Monday, October 10, 2016

Waiting out Hurricane Matthew with our evacuee


When we arrived at Ebenezer Park, we thought we would only be staying here for 2 nights, and then moving on to Santee National Wildlife Refuge, about an hour outside Charleston, where we will be volunteering through the end of the year.

A few hours into the afternoon, though, I started seeing things on facebook about evacuations from Charleston due to the hurricane.  We started looking at sites here in the park that might be available through the weekend.  All of the reservable sites were booked, and most of the first-come/first-serve sites were already taken, also.  We went to talk to the Park Manger, and he felt that there would likely be cancellations for the weekend.  He promised to contact us as soon as one came up.  We had our existing site through Thursday morning.

Site 25 -- Overlooking the lake

Later in the evening, we got an email from the Park Manager at Santee, and she recommended that we wait until after the weekend to arrive.  The Refuge was likely going to be closed and evacuated due to the hurricane. 

Shortly afterward, I heard from Nicolas, and he was indeed under an evacuation order.  He could leave as early as that evening, and did not need to return until the following Tuesday (the end of his scheduled 4-day weekend).  He said that he had just driven over I-26 towards Columbia, and it was bumper-to-bumper traffic, so he was going to sleep for a few hours and then leave, hopefully avoiding traffic.

He ended up leaving at 2:30am, and arrived at our door at 5:30 – no traffic at all!  We were glad to have him safely away from Charleston, and spending the next 6 days with us!

In the morning, we heard from the Park Manager too, and he had just gotten a cancellation for Thursday/Friday/Saturday nights.  So, we would spend those nights on site 35,

Site 35

and then move back to site 25 for Sunday and Monday nights.

Back on Site 25

We are so grateful to this park, and the staff here – they were so accommodating and helpful in making sure we had a place to wait out the hurricane.  We weren’t the only ones, either;  there were many evacuees taking refuge at this park.

We had a couple beautiful days on Wednesday and Thursday, waiting for the hurricane to arrive.  On Wednesday, we took a drive out to York, SC, where there was a pumpkin patch and a Cider Mill.

Pumpkin Patch

At the Pumpkin Patch

I loved all these heirloom pumpkins that they had; they were so pretty!

Vintage Pumpkins




They were all set up for their Harvest Weekends.

Vintage Pumpkins

They had lots of other harvest vegetables and apples, too.

Pumpkins and Squash

Pumpkins and Tomatoes











We bought some tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers for our salads, and a 1/2 gallon of apple cider for making our apple cider doughnuts.

The Cider Mill was right next door, but they were only open on the weekends, so we missed out on that – bummer!

The next day, we went into Rock Hill to check out the downtown area.

Old Storefronts

It’s a cute downtown, and many of the buildings are being refurbished and renovated.

Gathering area in the alley











Downtown Rock Hill


We walked around downtown, and found the old Courthouse & Post Office (this is the 2nd town where we saw the Courthouse and Post Office combined in a single building) which had been converted into an Art Showcase.

Old Post Office

As we walked around, some people recommended that we stop in at the French Pastry Shoppe . . . it sounded like a good idea, so we did!

French Pastry Shoppe

YUM - Pastries!











Nick & Grandpa

On the Quilt Tour


Rock Hill is on the York County Quilt Tour, and I found one quilt square on the side of one of the downtown buildings! 




We also spotted an interesting collection of padlocks on the railing outside of the Pastry Shoppe.


Locks on the wall

Next stop was the Riverwalk Trail.

Riverwalk Trail

Kayak Launch











We found the trail in the back of a brand-new subdivision, where there is a mix of houses, condos and businesses.  The complex is being built along the west side of the Catawba River, and the trail runs along the riverbank.

Hiking/Biking Trail

It’s a really nice trail – with people walking, running, and biking.  Nicolas wished he had brought running clothes with him; he said he would have come over here and run in the mornings.

There’s even a little library!

Lending Library

It’s a very pretty river,

Catawba River

and we enjoyed walking along the trail.

A beautiful day for a walk

Bridge on the trail

We found a spot to sit by the edge of the river,


where we watched a great blue heron flying around, and an osprey fishing in the river.












Island in the river


Enjoying the walk

Grandpa decided to take a little break by the river while Tom, Nicolas and I walked a little further. 

Taking a break


Nicolas wanted to find where the mountain bike trail started, so we continued on.

Mountain Bike Trail

Just past the halfway point, we found the map for the mountain bike trails.  They look pretty intense!  Nicolas is looking forward to the days when he can have his little RV, and his kayak, and a mountain bike . . .

We made our way back to pick up Grandpa, and then it was time to go home for dinner . . . we were all getting a little hungry!

On our way back

On Friday, we started getting rain (and it wasn’t even the hurricane yet!), and it was on & off for a little while, but starting on Friday night we were getting the hurricane and the rain didn’t end until Saturday evening.  We spent those two days in the RV, watching movies, playing cards, and making treats!

Apple Cider Doughnuts – YUM!

Apple Cider Doughnuts

Even Casey didn’t want to go outside!

Sleepy Dog

Fortunately, by the time we were scheduled to move on Sunday, the rain had stopped and the sun was back out – all was well!  We had a couple of beautiful sunny days to finish up our long weekend with Nicolas!  More on that later!


  1. I'm surprised that river wasn't in the rv park. Sure is a mess around NC with flooding. You're lucky. Safe travels

    1. We're west of 77, and although the rain lasted about 36 hours, it really wasn't heavy rain. Apparently, this area has been really dry; even in the RV park where we got some puddles, they soaked right up as soon as the sun came up. And these pictures were pre-hurricane :)

  2. Glad all is well. Still lots of electric out in South Carolina. We are currently staying at the Comfort Inn in Santee just off the interstate at exit 98. But be sure to check before heading to the wildlife refuge...we saw major damage as we came across 521 and there was no electric until we hit Santee. Stay safe!!!


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