More Myrtle Beach 2009
We spent 11 days in Myrtle Beach this year. Our stay is always limited because we wait to arrive until winter rates to kick in on November 1, and they have a rally at Ocean Lakes around the second full weekend in November every year. We think it's a free (or at least heavily discounted) weekend for anyone who has bought an RV from the dealership owned by Ocean Lakes. The campground sets aside large blocks of sites (especially the sites along the ocean), so it's hard to get reservations near the ocean for that weekend unless you purchased your RV from Ocean Lakes. It's just as well because it's usually starting to cool off, and it's time for us to be heading south anyway.
We had good weather most of the time we were in Myrtle Beach. It was cool and cloudy the first full day we were there, but it cleared out; and we had bright sun and temperatures in the upper 60s and lower 70s most of time we were there. We didn't do any sightseeing; but we shared dinners with our friends, Barbara and Dick, and we went out to dinner one night to Outback Steakhouse to celebrate Dick's birthday. We rode our bikes around Ocean Lakes and looked at the beach houses on the property. We hung out around the motor home and relaxed, watched the NASCAR race on Sunday and watched the Steelers beat Denver on Monday Night Football.
We also spent some time on the beach. While sitting on the beach, Paul sometimes reads; and he sometimes likes to watch any passing boats and the gulls and sandpipers. The gull in the next photo seemed to be strutting along the beach.
Paul, who is usually an early riser, likes to watch the sunrise over the water at Myrtle Beach. Most days he just watches from the window of the motor home while working on the computer and sipping coffee, but he tries to get out onto the beach at least once to watch the sunrise in person.
Sunset at the beach is pretty, too. Even though the sun is behind you, it makes the sky over the ocean glow purple, pink, and orange. The next photo is looking northeast up the beach toward downtown Myrtle Beach.
Sunrise and sunset are also good times to watch the shore birds heading out from or back to their roosts. The brown pelican in the photo below is heading home for the night.
As we said, the weather was gorgeous for most of our stay. Although the number of hurricanes drops drastically after the middle of October and hurricane season is officially over on November 1, we watched the weather reports as they tracked a rare November hurricane (Hurricane Ida) as it crossed the Gulf of Mexico. Fortunately, it was downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it came ashore early Tuesday morning south of Summerdale, AL, where we had been staying a few weeks ago. We got an email from the new friends we met at Rainbow Plantation, and they said it was a little windy and they got a lot of rain, but there was no major damage.
Fortunately for us, Ida was quickly downgraded further from a tropical storm to a tropical depression because the outlying bands of rain were headed toward Myrtle Beach well before the center of the storm came ashore. Unfortunately for us, the storm slowed down, sat over the Florida Panhandle, combined with a few other fronts and weather systems, and pumped moisture from the Gulf of Mexico northward for a couple of days. We watched the clouds increase on Monday. It rained off and on Tuesday, and our friends, Barbara and Dick headed for home a day early hoping to be ahead of the heaviest rain. We stayed put. Later on in the day, the winds picked up a bit, the skies got dark, and the surf became a little more angry-looking.
Then on Wednesday morning the skies opened up. The wind got a little stronger, and it poured for a couple of hours. Paul took the photo below of our site from across the road during a brief halt in the rain. The low spot in the road had collected about 8 or 10 inches of water.
Contrast the next photo of the ocean looking northward toward downtown Myrtle Beach with the one above taken at sunset several days prior. There was a lot of debris and there were many broken seashells on the beach.
We tried to extend our stay by a day to give the rain more time to clear, but our site and most of the ones around us were booked because of the rally we mentioned earlier. Since we would have had to move way to the back of the campground anyway, we decided to take our chances with the weather and head south as we originally planned. Check back for our next post and we'll let you know where we landed.