Being in the Lowcountry and barely above sea-level sometimes has its disadvantages. When it really rains in Charleston it can flood. While there are big efforts underway to create a tunnel system that will deal with the excess water, a good soaking can give Charleston a bit of a look of Venice.
The Ravenel Bridge, also known as the Cooper River Bridge — particularly to longer time residents of Charleston — creates a signature image for the Lowcountry. Opened in 2005, it replaced two older cantilevered truss spans. The first opened in 1929, and became know as the John P. Grace Memorial Bridge. The second span, the Silas N. Pearman Bridge, opened in 1966 alongside the Grace. Crossing over the older bridges was a bit like driving on roller coasters without all the safety measures.
The new bridge is one of the long cable-stayed bridges in the world and is tall enough to let the largest container ships pass below. It’s eight lanes wide and also includes a pedestrian/biking lane, which serves as one of the most popular exercise destinations in Charleston.
Did you ever drive on the old spans?
One of the cool things to watch in Charleston Harbor are the pilot’s high speed boats zipping out to the large container ships which are waiting to deliver or pick up their goods. The boats bring out a pilot who will to assist them in maneuvering through the waters. Located right next to Waterfront Park, at the end of S. Adger’s Wharf, the pilot’s pier gives them quick access to all part of the Harbor. Nice view too.
One of the most popular destinations in Charleston for both locals and visitors is White Point Garden at the tip of the peninsula. On any given day there can be weddings, picnics, and family gatherings, people nap in hammocks strung between the Live Oak and Palmetto trees while dogs chase squirrels and sticks. On a really chilly and bright Charleston day, not so much.
On a still morning at the City Marina, the boats, sky and water all sort of merge together.
Despite the sub-freezing weather that Charleston has been experiencing, blossoms like these have been popping out all over town. It may not yet feel like spring, but it sure is starting to at least look that way.
Charleston sunsets are often a spectacular event. Here the sun paints the sky as it descends beyond the Ashley River.
The closest plantation to Charleston was McLeod Plantation. Dating back to 1741, the plantation not only grew cash crops (most notably cotton), it was used as military headquarters in the Revolutionary War and by both the North and the South during the Civil War. After the Civil War it was used as the Freedmen’s Bureau for the area. It was home to the McLeods until 1990, when it was turned over to the Historic Charleston Foundation. In 2011 it was sold to the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission and will soon be open to the public as a county park.