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Dead Skeets and Battlefields

During this trip, we were driving over 770 miles (12 hours straight). I tired to keep each stop between a three- to four- hour drives (per day). The total trip with stops: Memphis to Nashville to Pigeon Forge to Inman, SC to Charleston. Since this was domestic travel; and the flights a little more affordable; and my children are adult children, we rented a Suburban to fit us all. It was a worthy expense. This is what brought us to a hunting lodge near Inman, SC.

The official name: River Bend Sportsman's Resort. It's has a large main lodge and several multi-room cabins, and a stand alone building of motel rooms. Catch yourself there if you think the word motel has a bad connotation.

Maybe better to call it lodge-side sleeping quarters. It was quaint. Personalized with quilts and framed cross-stitch, and the people were just so gosh-darn friendly. (She says with a Dolly Parton accent.) Located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it was a half-way point. Between the lodge and Charleston there are several Revolutionary War battlefields. Being history buffs, and members of a shooting range back home, it seemed like a good fit.

The owners are new; two sisters and their father. The women (30-something) are doing their best to make it more inclusive for women, weddings, and events. The dad wishes to purchase more land and expand the "sportsmen" side of things. Of course the Main Lodge had mounted heads of exotic animals (all legal), and the bodies of many colorful birds decorating the walls. They also have Brian, a dyed-in-the-wool Blue Ridge man with the accent an' all. He's the general manager of all things gun related.

I'm not sure how I found this diamond in the rough, but my husband was happy. After our arrival around 2pm, we had an appointment for 13-clay shooting stations, and unlimited rounds. Way better than golf and less water wasted on putting greens.

On our way, we stopped in Wateree for lunch. The restaurant was in a strip mall, and had a drive-up window that people were going through. So, we figured: safe. The name: Wateree Cajun Seafood and Wings. We decided to sit inside for table service. It was formerly a Chinese restaurant with the same owners. We chose it because we had yet to enjoy "cajun," and mama wanted some shrimp.

It was a little strange sitting down to a fast-ish food establishment that still had Asian influenced designs and an order counter they used to stock all their take-out styrofoam. But, we travel for the adventure.

My husband and children were too weary to order anything too outside the norm, so they went for fried shrimp and fries. I went all in and ordered a shrimp boil with their special spice. We all received our meals in the styrofoam containers and a little hot sauce on the side. Then the server gave me two wet-wipe packets and two clear, plastic gloves. I opened the white lid and inside was a steaming hot bag of shrimp, corn, potatoes, lemon, sausage, all dripping in about a whole stick of melted butter. My family turned green with envy. And I didn't share.

The next day, we proceeded towards Charleston, SC. Since we had only a three-hour drive, we meandered through various Revolutionary battlefields. On a whim, we went north to Cow Pens National Park, which was nicely done (and free, the Ranger teased me about wanting to show my NP pass). It has a tiny museum, a short re-enactment video, and a nice one-mile walk around the perimeter. I have always thought of the Southern battlefields as being Civil War, but a whole lot of them are from the War of Independence.

Then the plan was to hit Camden battlefield. It was a little disappointing. We discovered later that there is a historic museum in Camden, but we passed on it in favor of getting to Charleston, checking into our AirBnB, and going to our evening Death and Depravity tour of old town Charleston; which included graveyards, dungeons, and ghost stories. You can read my review: here.

However, before the disappointing New York accented, crass tour guide, we went to Magnolia's Oyster Bar. So frikkin' fresh and yummy, and the kids ate them, too. We continued to have varied luck on food, weather, and tours... but that is for my next blog.

Blogs in Order of Trip

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