Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Day on the Cooper River

Charleston, SC – Day 2

One of the reasons we wanted to make a stop in Charleston was to see our good friends John and Jean Mills who we had not seen in 4 years. Monte and John were stationed together on the submarine USS Jallao (I won't tell you how long ago but many of our readers were not born yet during this time frame). 

John and Jean live just north of Charleston in Moncks Corner and their home is about a block from the Cooper River. The Cooper River flows south to Charleston where it joins with the Ashley River to form Charleston Harbor and then, as the locals say, the Atlantic Ocean.

John invited us to take the most wonderful boat ride on the river. We spent the afternoon cruising north toward Lake Moultrie passing the remains of old rice plantations, a huge old monastery (Mepkin Abbey, home to Trappist Monks, which is on our list to go to on our next visit), many stately old homes and miles of pristine wilderness.

To reach Lake Moultrie from the Cooper River one must transit through the Pinoplis Lock. When this lock was built in 1940 it was the highest single lift lock in the world. Today, it is the still the highest in North America – and that is as far as my research went... Anyway, the lock lifts/lowers boats 75 feet, uses 6 million gallons of water and is very impressive.

After cruising Lake Moultrie we went back through the lock – the 75' trip down is much quicker than the 75' trip up – and back down the river. 
When we got back to the Mills' home, Jean, who had been dog sitting Chief and Casey, had a wonderful dinner prepared for us.

What a great day. And we can attest to Jean being a very good cook since we went back the next evening for dinner again! Thanks John and Jean for the hospitality!

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