Three Years In Charles Towne Landing By Betty P. White, May 13, 2013

18 May

It was three years ago in mid-May 2010 when my serious love affair with Charles Towne Landing began. I decided that walking regularly would be a key to my longevity. How much walking? 10,000 steps per day seems to be the magic number from those who purportedly know.

The round-trip walk from my home to the Visitor Center takes 5000 steps. Inside the park a walk around the History trail and English Garden is about 5000 steps OR a walk to and through the Animal Forest takes about 5000 steps. So I can go into the animal forest which opens at 9 am OR cover the rest of the park depending on the time I arrive to reach my goal.

Every day requires a decision as to walking the “IN” road or the “EXIT” road. The “IN” road takes me more directly to the dike between the lagoons by the Legare-Waring House.

CTL is the perfect walking solution away from traffic, vehicle exhaust, etc., and I’ve walked in CTL most days. Over and over I’ve stated and written that I’ve NEVER had a bad day in CTL. Each day presents a variety of surprises.

The recent rainy days have filled up the lagoons. The overflow pipe into the marsh at the west side near the Superintendent’s House trickles constantly. The “perches” for the turtles around the edges are underwater. And the lagoons are really full of vegetation. The alligator “beaches” are covered as well and the ‘gators have no option other than to crawl up on “the hill”.  Altho’ all this water is in the lagoons, the resurrection fern is all dried up since we’ve had a few rain-free days.

Today a pair of Canada Geese who’ve, I think, been visiting for several months showed up by the dike. I hope they have a nest full of eggs and were just taking a break from “setting”. Haven’t seen any Canada Geese “chicks?” since May of 2010. Of course, these geese were NOT wearing name tags. I’m assuming it is the same pair seen earlier. They are really beautiful creatures, but with some bad habits!!

A couple of visitors were intently watching something by the trail by the lagoon near the overflow pipe; turned out to be a hawk on the ground in a struggle with a small snake. That duel was interesting to watch for a few minutes. The hawk won.

The maintenance crew had been diligently mowing, blowing and cutting and the acres of freshly manicured grounds look wonderful.

My favorite encounter of the day was seeing a young couple pushing a large “stroller”. I asked them if I could peak inside. Inside was 12-DAY-old Jonathan! Turned out they live nearby and had bought a Park Passport with plans to become regulars. THAT was very exciting.  Imagine Jonathan being able to brag that he first visited Charles Towne Landing when he was “12 days old”!

I carry Beggin’ Strips for my 4-legged friends. On this day, I only saw one small acquaintance. I call it “serendipity” when my favorites Pan and Kate and Rhea and Buster and Miles show up.

The exciting events going on now are the “Race The Landing” 5K races. I volunteered to hand out water at the first water station. This gives me a close-up look at every runner. Mastering the handoff to the runner in motion without spilling the water or dropping the cup or getting splashed is a challenge. But the more you do it, the better you do it. Two very successful races are history in this series with three to go! There have been almost 300 racers each time so far this year.

For three years now I’ve thought about leaving my pedometer at home and taking a tour of the Landing using earphones and a map like the “visitors” do. I promise to do this and tell you soon what it is like to take a tour of Charles Towne Landing!!!!!!


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