Here lately I’ve been pretty excited about my sudden need to explore the state in which I grew up. As my tenure in Charleston is a few days from the end, Conway is my city of residence now. I’ll soon be embarking on an exploration journey of Myrtle Beach life. We’ll get to that when the time is right.
Still on the same stretch of Interstate 26 from my last post about discovering South Carolina, I made my way to Dreher Island the same day. What a beauty of a place for the eyes to behold. The route I took was through this neat little town called Little Mountain. Right before crossing the railroad track to continue on my journey, I see a neat little consignment shop called Tears of Joy on the right. I knew I’d be stopping there on my way back from the island.
The drive out to Dreher Island is about 11 miles from the interstate. That was nothing compared to the miles I had left to get to Conway. My trip from Greenville to Conway should have taken a little over three hours. I was already two hours behind. I was in no hurry. There were things to see and photographs to take.
When I get to the gate of the park, I didn’t have cash. There was a $2.00 charge for admission. I asked the attendant if he could take my card. He kindly replied that he couldn’t but directed me to the welcome center where I could pay the price of admission there. I thanked him and proceeded through the gate.
I found my way to the welcome center and was immediately greeted by a young lady who was coming out of the facility as I was going in. She told me to go on in and I would be helped by her co-worker. I told her I wanted to pay for admission to the park and she kindly assisted me with that. There was also a local food drive going on that I made a donation to. That donation actually made my park admission free. I was given a bag of goodies for my donation and the canned goods that my donation went towards was staged with the rest of the items that were being donated. Wow! A place that is extending a helping hand to those in need in our state…and actually delivering on the promise. Reminds me of the way things used to be when a person or group of people had compassion for those less fortunate and did something about it.
I received a map of the park and began my journey of absorbing beauty. As I walked towards my car, families were pulling away from the dock in beautiful water vessels, or boats you might say, to enjoy time on the gorgeous Lake Murray. Yes, this is the body of water that surrounds Dreher Island. Lake Murray is fed by the Saluda River. We’re talking about 50,000 acres of water here folks at the lake. Get your boats and jet skis and find your spot!
When I left the welcome center, I began my journey. I needed to find a spot to park. That was no problem at all. There are about 12 sheltered recreational areas with plenty of parking for you and your family to set up and cook out and have fun in the waters. I saw miniature inflatable rafts with kids floating near the shore of the lake having the time of their little lives. Adults were engaged in conversation and cooking beneath the sheltered patios. As for me, I headed off through the woods to see what else this place had to offer.
After I got my dose of a natural high and pictures, I decided to head homeward. But there was one stop I had to make on the way. I came back across the tracks and stopped in at Tears of Joy. I liked this place before I even walked through the door. The building reminds me of a small, inviting home that is full of love and joy. And that’s what I found once I walked in. Lori Pouliott, the owner of Tears of Joy, was quite the host. There are rooms of the neatest items you will find. I purchased two items while I was there and have no idea what one of them is. I just know I needed it to go in my apartment. In a time today where a store’s focus is on money only, Lori’s focus was clearly on ensuring I had a great shopping experience. Needless to say, I did have an exceptional experience in her shop. When you are traveling Interstate 26, be sure to take a short detour to Little Mountain and visit Lori. You can also see items for sale in the shop right online. If you go on the right day, you may even get a free snack or a bottle of water like I did just to show her appreciation for you stopping in.
Until next time folks, I leave you a few more pictures from this journey. I’m in North Carolina now. I just can’t leave without my camera capturing some beauty for you to see.