Still on a book tour. After a delayed and exhausting flight back to South Carolina, I head to my next stop – Hartsville, South Carolina. Not enough time to really do anything but too early to just drive there directly, I looked for a state park.
South Carolina has excellent state parks and I stopped at Sesqui-Centennial State Park, a funny name for a lovely place. On the outskirt of Columbia, the capital of South Carolina, it was created to celebrate the city’s 150th anniversary of its founding.
Like most state parks, it’s big on activities. There’s walking, biking, swimming in a pool, boating on a lake and just picnicking. I took their 3.5-mile loop trail that just seemed to go on and on through the scrub. Lots of red and white oaks lining flat, sandy paths. They seemed to have eradicated the natural swamps which I assume was the fashion of the day.
Then I headed to Hartsville, SC where I had a book event at Burry Books, a large bookstore in a small town. For a town of about 7,700 people, it is incredibly dynamic. Because of the Coker family who settled here after the Civil War, the town boasts a large packaging company and Coker College, a small, liberal arts college. No wonder such a small town can support an independent bookstore.
The bookstore dates back from 1972 and now has new owners. I didn’t have too many people in my audience but I expected this when I was invited. That was OK. I said that I would go anyplace I was invited to talk about national parks.
I decided to make it a National Park Service Centennial party. I bought a cake locally and candles which said “100”. They provided the coffee and even some appetizers.
A few more people know about national parks and their parks close by. Historic Camden is only a few miles down the road. Not quite a national park, yet, just an affiliate and I encouraged the local audience to get involved in making it a part of the National Park Service.
I didn’t sign too many books but I enjoyed visiting an area that I would never have seen, if not on a book tour. And to me, that counts for a lot.