There was an unholy fucking racket echoing through Myrtle Beach State Park last night. Whatever the camper across from me was building at 11am must be monumental, I imagined, some kind of artisanal cedar planked pop-up perhaps. At that moment, Brad Deerhake, an old Columbus buddy from the way back days, messaged to ask if I would like to come out to say hello. Yes, god dammit, I most certainly would. I didn't know exactly what the score was at Brad's place and I hadn't seen the dude in maybe eight years, but I knew it wasn't an overcrowded state park filled with the boisterous banging of hammers. I would later discover that artisanal cedar-planked pop-up tent guy was actually just a shitty dude who didn't understand how to anchor his tent in sand properly.
I met up with Brad in Charleston, SC. He was at his buddies house fucking wildly with the ignition switch on his custom Harely EVO Sportster. The first wave of moto-envy on this trip hit hard. We caught up, I told the story as it was so far, did the van tour, and then we hit the road for dinner with Brad's buds, Ethan and Lindsay. We ate tacos and drank beer. We walked down to the beach. Ethan drew a elegant cock in sand. Lindsay scrambled to distort it's anatomical perfection before a young couple and their three kids could make out the shape of it. We parted with Ethan and Lindsay and set off for Brad's home on Wadmalaw Island. I had seen pictures of the place before. I knew it was some kind of compound where he and his fiance, Jackie, had been living for a few years. I knew there were horses there. I didn't know much else.
This wouldn't be the only time on this trip that I would utter the phrase "This is some Great Gatsby shit!", even though in nearly all instances the only correlation between a Fitzgerald novel and the subjects that elicited that exclamation would be money. Lot's of fucking money. Set before me was a thousand acre plantation, replete with million dollar homes, sprawling pastures, docks, and the kinds of toys only the Illuminati could afford. The place was incredible. The owners were some kind of mysterious English couple that owned the SC soccer team and prize winning English jumping horses that Jackie was in charge of. This was an alternate reality, one I had only read about or seen on a TV show that I probably hated.
Brad and Jackie were incredible hosts. I ended up spending two nights with them. Breakfast and dinner were served daily. Brad ended up ditching work to take me on a Charleston tour. I bore witness to the majesty of Angel Oak, some massive, gnarled, four-hundred year old, ancient Ent looking bastard. Respect your elders. We explored The Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon which, in fact, would turn out to be just a brick basement where prisoners or war and pirates were kept. No torture devices here, just a crowded and wet basement where they would hold up to forty individuals at a time.
I would have stayed longer had it not been for the fact that I had to get to Florida relatively quickly to handle some gypsy business. I will definitely be returning next loop if they will have me.
Wadmalaw Island was a massively transformative experience. It marked the first time that I didn't have to immediately wake up and jam on to the next state park. It was the first time since heading out that I saw the merits of staying with people and actually getting an opportunity to explore an area.
It was also the first time loneliness would set in. Not the cruel and crushing kind of loneliness I experienced in Louisville...this was different. It was simply the kind where I thought, man it would be fucking awesome to share these experiences with someone. "Holy fuck! Would you look at that?", doesn't seem to have the same weight when there isn't someone to holy fuck would you look at that thing with you.