Myrtle Beach 2008 Part II
The storm system that passed by offshore the first part of our stay took almost three days to move on. By the end of the third day, the clouds finally started to break up, and the following day dawned bright and clear. We sat on the beach a little while enjoying the warm sun and watching the waves...no two are alike and they're mesmerizing to watch.
A gull stopped by and checked us out. Since we didn't have anything to eat, it didn't hang around too long.
We also watched a couple of sandpipers flit up and down the beach. As a wave would flow out, they would run down to the edge of the water pecking at the sand as they went looking for whatever it is they eat. As the next wave would come in, they would run back up the beach as fast as their little legs could carry them staying just ahead of the advancing wave. Then they would repeat the process as that wave flowed back out. Occasionally they would stop beyond the reach of the waves and stand on one leg to rest.
Later in the day, while Margery was cooking dinner, she realized that Paul had "disappeared." Following her instincts, she walked down to the beach and found him.
He loves watching the sunset. Even though the beach faces east and the sunset is behind you as you look out into the ocean, the water and sky still take on an unusual, luminous quality just as the sun goes down below the horizon. The photo below is looking up the beach toward downtown Myrtle Beach. There is a plane in the pink glow just to the right of center coming in for a landing at Myrtle Beach International Airport.
With the return of sunny weather, we were also able to resume our bike riding. Ocean Lakes has several miles of internal roads running among the camping areas and winding among the beach houses. The photo below shows some of the beach houses lining one of the lakes at Ocean Lakes Resort.
Outside one of the beach houses there was a lantana still in full bloom that was covered with butterflies.
On Saturday, we went to the Golden Corral for the breakfast buffet. The price isn't cheap ($7.49 for adults, $6.99 for seniors over 60), but it is one of the most extensive breakfast buffets we have seen. In addition to a full array of the usual breakfast items (scrambled eggs, bacon, several types of sausage, bacon, ham, several types of potatoes, sausage gravy and biscuits, hot cakes, French toast, fruit, etc.), they also have made-to-order omelets, made-to order waffles, corned beef hash, creamed chipped beef on toast, two types of quiche, fried chicken, and so much more we can't even remember it all. They even have deserts (pie, cake, cookies, and soft-serve ice cream with sundae toppings) for breakfast! Golden Corral's dinner buffet is pretty good, but we like breakfast better. We usually go later in the morning for brunch.
After brunch, we stopped at the Myrtle Beach Flea Market. It's a nice, little, indoor flea market with 50 or 60 vendors...lots of t-shirts, beach blankets, and beaded jewelry.
Myrtle Beach is a big tourist town, so there are plenty of places to tempt us to eat out. After the Chinese/seafood buffet and the breakfast buffet within a few days of each other, we had to be careful with our budget and our waistlines. We did, however, eat out one more time.
We don't get steak often, but when we do, we like to go to Texas Roadhouse because we think their steaks are excellent. We also like Texas Roadhouse because most of their locations have a "two-fer" early bird special between 3:30 PM and 5:30 PM. The special includes a choice from 7 or 8 entrees, rolls and honey butter, two sides, and all the peanuts you can eat for two people for $15.99. We usually get the 6 ounce sirloin steaks, salads, and mashed or baked potatoes; and that turns out to be just about the right amount of food for us. If you're interested in trying the "two-fer", check to be sure the restaurant at your location has the special and what the hours are.
While Texas Roadhouse is a national restaurant chain, Myrtle Beach also has a couple of restaurants called Texas Roadhouse Grill. As far as we know, these restaurants are not part of the Texas Roadhouse chain, and they do not have the "two-fer" special.
During the rest of our stay in Myrtle Beach, we groomed Molly, rode our bikes a little more, and walked on the beach. The day before we left to head south, Paul checked tire pressures in preparation for our departure. Oops! The pressure of one of the rear tires was down about 10 psi. Tire pressures can drop when is gets colder; but it wasn't that cold and when one is down that far and the rest are OK, it's a pretty safe bet there is something wrong.
It was a rear outside dual, so it was easier to see than an inside dual. And fortunately, it wasn't one of the new front tires. Paul got out a small mirror and looked around the tread. Sure enough, there was a small piece of metal (it later turned out to be what was left of an 8d nail) sticking out from between the tread. Paul called Coach Net, which is who we use for roadside assistance, and within about 20 minutes a service truck from Mason Tire Co. in nearby Surfside Beach showed up. The mechanic had the tire pulled, dismounted from the wheel, repaired, and remounted in about half an hour.
This was the second time we had a flat while stopped and the second time we have used Coach Net to get the tire repaired. The way roadside assistance works is they cover the cost of the service call, but the customer still has to pay for whatever repairs are necessary. If repair along the side of the road is not possible, then roadside assistance pays for towing to the nearest facility capable of making the repair. We are pleased with the response we got from Coach Net both times we used them.
After the tire was repaired, we took one more bike ride, then packed the bikes in the back of the car and took one last walk on the beach.
A little way up the beach, we ran across several surfers trying to take advantage of the waves the wind was kicking up. Although the waves weren't all that huge, the surfers would occasionally get a nice, long ride.
There were also several groups of horseback riders on the beach. We found out the Heart Association sponsors an annual 20-mile ride on the beach from Lakewood Camping Resort, which is the next campground to the north, to Myrtle Beach. The annual Jack Monroe Beach Ride, which is a 5-day event, is in its 27th year. It's fund raising goal for this year is $330,000. Last year over 1,300 horses and riders participated! That's a lot of horses AND manure! In addition to the beach ride, the weekend also includes live entertainment and dance, a silent auction, a mechanical bull, vendor row, a costume contest, and a parade.
We talked with a local lady who was on the beach with her horse, and she said it is a great family event. Not only are there adult riders, but some families also bring in miniature horses that their children ride.
The event was scheduled for the weekend, but a number of participants had arrived early and were already out riding.
Some of the horses had never been to the beach before, and their owners were getting them used to the surf. The surf was a little heavy; and, although the rushing water and noise made a few of them skittish, the horse in the photo below was fairly calm.
It was getting dark as we finished our walk. We headed back to the motor home for dinner and to finish our preparation for departure the next morning.