I've watched for hawks during the annual hawk migration at Caesars Head and watched the spoonbills fly over the marsh at Huntington Beach.  I've felt the cannons fire and covered my ears because the noise was deafening at Charles Towne Landing, and I’ve walked the battleground at Rivers Bridge where cannons once fired and now the silence of the hallowed ground is just as deafening. I’ve walked nature trails, hiked hiking trails and even rode a horse on one of our equestrian trails at Croft. I’ve been to the top of the Lighthouse at Hunting Island and under the porch in the cellar at Oconee Station.

I have been fortunate to experience so many memorable and iconic experiences in state parks, but I’ve missed a few this year too. I didn’t make the Polar Bear Plunge at Hunting Island in January -- probably will miss that again this year!  I missed so many great programs, from the behind the scene tours of Redcliffe to movie night at Sesquicentennial.  I've missed owl prowls, campfire programs and ranger-led night hikes at many of your state parks. There was the meteor shower program at Lake Warren and the dogwoods blooming at Little Pee Dee -- I missed both of those. Decorating for Halloween in many of our campgrounds and decorating for Christmas at our historic homes -- wait maybe I can still do that one.

The point is, there are so many memorable and iconic things to do in your SC State Parks that I have only scratched the surface.  Some of my favorite iconic experiences are the times I spent with friends and family in a park.  Those moments by a campfire, or setting up the tent, or that hike when a little voice said, “Dad, do you really want to go all the way to the end?”.

State Parks are in the memory business, they are places where special things happen.  Sometimes all it takes is showing up and waiting and watching to see what happens. Remember while time waits for no one, we will.  We’re planning some special memories for you in the coming months, make plans today to visit one of your state parks and make a memory that will last a lifetime.

See you in the parks!